Naturalists, for centuries, have used herbs for medicinal purposes. Eyebright is just another nature’s wonder that is believed to be a poultice. Across civilizations, people have obtained its magical properties to get rid of soreness and manage eye and skin problems.
Typically it is used as a natural cosmetic to cleanse the skin, especially the under-eye area. But Eyebright offers more than just that. From clogged pores, eye soreness, and general cleansing to cataract and inflammation, there’s a lot of benefits that it is harnessed for.
This Botanicals article is dedicated to Eyebright, its benefits, side effects, dose, usage, and much more. So let’s get straight to it!
What is Eyebright?
Euphrasia officinalis, or Eyebright, is a two to eight-inch-long plant that grows in Europe, North America, and northern and western Asia. Typical habitats are grasslands, roadsides, and chalky European soils.
As the name indicates, it is conventionally believed as a natural remedy for eye diseases and general skin care. Therefore, it is a popular contraption in herbal beauty routines.
In many cultures, it is also religiously used to target rather sensitive conditions like allergies, colds, coughs, conjunctivitis, and eye strain.
Herbalists generally make an extract out of the plant. A fresh plant is cut off above the root, and all the parts like leaf, stem, and flowers are used.
The plant is used in both ways. It is domestically processed through some old, traditional methods. In addition, some variations are also sold in the form of branded cosmetic products, cleansers, and eye creams.
What Makes it Useful?
Eyebright is rich in plant compounds that give it the unique benefits it offers for the skin and eyes. The chemical composition of those essential ingredients imparts anti-inflammatory properties to Eyebright.
Here are the main components of Eyebright:
Flavonoids are compounds abundantly found in plant products, fruits, and vegetables. The flavonoids that Eyebright contains are Luteolin and Quercetin.
Flavonoids are generally powerful antioxidants capable of fighting against harmful molecules and foreign chemicals and organisms. They play an important role in the regulation of normal cellular activity. They help eliminate free radicals, eventually reducing the oxidative stress in the body.
Critical to immune response and protection against toxins, flavonoids are considered important to consume for the healthy functioning of the body.
They are a key determinant of Euphrasia’s anti-inflammatory properties. Our immune system generates inflammatory responses to invading allergens and toxins.
This inflammation induced by a protein called histamine is uncomfortable. The body needs to keep it in check to avoid secondary complications.
Flavonoids’ antihistamine property is practically a reason why Eyebright is used to target soreness and allergic reactions.
Quercetin is a plant pigment that is anti-inflammatory and noticeably reduces swelling. Apart from that, it can also kill cancer cells and control sugar levels. Hence, it influences natural homeostasis.
Luteolin, on the other hand, is a compound that primarily functions as both an antioxidant and a pro-oxidant. It doesn’t only minimize oxidative stress but is a popular nootropic as well.
Thus, Eyebright being capable of catering to a wide range of problems is because of its chemical composition, particularly flavonoids.
Iridoids are plant compounds that typically exist as glycosides. They are an important part of Eyebright. With multiple notable properties, it is responsible for many benefits of the plant.
Generally found attached to glucose, iridoids are hypoglycemic and can fight against microbes, protect the liver and cardiovascular system, and enhance cognitive functions.
Besides, it is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. This is why traditionally, Eyebright is considered a multipurpose herb.
The most important iridoid found in our subject plant is aucubin. This is an effective antifungal compound that is effective against a range of health problems.
It has the potential to reduce inflammation and soreness. This is probably why Eyebright is used for puffiness and allergies.
One interesting feature is that it exhibits anti-tumor activity. This comes in handy in preventing the malignancy of cancer.
Forms of Eyebright Extract
Eyebright is found in many forms. Some of them are as follows:
Tea is a common way to orally consume Eyebright extract. Since it is a popular beverage consumed in almost every household, many brands have introduced their own variants of Eyebright tea.
Apart from packaged tea, you can also use dried Eyebright powder. This extract is easily available in any store that deals in herbal medicines. A teaspoon of powdered Eyebright brewed in a cup of tea for 5-10 minutes can provide the essential nutrients.
Companies and private homeopathy practitioners make capsules that contain 400-470 mg of Eyebright. These capsules can be popped twice or thrice daily for a regular dose of eyebright extract.
Eyebright is found in eye creams as well. They are usually available in tubes. You squeeze out a tad bit amount of cream and apply it to the skin around the eye. This rids you of puffiness, inflammation, and wrinkles.
The area around the eyes is extremely sensitive, and any product application should be made cautiously. Eyebright eye creams are not harsh on the skin and work fine for people with normal to combination skin types.
Some eye drops also contain eyebright extract. To treat cataracts, inflammation, and infections, herbal experts recommend these eye drops. Usually, a specific dose is suggested 3-5 times a day.
Remember that we don’t know yet if eye drops with eyebright extracts are entirely safe. Therefore, you should use them with discretion. In case of inflammation and redness, we advise you to consult a doctor immediately.
Who Should Avoid Eyebright Products?
Just like any other medicine and substance, there are certain limitations to Eyebright as well. In the following conditions, you should refrain from using Eyebright products.
Pregnancy is a critical phase in which the biological aspects ranging from endocrinology to immune response go through a considerable change. Thus, your body might be sensitive to certain substances.
Eyebright has anti-inflammatory properties that might interfere with the normal immune response. In worst scenarios, this can lead to adverse situations. Therefore, for pregnant women, the use of Eyebright is not recommended.
Eyebright products regulate sugar levels. In diabetic patients, doctors usually administer medicines that control glucose levels. If any additional substances are used, they might disrupt the normal course of action of medicines.
Apart from this, glucose levels are usually fluctuating. In this aspect, too, Eyebright can have a serious, unhealthy effect.
Therefore, doctors don’t recommend using Eyebright products for diabetics.
Earlier History of Allergy to Herbal Medicines
Our bodies are built differently, and what works for one might not suit you. If you have previously used any herbal medicine and experienced an allergic reaction to it, you must avoid Eyebright products too.
The antioxidant and anti heparin features might be a trigger for an adverse response. The chances are that in sensitive people, Eyebright might lead to an onset of various negative chemical reactions.
Therefore, you should consider your medical history before dosing on Eyebright.
Health Benefits of Eyebright
Eyebright is probably termed so because of its effect on the eye. However, it serves a multitude of purposes in relation to health and medicinal treatment. Some of them are as follows:
Eyebright has antioxidant properties that bring down oxidative stress.
We have reactive, oxygen-containing molecules called free radicals in our bodies. These free radicals readily react with other molecules and trigger large chain chemical reactions. These reactions are called oxidation reactions.
Even though oxidation is a normal and natural response essential to fight off pathogens, it is when these free radicals exceed the normal range that the problem arises. They can damage the normal DNA framework, fatty tissues, and proteins in your body. This is dangerous and can lead to various diseases over time.
Even though the body naturally produces its own antioxidants, they are often administered through diet and medicines in the case of oxidative stress.
Eyebright can act as an antioxidant and efficiently counter oxidative stress. Thus, it plays a crucial role in protecting against serious diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, and atherosclerosis.
An Important Nootropic
Nootropics are any substances that can help treat cognitive decline. Thanks to its chemical composition, Eyebright is a critical brain food.
Due to various reasons, the cognitive network gets disturbed, and eventually, the person starts experiencing neurological problems. Ranging from slight memory loss to dementia, dyslexia, and hallucinations, a lot of problems may arise.
Eyebright is a known natural brain supplement that helps prevent neurological problems due to aging. In addition, it may also help ease symptoms of Parkinson’s and ADHD.
Brain fog is a term that implies a clouded head. A person suffering through it is generally confused, indecisive, and finds it hard to maintain focus. This serious medical condition is also homeopathically treated through oral doses of Eyebright.
The herb has shown promising results as a nootropic, and we might see it as an important constituent of brain drugs in the future.
As already established above, Eyebright is an excellent antioxidant. Therefore, it plays a role in skin health as well.
Many pollutants accumulate in our skin. Free radicals, too, can react with other molecules, eventually causing skin damage. To rescue our skins, Eyebright acts as a natural remedy.
By fighting away free radicals, it helps diminish wrinkles and fine lines. This gives your skin a rather rejuvenated, radiant look.
In addition, these free radicals are a cause of cancer as well. They are capable of damaging DNA and, therefore, are a leading cause of skin cancer. Radiation from the sun further contributes to it.
To help prevent it, Eyebright removes free radicals from your skin.
In addition, Eyebright drops are also available that have a soothing and refreshing effect. These drops are the best moisturizer for dry skin and can help deeply cleanse it.
As discussed above, Eyebright has anti-inflammatory properties. Our immune system releases a substance called heparin in response to microbes and toxins. This protein is inflammatory and increases the temperature, and initiates reactions to eliminate the foreign invasion.
This inflammation generally has uncomfortable associated symptoms and can cause severe allergy if not stopped in time. The anti heparin property of Eyebright counters the inflammation and reduces it.
Opens Up Clogged Pores
The skin has small pores that release oil and act as a passage for the skin to breathe. Excess oil production, toxins, pollutants, and germs can accumulate in the pores causing black and white spots.
Apart from that, the accumulation of dirt can cause these pores to expand, and that negatively impacts the visual appeal. Oil production facilitates acne development that causes further skin problems.
Eyebright is capable of nipping the problem in the bud. It opens up the pores and prevents the build-up that eventually gives you healthy-looking, radiant, fresh skin.
Even though research regarding this is still underway, in homeopathic practice, Eyebright is used to treat conjunctivitis. This pink eye is the inflammation of the membrane that lines your eyelid and eyeball. This results in itching and redness.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, administering Eyebright as drops in this condition is widely practiced in herbal medicine.
As a result of inflammation or build-up of fluid-like lymphatics, certain body parts, especially the area around the eye, become puffed and swell up.
Eyebright has soothing properties and is thus capable of reducing swelling. Therefore, as a part of a skin care routine, people apply eyebright eye cream and natural extract on the tender, sensitive skin around the eye.
Helps With Pyrexia
Pyrexia is a term used to describe raised body temperature. In an attempt to ward off pathogens, the immune system affects the normal body temperature and increases it. While it is a healthy indication of normal immunity, it can also cause weakness, inflammation, and damage.
Here, once again, the anti-inflammatory power of Eyebright comes into play. It fights the release of heparin which is the primary cause behind fever. This way, it cools down the body temperature.
The flavonoids present in eyebright help against allergies. Our bodies can sometimes get hypersensitive, leading to damaging allergic reactions. From swelling to severe inflammation, Eyebright can help cure all.
Good For Coughs and Colds
The anti-inflammatory feature comes in handy when you are suffering from coughs and colds. Eyebright helps reduce inflammation and can ease the symptoms.
Treats Nasal Inflammation
As mentioned earlier, Eyebright is not specific to eye-related problems. It can, in fact, help against various sorts of allergies. The nasal congestion and sinus inflammation are some of the many problems where Eyebright comes to the rescue.
Potentially Fights Tumor
Thanks to its essential chemicals, Eyebright can also potentially prevent tumors. Though the property is still being further investigated, there’s no doubt that the plant can help against cancer growth.
The critical factor that enables it to fight tumors is its antioxidant property. It’s the free radicals that disrupt the normal engineering of the DNA and lead to cancer formation. Eyebright can help stop it.
Eyebright has aucubin, an iridoid glycoside that is responsible for many of its health benefits. Studies suggest that aucubin can protect the liver against toxins, viruses, and free radicals.
Therefore, in herbal practice, the consumption of Eyebright is generally encouraged in people suffering from liver problems.
Eyesight is our vision power. As a consequence of natural aging and external factors like excessive screen time and unhealthy diet, our eyesight weakens over time.
Known for treating eye ailments, Eyebright can preserve eyesight as well. In fact, looking at the preliminary evidence, we can say that Eyebright might also help improve vision power.
Before taking medicine or consuming a substance, it is helpful to look at its possible side effects. Following is some information regarding Eyebright that you should know prior to its usage.
Overdose Through Oral Administration is Harmful
Like any other medicine, Eyebright should be consumed within a specific range. Remember that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can seriously disturb biological mechanisms.
This can potentially lead to nausea, confusion, headache, constipation, insomnia, and a myriad of other problems. In the worst conditions, it can seriously affect and weaken the immune system.
If consumed responsibly, oral administration of Eyebright is one of the safest ways to avail of its nutrients and benefits. You should therefore check with your doctor and ensure that your dosage is always within the optimal range.
Applying Directly into the Eye is Unsafe
We still have a lack of data to support Eyebright’s conventional benefits. Therefore, experts have not yet declared it entirely safe.
Even a slight mishandling of eyes can render you blind or weaken your eyesight. Even though people use Eyebright eye drops and Eyebright containing CBD skin care products, you should always apply them with caution.
If any negative reaction occurs as a result of the direct application of Eyebright products to the eye, it might lead to itching, vision disruption, and other side effects.
So, we have come to an end of our comprehensive guide on Eyebright. The plant that has been incorporated in CBD skin care and herbal medicine surely is nature’s wonderful creation that offers a plethora of health benefits.
We hope our post answers all your queries regarding this herb. We suggest you consult a dermatologist first before availing of the natural goodness of the plant.