Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is a Medicinal Herb Used in Traditional Herbal Medicine.

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Medicinal Herbs & Therapeutic Botanicals

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Botanicals: Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content provided on this page is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or health related diagnosis or treatment options. Information on this page should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare professional. The claims made about specific products throughout this article are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.


Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is a primary herb for use in the treatment of eye conditions, hence its name Eyebright. According to Stuart (1979)1, the name is derived from the Greek meaning gladness.

Botanicals: Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)





Picture of flowerheadBiological Name:
Euphrasia officinalis


Other Names: 
Eyebright, Augentrost, Euphrasia

Parts Used:
Dried flowering plant1

Active Compounds: 
Tannin; resin; saponin; volatile oils; a glycoside, aucubine1.


According to Mrs. M. Grieve: "Although always known under a name of Greek origin, the herb (Eyebright) seems to have been unnoticed by the ancients and no mention of it is made by Dioscorides, Pliny, Galen or even by the Arabian physicians. In the fourteenth century, however, it was supposed to cure 'all evils of the eye' and is described as the source of 'a precious water to clear a man's sight.' Matthaeus Sylvaticus, a physician of Mantua, who lived about the year 1329, recommended this plant in disorders of the eyes and Arnoldus Villanovanus, who died in 1313, was the author of a treatise on its virtues, Vini Euphrasiati tantopere celebrati. How long before Euphrasia was in repute for eye diseases it is impossible to say, but in Gordon's Liticium Medicina, 1305, among the medicines for the eyes, Euphragia is named 'and is recommended both outwardly in a compound distilled water and inwardly as a syrup.' Euphragia is not, however, mentioned in the Schola Salernitana, compiled about 1100 2."


Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:

Western Herbal Applications:

Actions: Anti-catarrhal3, astringent3, anti-inflammatory1,3

Indications: Almost exclusively used for eye problems such as conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye)1 and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)3. Eyebright is also a recognised remedy for problems of the mucous membranes3, making it useful in treating the common cold, nasal catarrh, and sinusitis3.

Chinese Herbal Applications:

Is not a herb commonly used in Chinese medicine.

Other indications include:
Common cold3, Nasal catarrh, Sinusitis and Bronchitis. Constituent in herbal smoking mixtures1.



Consult your herbalist


Considered a safe herb



  1. Stuart, Malcolm (1979). The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1979.
  2. Grieve, M. (1977). A Modern Herbal.Penguin Books Ltd, England.
  3. Hoffmann, David (1983). The Holistic Herbal: A herbal celebrating the wholeness of life. Findhorn Press, Scotland.



The information provided here is not for the purpose of self diagnosis or self treatment. It is provided for the sole purpose of providing general information about herbs used in herbal medicine. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

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