Summary of Effects
- Eyebright (Euprasia) is an herb that has been known to nourish the eye for centuries
- It contains natural vitamin A and C - not synthetic versions
- It appears to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation qualities; in addition, it is an astringent.
- It helps the body fight both chronic and acute inflammation of the eye and eyelids
- It nourishes the entire eye and promotes healthy sensitivity to light
- There is only limited scientific evidence that eyebright, taken internally, is also helpful for inflammation in nasal passages, allergies, colds and coughs, ear-aches and headaches.
- It is not recommended that eyebright solutions or lotions be applied directly to the eyes due to possible unsterile conditions.
In the last few years European researchers have investigated the chemical composition, free-radical fighting activty, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial capacity of eyebright for several of the different genera (E. Roskoviana, E. officinalis). One group of researchers looked at an essential oil of eyebright, and another looked at extracts made using one of three different solvents.
The first study found that there were over 70 different constituents in the essential oil, especially n-hexadecanoic acid, thymol, myristic acid, linalool and anethole. They also found that it was effective against these micro-organisms: Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, and Candida albicans.
The second study investigated in vitro testing of eyebright on corneal cells and observed promising results, based on the concentration of eyebright and type of solvent, in its ability to fight free radicals. They also found that eyebright had an anti-inflammatory effect.
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