I Spy with My Little Eyebright… The Eye Herb!
May 12, 2023
Eyebright’s been the classic vision herb for centuries, particularly for eye irritation and redness. Could eyebright be right for you? Read on to learn more about this useful little herb.
In This Healthy Insight
- What is Eyebright?
- Benefits and Traditional Use of Eyebright
- Where to Buy Eyebright
- Eyebright, Extracts and Supplements
- Tips to Exercise Your Eyes
What is Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)?
Native throughout Europe and North America, eyebright is a plant with small scalloped-edged white flowers that feature purple streaks with yellow spots and a black spot near the center. This makes it look like bloodshot human eye. Historically, using eyebright for the eyes was based on a 16 Century theory that a plant’s appearance is indicative of health conditions it could treat, hence the name.
Common names for eyebright include: Casse-Lunettes, Eufrasia, Officinale, Euphrasia, Euphraisia Eye Bright, Euphrasia officinalis, Herbe d’Euphraise, and Luminet among others.
Eyebright thrives in poor soil, grows up to 8 inches in height, and blooms late in the season. Its stems, leaves, and flowers have been used in traditional herbal remedies in Europe for centuries.
Benefits and Traditional Use of Eyebright
While scientific evidence is scant about the usefulness of eyebright, herbal enthusiasts believe it supports:
- Strong vision
- Comfortable eyes
- Healthy sinuses and nasal passages
Eyebright contains naturally occurring tannins, saponins, rutin, quercetin, iodine, zinc and vitamins A, B, C, D and E, which may offer some nutritional support to health and vision.
Where to Buy Eyebright
Lately there’s been a shortage of eyebright herb, but with some searching you can still find limited quantities online or at health food stores in several forms: capsules (by itself or blended with other eye-supporting ingredients), liquid extracts, tea, and homeopathic remedies and eye drops.
Eyebright, Extracts & Supplements
- Tea. In tea bag or loose, let steep for 5-10 minutes and strain. May be sweetened if desired.
- Liquid extract. Add to any hot or cold beverage.
- Capsules. Often blended with other eye-supporting nutrients.
- Homeopathic tablets. Dissolved under the tongue.
- Homeopathic eye drops. For redness and irritation.
Tips to Exercise the Eyes
Computer vision syndrome is a common complaint among individuals who spend significant time staring at digital devices. This syndrome can cause:
- Eye strain
- Dry eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Tired eyes
- Blurred vision
Eye Exercise #1
While seated hold your finger a few inches from your eye. Focus on your finger and slowly move it away from your face while continuing to focus on it. Look away then slowly bring your finger back to you face. Look away and repeat two-three times.
Eye Exercise #2
Again, while seated, hold your thumb about 12 inches from your face and hold it for 10 seconds. Focus on an object 15 feet away and hold for 10 seconds. Return your focus to your thumb and repeat three times.
Eye Exercise #3
This exercise should be done from a seated position as well. Make a figure 8 with your eyes, first starting at the right for 20 seconds, then to the left for 20 seconds.
With recent heightened awareness of blue light from digital screens, it’s now more important than ever to support the health of your eyes. If you’re considering adding eyebright to your wellness plan, be sure to speak with your doctor or healthcare practitioner.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.