Orally, eyebright is used to treat nasal mucous membrane
inflammation, allergies, allergic rhinitis, common cold,
bronchial conditions, and sinusitis. It is also used orally for
cancers, coughs, conjunctivitis, earaches, epilepsy, headaches,
hoarseness, inflammation, jaundice, ophthalmia, rhinitis, skin
ailments, and sore throat.
Topically, eyebright is used as an ophthalmic in the form of a
lotion, poultice, or eye bath for a variety of conditions
including conjunctivitis; blepharitis; eye fatigue; inflammation
of the blood vessels, eyelids and conjunctiva; and for "glued"
and inflamed eyes. Eyebright is also used topically to prevent
mucous and mucous membrane inflammation of the eyes.
In foods, eyebright is used as a flavoring ingredient.
POSSIBLY SAFE...when used orally and appropriately (5).
...when used orally in amounts commonly found in foods. Eyebright
is listed by the Council of Europe as a natural source of food
POSSIBLY UNSAFE...when used as an ophthalmic; avoid using due
to hygienic concerns. Eye products may be subject to
contamination (3, 4).
PREGNANCY AND LACTATION: Insufficient reliable information
available; avoid using.
There is insufficient reliable information available about the
effectiveness of eyebright.
Mechanism of Action:
Tannin constituents may be responsible for astringent properties
(1). The constituent caffeic acid has bacteriostatic activity
(1). Constituents, aucubin and iridoid glycosides, have purgative
Orally or topically, 10-60 drops eyebright tincture may induce
mental confusion, headache, increased eye pressure with
lacrimation, itching, redness, swelling of eyelid margins, dim
vision, photophobia, weakness, sneezing, nausea, toothache,
constipation, cough, dyspnea, insomnia, polyuria, and sweating
Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:
Interactions with Drugs:
Interactions with Foods:
Interactions with Diseases or Conditions:
ORAL: 2-4 grams dried above ground parts three times daily (1),
or one cup tea (steep 2-4 grams dried above ground parts in 150
mL boiling water 5-10 minutes, strain) three times daily (1).
Liquid extract (1:1 in 25% alcohol), 2-4 mL three times daily
(1). Tincture (1:5 in 45% alcohol), 2-6 mL three times daily
TOPICAL: No typical dosage.
Avoid use of nonsterile solutions (including homemade products)
in the eye(s), due to high risk of infection. Ophthalmic
application of eyebright is not recommended. Historically,
eyebright has been used in British Herbal Tobacco, which was
smoked for chronic bronchial conditions and colds
Specific References: Eyebright
1.Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal
Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The
Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
2.Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal: A
Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies. 3rd ed.,
Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1993.