Eyebright is a herb native to Europe that presents itself with white scallop-edged flowers. It goes by an alternate Greek name called Euphrasia¸that means a “happy state.” People in Europe have used this traditional herb for medicinal uses and especially for eye maladies like conjunctivitis, inflammation(1), sty, red eyes, stinging eyes, weak vision, etc.
A small study conducted in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2000 stated that this herb showed promising effects in treating inflammatory eye and other eye-related disorders.
The herb offers many more benefits that help maintain good health.
- Volatile oil
- Flavonoids like rutin and quercetin
- Essential fatty acids
- Vitamins A,C,D,E
How Eyebright Works?
1. Treats Eye Irritation
As the name suggests, it is effective in treating eye-related diseases in people as well as animals.
A test-tube study that was conducted proved that the extracts of this herb were helpful in controlling the inflammation in the cornea, a clear white protective layer of the eye in humans.
Another study conducted on 65 adults suffering from eye inflammation caused by pollen and dust allergies, indicated that eye drops administered using this herb and rose extract thrice daily helped. More than 80 % of the participants showed relief in their symptoms and were relieved of red eyes, eye dryness, and burning.
2. Provides Nutrients
The herb is rich in certain phytonutrients that reduce discomfort in the eye. It exhibits anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of aucubin. This helps to soothe inflamed and tired eyes, whereas the tannins prevent inflammation by drying up the secretions of mucous membranes. This herb helps treat conjunctivitis too.
This herb has several useful plant substances, such as the quercetin and flavonoids luteolin. Quercitin(2) is effective against runny eyes. The flavonoid is helpful in hayfever as it reduces an allergic response by releasing histamines.
The presence of a high amount of antioxidants helps in better absorption of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It also contains the essential minerals copper, zinc, and selenium that prevent cataracts.
3. Aids the Respiratory System
This herb is very useful in fighting against allergies, sinusitis, cold, and any other general respiratory discomforts. It has astringent tannins that bring down mucus discharge and catarrh.
Studies show that tannins present in this herb make the mucous membranes firm, whereas the flavonoids help relieve symptoms of coughs, colds, allergies, and chest congestion.
[Read: Home Remedies for Red Eye]
4. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
The extract of this herb may be useful in controlling diabetes.
A study conducted on rats suffering from diabetes administered doses of eyebright extract orally. It showed a decrease in their fasting blood sugar levels by 34% in 2 hours. On the contrary, rats without diabetes showed no significant effects.
5. Fights Bacterial Infections
The herb has antibacterial properties(3) that prevent the occurrence of bacterial infections that result in throat aches, colds, and bronchial infections.
A test-tube study states that the plant compounds present in this herb restrict the growth of some bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae, a gut bacteria that also cause eye infections.
Forms & Dosage
The dosages mentioned in traditional medicine include
• Eyebright Powder: The dosage is restricted to 1-2 gms of powder thrice daily.
• Eyebright Tea: Take 2 tsp of this dried herb and add to boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain and add honey to enhance its taste.
• Liquid Extract: Take no more than 2 ml three times daily.
• Eye Drops: Use 1-2 eye drops 3-5 times daily.
• Homeopathic pellets: It is usually given at 30c. You can have 3-5 pellets.
[Read: Get Rid Of Black Eye Naturally]
- Avoid this herb if you wear lenses.
- Do not use this herb after any eye procedure.
- Always consult your doctor before using the drops.
- If you are pregnant, consult a doctor before using it.
- If you are diabetic, you must avoid using the oil as studies have reported an increase in the production of insulin.
Always buy a reputed brand of Eyebright products that explain the methods that have been followed to grow them. This herb is an excellent natural and alternate home remedy that effectively treats various eye infections and other ailments too.
1. Can Eyebright Improve Skin Health?
The herb may be useful in promoting better skin health.
A test-tube study indicated that using the herb protected the skin against damage by the Sun. It protects cellular damage against free radicals caused by unstable molecules, which may further increase the risk of melanoma or skin cancer.
2. Is Eyebright Extract Good for the Liver?
Yes! This herb contains a plant compound called aucubin. Studies confirm that they are effective in protecting the liver against free radicals, toxins, and viruses.