Meadow eyebright, red eyebright, euphrasia.
Composition of Euphrasia
The generic name Euphrasia means “well-being” and refers to the healing properties attributed to these plants. Eyebright contains carbohydrates, tannins, alkaloids, sterols, phenolic acids, iridoid glycosides (aucubin, loganin and verbenalin), flavonoids, amino acids, essential oils and vitamins A and C. Eyebright has been associated with eye health for a very long time, and from the 11th century to our days, the herb has been used as an herbal remedy for various eye diseases.
Health Benefits of Euphrasia
This plant has a long history of use for eye problems, hence the name of Eyebright. When used appropriately, eyebright will reduce inflammation in the eye caused by blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelash follicles) and conjunctivitis (inflammation or infection of the membrane lining the eyelids). According to researchers, Eyebright herb contains many chemical, organic and nutritional properties that may not only aid in treating eye problems but also may help with a number of other health conditions. It contains vitamins B, C, E, and beta-carotene, alkaloids, antioxidants such as caffeic acids, ferulic acids and flavonoids, iridoid glycosides, defensive compounds, tannins and volatile oils.
History of Euphrasia
Although the eyebright herb has a name of Greek origin, the ancient herbalists such as Dioscorides and Pliny make no mention of this herb. It is not until the fourteenth century that we see it mentioned in Gordon’s “Liticium Medicina, where it is considered medicine for the eye. John Gerard was aware of its properties; and Culpeper was so enthusiastic about the plant that he stated “If the herb was as much used as neglected, it would half spoil the spectable-makers’ trade”.