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Euphrasia officinalis - L.

Common Name Eyebright
Family Scrophulariaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Use for eye conditions currently not recommended. Adverse effects include: mental confusion, headaches, eye pressure, redness and swelling of the eye if 10-60 lotion drops used. Eye symptoms possibly followed by sensitivity to light, sneezing, nausea, constipation, cough, shortness of breath and increased passing of urine [301].
Habitats Moist grassland and chalky pastures, semi-parasitic on grass[4, 7].
Range W. Europe, including Britain, to E. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Euphrasia officinalis Eyebright


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Euphrasia officinalis Eyebright
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Euphrasia officinalis is a ANNUAL growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from Jul to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Bartsia imbricata

Habitats

 Lawn; Meadow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw[7]. They are occasionally used in salads for their slightly bitter flavour[7].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiinflammatory;  Astringent;  Digestive;  Homeopathy;  Ophthalmic;  Tonic.

Eyebright has a long history of herbal use in the treatment of eye problems and is still in current herbal use[4]. It is important that only the correct forms of eyebright, with glandular hairs on the calyx, are used, since other forms do not possess medicinal virtues[268]. Eyebright tightens the mucous membranes of the eye and appears to relieve the inflammation of conjunctivitis and blepharitis[254]. Its ability to counter catarrh means that it is often used for infectious and allergic conditions affecting the eyes, middle ear, sinuses and nasal passages[254]. The whole plant is anti-inflammatory, astringent, digestive, ophthalmic and slightly tonic[[4, 7, 9, 14, 165, 220]. It is taken internally in the treatment of catarrh, sinusitis, hay fever, upper respiratory tract infections etc[238]. As an ophthalmic, an infusion of the plant can be taken internally or used as an eye wash. Alternatively, the diluted juice can be dropped into the eyes[232]. Some caution should be exercised, experimentally it can induce side effects including dim vision[222]. The plant's astringency makes it inappropriate for treating dry or stuffy congestion[254]. The plant can be used externally as a poultice to aid the healing of wounds[268]. Eyebright should be harvested when in flower and can be dried for later use[238]. The dried herb is a ingredient of herbal smoking mixtures, used in the treatment of chronic bronchial colds[4]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the expressed juice of the plant[232]. It is used particularly in the treatment of eye inflammations and colds[7, 232].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils, preferring chalk or limestone[200]. Eyebright is a semi-parasitic plant, growing on the roots of various species of grass[4] and also on Trifolium pratense and Plantago species[238]. The grass does not seem to suffer unduly from this parasitism since eyebright is an annual and its cells do not penetrate very deeply into the grass[4]. There is some doubt over the validity of the name of this species, some botanists now call it Euphrasia rostkoviana. Eyebright is a variable aggregate species, some botanists divide it into a number of different species[1, 50]. Only those forms of eyebright which have glandular hairs on the calyx possess medicinal qualities[268]. It hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200].

Propagation

Sow the seed outdoors in situ in early spring amongst grass in a moist but not marshy soil[1].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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Subject : Euphrasia officinalis  
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