EYEBRIGHT (Euphrasia officinalis)
PART USED: Aerial portion
PROPERTIES: Alterative, Astringent, Tonic
SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Vision, Nerves, Respiratory, Digestive (liver), Mental
POSSIBLE USES: vision, eye infections, eye tics and spasms
Eyebright’s affinity for the eyes (and its name) seems to have originated, at least in part, with the ancient Doctrine of Signatures which states the way a plant looks—its signature—indicates the ailments for which it should be used as a medicine. At first glance, this may seem like silly superstition but it has proven to be true too many times to be taken lightly.
Eyebright stimulates the liver to clean the blood, relieving those conditions that affect vision and the eyes. Eyebright will strengthen all parts of the eye, nourish the nerves that supply the eye, and bring clarity of vision. There are those who believe that this clarity of vision includes clarity of thought and purpose as well.
Eyebright should be taken liberally, and for eye infections a well-strained tea should be applied, a few drops at a time to the eyes. Eyebright, as an eyewash, is usually combined with other herbs such as those found in the EB formula.
Eyebright has also proven useful for inflammations of the nose and throat, the middle ear, and the sinus and nasal passages. Because it is so astringent, it should be used carefully when the congestion in the head is dry and stuffy rather than wet with copious mucus.
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