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Euphrasia nemorosa

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
25 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, meadows, woodland.

White, 5 petals
Flowers in leafy spikes. White with yellow centre and sometimes tinged purple, lower lip with 3 lobes.
Dry, hairy fruit, splitting open when ripe.
Small, opposite, simple, oval and deeply toothed leaves, either pale green, dark green or bronze-green. Formerly known by the Latin name Euphrasia officinalis.
Other Names:
Common Eyebright.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Euphrasia nemorosa, also known as "common eyebright," is a species of flowering plant in the family Orobanchaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia, and is found in a variety of habitats including grasslands, meadows, and open woodlands. The plant has small, white or pink flowers with purple or brown markings and glossy, green leaves. It is known for its medicinal properties and has been used traditionally to treat a variety of eye conditions. Some people use it to make tea or tinctures, or apply it topically as a wash or ointment. It is important to note that the safety and effectiveness of Euphrasia nemorosa for medicinal use has not been extensively studied, and it should be used with caution.


Eyebright, also known as Euphrasia nemorosa, is a small herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine as a remedy for eye problems, which is how it got its name. Eyebright is a small, unassuming plant that grows in meadows, fields, and along roadsides, and its tiny flowers resemble eyes.

The plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine, particularly for eye problems. It is said to have been used by medieval herbalists to treat eye infections and to reduce inflammation in the eyes. The plant's active ingredients, which include tannins, iridoids, and phenols, are believed to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and astringent properties.

In modern times, eyebright is still used for eye problems, but it is also used for other health issues. It is said to have a positive effect on respiratory problems, such as colds and allergies, and it is also used to treat skin conditions, such as eczema and acne. Some people also use eyebright to improve their memory and concentration, although there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.

One of the most popular ways to use eyebright is as an eye wash. This involves soaking a piece of cloth in a solution made from the plant and then placing it over the eyes for a few minutes. Eyebright tea is also sometimes consumed to treat eye problems and other health issues.

It's important to note that eyebright is not a substitute for professional medical treatment. If you have any concerns about your health, it's always best to consult a doctor. Additionally, eyebright can interact with some medications, so it's important to talk to your doctor before using it if you're taking any prescription drugs.

Eyebright is a small but powerful herb that has been used for centuries to treat eye problems and other health issues. While it is still used today for its medicinal properties, it's important to approach its use with caution and to seek the advice of a medical professional if you have any concerns. Whether you're looking to improve your eyesight, treat a skin condition, or just boost your overall health, eyebright may be worth considering as a natural remedy.

In addition to its traditional medicinal uses, eyebright is also prized for its beauty. The plant's tiny white, yellow, or purple flowers are surrounded by bright green leaves and form a delicate and attractive display. In the wild, eyebright can be found growing in large colonies, creating a stunning display of color.

One of the interesting things about eyebright is that it is a hemiparasitic plant, which means it relies partially on other plants for its survival. The plant's roots attach themselves to the roots of other plants, and it takes some of the nutrients from its host plant. This is why you will often find eyebright growing in close proximity to other plants, such as clovers and grasses.

In the garden, eyebright can be grown as a ground cover or in a rock garden. It is an easy plant to care for, and it will spread quickly once established. The plant prefers a sunny location and well-drained soil, and it is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 8.

Eyebright is a fascinating and versatile plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and its beauty. Whether you're looking for a natural remedy, a unique plant for your garden, or simply a new addition to your wildflower collection, eyebright is definitely worth considering. With its delicate beauty and powerful properties, it is a plant that truly has it all.

Eyebright is also a popular ingredient in alternative medicine, particularly in the form of supplements and tinctures. Supplements containing eyebright are said to improve eye health and alleviate symptoms of eye problems, such as conjunctivitis and dry eyes. Tinctures made from the plant are also used to treat respiratory problems, skin conditions, and other health issues.

One of the advantages of using eyebright in supplement form is that it is convenient and easy to take. Supplements are readily available at health food stores and online, and they can be taken daily as part of a routine. Tinctures are also easy to use, and they can be added to water or juice to make them more palatable.

When taking eyebright supplements or tinctures, it's important to follow the recommended dosage on the label. Taking too much eyebright can cause side effects, such as upset stomach and headache. Additionally, some people may be allergic to the plant, and it can interact with certain medications, so it's always best to talk to a doctor before taking eyebright supplements or tinctures.

Eyebright is a versatile and popular ingredient in alternative medicine, and it is often used in the form of supplements and tinctures. If you're interested in trying eyebright for its potential health benefits, it's important to do your research and talk to a doctor before taking it. With its many uses and benefits, eyebright is definitely a plant worth considering for your health and wellness routine.

It's worth noting that the use of eyebright as a medicinal herb is not supported by modern scientific evidence. While the plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine and alternative medicine, there have been very few clinical trials to test its efficacy.

However, some studies have been conducted to examine the effects of eyebright on certain health conditions, and the results have been promising. For example, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that eyebright was effective in reducing inflammation in the eyes, and a study published in the Journal of Natural Products found that eyebright had antibacterial properties against certain types of bacteria.

Despite these promising findings, more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of eyebright. It's also important to note that just because a plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, it doesn't mean it is safe or effective for everyone.

In conclusion, while the use of eyebright as a medicinal herb has a long history and some promising findings, more research is needed to fully understand its potential health benefits. If you're considering using eyebright for its potential health benefits, it's important to talk to a doctor to ensure that it's safe and appropriate for you. Always be cautious when using herbs and natural remedies, and never use them as a substitute for professional medical treatment.


Eyebright filmed at Heathwaite, at the bottom of Arnside Knott, Cumbria (14th August 2022).


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