DR CLARE'S MATERIA MEDICA


Introduction to the Dispensing of  Dr Clare’s Blended Herbs

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E

Eyebright

(Last edited: Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 10:50 AM)

eyebrightAlso Known As:

Augentrostkraut, Eufrasia, Euphrasia, Euphraisia Eye Bright, Euphrasiae herba, Eye Bright, Herbe d'Euphraise.
CAUTION: See separate listing for Clary Sage.

Scientific Name:

Euphrasia rostkoviana; Euphrasia officinalis; Euphrasia stricta.
Family: Scrophulariaceae.

People Use This For:

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.

Safety:

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 flavoring (1).
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.

Effectiveness:

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 activity (1).

Adverse Reactions:

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 (1).

Interactions with Herbs & Supplements:

None known.

Interactions with Drugs:

None known. 

Interactions with Foods:

None known.

Interactions with Lab Tests:

None known.

Interactions with Diseases or Conditions:

None known. 

Dosage/Administration:

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 (1).
TOPICAL: No typical dosage. 

Editor's Comments:

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 (2).

Specific References: Eyebright

  1. 1.Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
  1. 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. 
  1. 3.Wichtl MW. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Ed. N.M. Bisset. Stuttgart: Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers, 1994. 
  1. 4.Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.  
  1. 5.McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC
Entry link: 
  Eyebright


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