eyebright large Eyebright

Eyebright | Euphrasia officinalis

general characteristics

general characteristics

Common names include eyebright, bright-eye, birds eye. It is famously mentioned in Milton's 'Paradise Lost' when Adams eyes are anointed with Euphrasie so that he could see death in all its forms. It is a member of the Scrophulariaceae family.


Eyebright is a small annual (completes its entire life cycle in one growing season) plant, often only growing to 1-2 inches tall (a little taller on richer soils). A native of Europe, it tends to be found on poor soil, in short grasses or on sunny path edges. I most often see it on the edges of dry sunny forest paths. It comes into flower in high summer, producing tiny whitish flowers dashed with tinges of purple and yellow.


It is semi-parasitic and relies on the roots of grasses surrounding it for some of its nourishment though rarely damages the host in any way.


Eyebright dried herb and tincture are available to buy in our herbal shop.


harvesting and preparation

harvesting and preparation

The whole plant is picked when in full flower and should be laid out on a tray to dry thoroughly. As it is such a small plant and its growing habitat is increasingly scarce, picking from the wild is strongly discouraged. Buy it in from reputable suppliers or create the right conditions in a patch of your own garden

Eyebright dried herb and tincture are available to buy in our herbal shop.


therapeutic actions and uses

therapeutic actions and uses

Eyebright is well respected by Herbalists as a mucous membrane tonic. It is used more specifically for drying out copious watery discharges from the nose, eyes, ears and for the bronchial area. It is also anti-inflammatory and astringent.
Eyebright is known to posses antibacterial and antibiotic properties and is perhaps best known for its action on the afflictions of the eyes such as conjunctivitis, redness of the eyes, styes, eyestrain, soreness and grittiness, mild or chronic opthalmia (eye inflammation), eye discharge from infection etc., blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid), corneal opacity (scarring on the cornea), corneal ulcers and for helping to prevent damage to the eye due to measles. Worth trying on cataracts too according to herbalist Dr Christopher. Historical use by some (the Gypsies, Culpeper, Abbe Kneipp) maintain it will prevent failing eyesight when taken regularly as a tea and used as an eyewash.
Eyebright has a good reputation as an anti-catarrhal and can be useful for many of the symptoms of hayfever such as watery/itching eyes, sneezing, itching in the nose and throat, watery mucous discharges and nasal polyps.
Its tonic action on the mucous membranes make it suitable against sinusitis.
Weak memory, improves blood circulation to the brain.
Lowers blood sugar levels in those with hyperglycaemia but not in those with normal blood glucose levels so may prove useful in diabetes.
Some Herbalists have suggested that drinking eyebright tea has a cleansing action on the liver and encourages the release of stored vitamin A which in turn benefits the vision and eyes.
Has some tonic action on the gallbladder and spleen and used in some European countries as a mild digestive tonic.
Here is a link to a monograph on eyebright and here is a link to a really informative section of articles on eyebright, its chemical composition and personal experiences of using it.





dosage and cautions

dosage and cautions

*Avoid using if your head/nose is stuffy and dry, eyebright dries  out thin, watery mucous so it may make dry stuffiness worse.

* Eyebright is considered a very safe herb with no known side effects or harmful drug interactions.

* Avoid in pregnancy as a caution, though no known reports of any problems.

* Generally considered safe for external use in babies and children's eye conditions.

* Very occasional allergic reaction may occur in those susceptible.



Tincture: 2-6 mls in a little water up to 3 times daily.

Dried herb in tea form: 1 teaspoon of dried herb per cup, half to 1 cup up to 3 times daily. Same dose for use as an eyebath which can be used alongside the tea.




Add 12 to the child’s age. Divide the child’s age by the total.
E.g. dosage for a 4 year old...... 4 {age} divided by 16 {age + 12} = . 25  or 1/4 of the adult dosage.





Child watering plants




© the wild pharma 2013 | tel: +044 [0]1435 831 525 | email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Terms of using this website