white flower of eyebright
[Euphrasia officinalis.]

Eyebright: The natural help for eye ailments

If you wander with open eyes over our meagre meadows, the eyebright will always catch your eye. Its distinctive flower catches the eye and pleases. In our country, eyebright is one of the 3 important plants for treating eye ailments. It has been successfully used in ophthalmology for over 700 years.

Eyebright facts

Did you know that...

... the alpine farmers pull out the eyebright because it reduces the milk yield of their cows?
... until 2003 the eyebright used for medicines was always collected wild?
... the French call it Casse-lunette, the glasses breaker, because it is supposed to improve eyesight?

What is the eyebright?

Eyebright is a plant that can be found in our latitudes in meagre meadows. Relatively often it can be found at higher altitudes on alpine meadows, as it can grow up to 2300m above sea level. The plant catches one's eye quite quickly in the meadow. It is not necessarily huge with a growth height between 15 and 40cm, but its characteristic white flower with purple veins and yellow spot is unique.

In folk medicine it is also called meadow wolf and milk thief. The background of these very audacious nicknames lies in the fact that eyebright is a semi-parasitic. The plant can completely feed itself, but with its sucking roots it likes to tap the roots of other plants and grasses, thus robbing them of nutrients. The result is that when there is a strong presence of Euphrasia, the other meadow lags behind in its growth, so the grazing cows have less to eat and thus also give less milk.

General and healing properties of eyebright

The basic knowledge


Eyebright is anti-inflammatory. The conjunctiva of the eye is very sensitive to irritation caused by dust, dry air or pollen and often with dryness and inflammation. Eyebright inhibits these inflammations and moisturizes the conjunctiva.


Eyebright is antibacterial. Due to its ingredients, eyebright has an anti-bacterial effect. These bacteria are killed and thus can no longer cause inflammatory irritation of the eye.


Eyebright is astringent. Eyebright causes strongly perfused vessels to contract. The result is that the blood flow decreases. In the case of infectious or allergic inflammation of the conjunctiva, blood flow to the vessels is greatly increased. Eyebright therefore has the opposite effect and calms the eye again.

Euphrasia officinalis: Ingredients

Euphrasia has unfortunately not yet been the subject of large studies. However, in empirical medicine, its status is assured and its potential is known. The ingredients explain its healing properties.
  • Iridoid glycosides
  • Phenolic carboxylic acids
  • Flavonoids
  • Tannins

Eyebright: effect for body and mind

Eyebright is a specialist in herbal medicine in modern times. Along with true chamomile and belladonna, it is one of the big 3 in ophthalmology. Whether for bacterial inflammation, irritation caused by dry air, dust or allergic reactions, eyebright always seems to be the right choice for treating the eye. Eyebright is even said to be able to help improve visual performance. 

In folk medicine, it is also said to be effective against inflammation of the upper respiratory tract with cough, hoarseness and sinusitis. In addition, in some, older sources, it is touted as a remedy for stomach disorders. What all the above applications seem to have in common is their mucous membranes.

From ophthalmology it is known that eyebright has a good, reliable effect on inflammatory processes of the mucous and conjunctiva of the eye, and the ingredients certainly explain the effect from a pharmacological point of view. The only thing is that today eyebright is simply not used for diseases of the respiratory tract or digestive tract. One reason is certainly that there are simply a variety of other medicinal plants that are particularly recommended for this, can show significantly more empirical values and are better available.

Properties of eyebright:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Astringent
  • Antibacterial
  • Soothing
  • Moisturizing

Fields of application in naturopathy

[Euphrasia officinalis.]

Euphrasia is a specialist among medicinal plants. The indications associated with eyebright are related. It is actually always used in the context of eye diseases involving the conjunctiva and mucous membrane.

application area-hay fever

Eyebright for hay fever

Hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction. The flowering plants let the wind carry their pollen through the air. Pollen contains a lot of protein and foreign proteins trigger the allergic reactions in allergy sufferers. This pollen transported by the wind now hits the mucous membranes of the nose and eyes. These become easily inflamed, swell up and water. Eyebright counteracts this reaction and ensures that the eyes stop watering and itch less.

Euphrasia for conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, dust and dryness. The mucous membrane and conjunctiva of the eye become inflamed. The eye becomes red due to increased blood flow to the veins, is usually very itchy and in the morning is stuck together by thick secretion. Eyebright is administered in the form of eye drops several times a day and causes the inflammation and thus the blood flow and itching to decrease. Eyebright is anti-inflammatory with its contained iridoid glycosides, while the tannins have a contracting effect on blood vessels.

Eyebright effect in eye and nose catarrh

People suffering from the common cold know it: the eye and nose are an inseparable team, they like to run together. This is due to the fact that both structures have mucous membranes that swell with inflammation during catarrh and form increased mucus. Eyebright, through its iridoid glycosides and tannins, causes the inflammation to subside, leading to a reduction in the swelling of the mucous membranes. Meanwhile, the flavonoids take care that viruses and bacteria are fought and the causal reason for the infection disappears.

Eyebright for flu-like infections

Flu-like infections describe a whole range of virus-related colds that are not caused by the true flu pathogen, the influenza viruses. These different viruses cause inflammation in the entire eye-nose tract and very often also affect the upper respiratory tract. Eyebright soothes the mucous membranes in which its tannins contract the blood vessels, thus reducing the amount of mucus in the mucous membranes. In addition, the iridoid glycosides are anti-inflammatory and the soreness of the eyes and nose decreases. 

Eyebright effect for stye

A stye is a purulent inflammation at the edge of the eyelid and is accompanied by severe pain. The reason is an infection with staphylococci. Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, eyebright can make the symptoms much more bearable. However, if the stye continues to grow and the symptoms get worse, the ophthalmologist will have to intervene surgically.

Euphrasia effect in hypersensitivity to light

In cases of severe conjunctival inflammation, patients become hypersensitive to light. Since the conjunctiva is inflamed and the eye is heavily covered with wound secretions, the refraction of light can change and strong light irradiation is perceived as unpleasant. Eyebright, through its anti-infective and anti-inflammatory action, attacks the cause of the light hypersensitivity and ensures that the eye calms down again, the refraction of light normalizes and the sensitivity decreases.

Notes on the use of eyebright

Eyebright is offered today as a finished medicine in the form of eye drops in pharmacies and, depending on the case, is used up to five times a day per eye. Some manufacturers have included eyebright as a component of homeopathic complex remedies for the treatment of cold symptoms. These preparations are taken orally several times a day.

Eyebright in pregnancy & lactation

There is nothing to prevent the use of eyebright in the form of eye drops during pregnancy. Local application in the eye is considered safe.

Discover our recipes

With natural methods such as the individual spagyric sprays from Zimply Natural, complaints can be treated and sustainably alleviated.

Use the healing power of Euphrasia officinalis!

Use the healing power of eyebright and our other more than 100 medicinal plants for the natural relief of your ailments. Improve your well-being and support your body, mind and soul! Use our configurator to create your personal spagyric spray, which is tailored to your needs and accompanies you on your natural path to the improvement of body, mind and soul.


eyebright white and yellow flower with green leaves



Botanical name

Euphrasia officinalis

Plant family

Summer roots

Other designations

Milk thief, meadow wolf, eye thank you



Harvest time






Flower color

white, yellow purple

Flower shape


Leaf color

light green

Leaf shape

elliptical, serrated edge

Sheet properties

serrated edge, provided with glandular hairs

Soil type

lean, sandy-permeable

Soil moisture

dry to moderately moist



Lime compatibility

lime compatible

Nutrient requirements

low, parasitizes on other plants



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