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Edible uses


Leaves - raw[1]. They are occasionally used in salads for their slightly bitter flavour[1].


Material uses

There are no material uses listed for Euphrasia officinalis.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Eyebright has a long history of herbal use in the treatment of eye problems and is still in current herbal use[2]. 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[3]. Eyebright tightens the mucous membranes of the eye and appears to relieve the inflammation of conjunctivitis and blepharitis[4]. 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[4].

The whole plant is anti-inflammatory, astringent, digestive, ophthalmic and slightly tonic[[2][1][5][6][7][8]. It is taken internally in the treatment of catarrh, sinusitis, hay fever, upper respiratory tract infections etc[9]. 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[10]. Some caution should be exercised, experimentally it can induce side effects including dim vision[11]. The plant's astringency makes it inappropriate for treating dry or stuffy congestion[4]. The plant can be used externally as a poultice to aid the healing of wounds[3]. Eyebright should be harvested when in flower and can be dried for later use[9]. The dried herb is a ingredient of herbal smoking mixtures, used in the treatment of chronic bronchial colds[2].

A homeopathic remedy is made from the expressed juice of the plant[10]. It is used particularly in the treatment of eye inflammations and colds[1][10].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Sow the seed outdoors in situ in early spring amongst grass in a moist but not marshy soil[12].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Euphrasia officinalis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in most soils, preferring chalk or limestone[13]. Eyebright is a semi-parasitic plant, growing on the roots of various species of grass[2] and also on Trifolium pratense and Plantago species[9]. 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[2].

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[12][14]. Only those forms of eyebright which have glandular hairs on the calyx possess medicinal qualities[3]. It hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[13].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Euphrasia officinalis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Euphrasia officinalis.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Euphrasia officinalis
Imported References
Edible uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

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    1. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism Orbis Publishing. London. ISBN 0-85613-067-2 (1979-00-00)
    4. ? Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    8. ? 8.08.1 Stapleton. C. Bamboos of Nepal The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ISBN 0947643680 (1994-00-00)
    9. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    10. ? Castro. M. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Macmillan. London. ISBN 0-333-55581-3 (1990-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    13. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    14. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)
    15. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PFAFimport-17

    "image:Euphrasia.officinalis2.-.lindsey.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Euphrasia officinalis"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyScrophulariaceae +
    Belongs to genusEuphrasia +
    Has binomial nameEuphrasia officinalis +
    Has common nameEyebright +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partLeaves +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has fertility typeSelf fertile +, Bees + and Self +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone6 +
    Has imageEuphrasia.officinalis2.-.lindsey.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typeAnnual +
    Has mature height0.15 +
    Has mature width0.1 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntiinflammatory +, Astringent +, Digestive +, Homeopathy +, Ophthalmic + and Tonic +
    Has primary imageEuphrasia.officinalis2.-.lindsey.jpg +
    Has search nameeuphrasia officinalis + and eyebright +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameEuphrasia officinalis +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Euphrasia officinalis +, Euphrasia officinalis +, Euphrasia officinalis +, Euphrasia officinalis +, Euphrasia officinalis +, Euphrasia officinalis + and Euphrasia officinalis +