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Biological Name: Euphrasia officinaliseyebright

Other Names: Eyebright

Active Components: Eyebright is characterized by rich concentration of tannins, flavonoids and iridoid glycosides. Due to its astringency the herb is widely applied as a local remedy for inflammations and excessive mucous discharge.

History: Eyebright has been a popular external treatment for eye conditions, like styes, conjunctivitis, blepharitis and so on. For these aims it is applied as a poultice. To get a relief in inflammatory eye conditions, like impaired vision, swellings, and redness, induced by severe eye infections, a compress is made using a herb decoction. To enhance the effect, tea is drunk in addition to topical application. The remedy is also applied for eyesight problems and eye tiredness. Eyebright is also prescribed by homeopathists for respiratory conditions, like sore throat, coughs, and sinus infections.

Used For: The range of conditions in which the remedy is applied includes eye irritation, conjunctivitis, and blepharitis.

Additional Info: Eyebright belongs to a wide genus, which includes more than 450 species. It grows wildly in grassy areas, pastures, and meadows of Europe, particular former Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Moreover, it is cultivated across Europe as well. The blossoming period lasts from the end of summer through autumn. Each plant’s part is applied in herbal medicine.

Preparation and Intake: According to conventional herbal scriptures, to make a compress one needs a tablespoon of dry herb extract and half a liter of water. The combination should be then boiled for up to 10 minutes. As it cools, the undiluted remedy can be made into compress. The herb is recommended to use in conjunction with antibacterial plants, like goldenseal. However, according to German herbalists, this type of application is not safe, as it may lead to bacterial infection.

Eyebright tea can also be applied as an oral remedy for the same conditions, using the same preparation instructions. It should be drunk at a quantity of two to three cups a day. Dry herb extract may be used at a quantity of 2-4 grams thrice a day. In form of tincture the herb is used at a dose of 2-6 ml thrice a day.

Safety: Though the herb is conventionally suggested as an eye compress, it’s not safe to use it externally, due to strict requirement of sterility for eye remedies, and insufficient data on the herb’s active components. When applied as an oral remedy in the doses mentioned above, the herb is considered safe. Still, it’s not yet known if it is safe for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women.