Eyebright is a two- to eight-inch tall annual herbaceous plant that grows in grassy meadows, in Britain, northern and western Asia, North America, and Europe. There are opposite branches on a single erect stem. It has deep cut, 1/2 inch long leaves and white or purple flowers with red spots. The flowers bloom between July and September. Seeds are in tiny, flat capsules. Eyebright was historically used by European Herbalists as a tincture in alcohol. The tincture was often warmed in water and applied directly to the eye to supposedly provide relief for conjunctivitis and other eye irritations. Internally, they smoked dried Eyebright leaves combined with tobacco to relieve bronchial colds.
History and Folklore:
The Greek name Euphrasia is derived from Euphrosyne, meaning gladness. It is the name of one of the three graces who was distinguished for her joy and mirth. Eyebright is valued as an eye tonic that helps to preserve eyesight thereby bringing gladness into the life of the sufferer.
Cultivation and Harvest:
Harvest the top 1/3 of the plant early in the summer, when the flowers first appear. This gives the plant enough time to grow new flowers and seeds from which it can regrow.
Do not take if pregnant. Taken orally, eyebright may cause nausea, confusion and sweating. When applied as a wash in the eye, Eyebright can cause light sensitivity, itching, swelling, redness, and changes in vision.
Traditional Herbal Actions:
Anti-Inflammatory, Astringent, Anticatarrhal, Antioxidant
Euphrasia, Augentröst, Casse-lunette, Augentrostkraut, Euphrasiae herba, Herba Euphrasiae and Herbe d’Euphraise
Ingredients: Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before taking any supplement. Do not take herbs or tinctures during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.
*This statement has not been verified by the FDA and is only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, is not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before ingesting any herbal product.