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Eyebright: The Better to See You

Updated on August 13, 2013

Euphrasia Officinalis or...... EYEBRIGHT



What is eyebright? Eyebright is also known as Euphrasia Officinalis

Eyebright is a pretty and flowery herb 2-8 inches tall also called Euphrasia.The word Euphrasia originates from the Greek meaning "joy" or "delight".

There are many varieties of eyebright, most of which are native to sunny, grassy European meadows, although the Euphrasia variety is thought of as originating in the British Isles.

Some say eyebright's roots entangle and parasitize roots of neighboring plants killing them. Others disagree in that while eyebright does in fact parasitize surrounding grass it does so harmlessly.

When taken internally eyebright is a general health antioxidant, as well as being a healthful remedy for chronic health problems associated with mucous membranes.


  • stimulates liver function
  • contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 B5, B12, C,, D, and E
  • contains tannins that tighten the mucous membranes of the eye
  • contains Minerals: Magnesium, Manganese, Calcium, Cobalt, Zinc
  • has antiobiotic, antimicrobial, and astringent properties

The mucous membranes are:

  1. the alimentary tract,
  2. the respiratory tract,
  3. the urogenital tract.

Thus the Euphrasia Officinalis variety of eyebright helps with:

  1. chronic respiratory ailments,
  2. cataracts,
  3. sinus headaches,
  4. allergy congestion, and more.

It can be taken orally in capsules, as drops under the tongue or it can be applied topically providing quick relief for painful, swollen mucous membranes.

Being an astringent this plant soothes inflamed membranes, especially the sinuses. For those suffering with swollen eustachian tubes due to allergies eyebright could be the herb to provide relief from pain and discomfort as well as loss of hearing due to a swollen eustachian tube.

Eyebright can be used externally as an eye compress for humans and dogs, as well as for eye injuries in horses.

We will discuss this more later.

Can You Grow Your Own Eyebright?

Not easily.

According to eyebright needs sunlight but as mentioned above, it is parasitic and needs grass to surround it in order to grow well. It is easier to buy eyebright at the health food store for around $12 for a good-sized bottle.

Eyebright as an alternative to cataracts

Historically since the mid 1200s eyebright has been used to “clear the sight” and rid the eyes of catarrh. It heals the eye of infections such as conjunctivitis.

There are also reports of improved vision when doctors have given eyebright to cataract sufferers. According to Natural News there are numerous instances showing eyebright cleared filmy vision over just a short period of time.

None other than John Milton wrote in "Paradise Lost", Book XI:

"To nobler sights
Michael from Adam's eyes the film removed,
Then purged with _Euphrasy_ and rue
The visual nerve, for he had much to see."

On another note, Similisan, a popular eye remedy available at many health food stores, and at some pharmacies, is popular for eye problems like itchiness, stinging, swollen or tired eyes. Upon reading the Similisan label one notes Euphrasia is the active ingredient. A few drops of Similisan in each eye soothes itchy stinging eyes when allergies offend. This author prefers the eyebright capsules taken orally, but the Similisan works well if one prefers this.

Contains Eurasia (Eyebright)

How about a little eyebright for me, hey?  I have stinging eyes.
How about a little eyebright for me, hey? I have stinging eyes.
Your schnauzer might benefit from eyebright.
Your schnauzer might benefit from eyebright.


Another benefit to eyebright is that it helps calm swollen mucous membranes because it is both an antihistamine as well as an anti-inflammatory. What does this mean to sinus-sufferers? Itmeans that it may help relieve sinus headaches and alleviate pain from swollen sinus passages. Next time you have ear congestion, go ahead and try eyebright; the author has found it improves the hearing as the eustachian tube inflammation is relieved.

Eyebright is the only remedy this writer takes that helps the hearing when the eustachian tube is swollen and hearing is muffled due to allergies. Taking one or two capsules from the health food store usually provides pain relief within the hour. Allergy sufferers may want to combine nettles with eyebright on heavy allergy days. The combination of these two herbs can make the day bearable.

In taking eyebright for any of the things above you might find your lungs clearing up too. You may feel better, see better, and breathe better.

Eyebright for Pets

There are reports that dogs that were having trouble seeing had their sight improved when they were given eyebright.

According to, eyebright can sooth the eyes when an eyewash is made of it by putting a bit of the flower into some boiling water for a few minutes and then using it as a soothing eyewash for humans or for horses. Interestingly, www.naturalwellbeing reports that dog eye allergies are also much relieved with the use of eyebright.

Lockyer Equine Therapies at says that eyebright is their favorite herbal remedy for horses with swollen eyes or conjunctivitis. They make a tea as described later on this page and subsequently put the tea bags over they horse's eyes. It comforts them and is good therapy for the horse.

Horses appreciate eyebright compresses too!
Horses appreciate eyebright compresses too! | Source

Eyebright likes to grow the the British Isles

Powdered eyebright from capsules
Powdered eyebright from capsules

Instructions for Eyebright Eye Compress

  1. This recipe for a compress is from the cooking channel. To make an eyebright eye compress one needs: 2 teabags 2 t dried eyebright 2 t black tea leaves
  2. Mix the eyebright and the tea together. Spoon into 2 tea bags. Seal the bags and put them into a shot glass of hot water.
  3. Let stand for 10 minutes. Now squeeze out the water. Now that you have made the compresses, go lie down and before you do, press the video below and watch the beautiful eyebright as you relax.
  4. Relax with these eye compresses for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Have you tried eyebright?

Have you tried eyebright?

See results


  1. Iridology and Nutrition Center.
  6. Lockyer Equine Therapies at
  7. Natural News at


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    • Doodlehead profile image

      Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

      Hello Rajan-

      I thought you may have heard of this one!

      It is pretty nice for us sinus sufferers.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I was not aware of this herb at all. Surely it is an amazingly useful herb.

      Thanks for sharing.