How to garden eyebright

May 19, 2016

Eyebright, also know as euphrasia, comes from Greek and means joy. This semi-parasitic plant clings to the roots of host plants. Here's how to take care of this mysterious plant in your own garden.

How to garden eyebright


  • This plant grows on moorland and high grasslands in various parts of the world. Although many varieties have been described, they may be only variants of a single widespread species.
  • Euphrasia is also called eyebright because it is used to treat conjunctivitis and eye inflammations due to colds, especially hay fever.
  • In some places it is called the myopic herb and eye's delight.


  • The pretty flowers of this plant have a tonic, soothing and slightly astringent effect on the eye. It can be used as a compress or local lotion for small problems and infections.
  • Eyebright is a traditional remedy against irritation and inflammation of the eye, such as conjunctivitis and sties.
  • The astringent and anti-inflammatory properties of eyebright are also suitable for airway inflammation.
  • It can help in case of flow in the inner nose, otitis media and sinus congestion.
  • It is also used against some symptoms related to hay fever, including itchy and watery eyes, nasal watery secretions and headaches associated with sinus.


  • The main species for medicinal use are Euphrasia officinalis, E.brevipilaet, E. rostkoviana.
  • They are annual plants, with small rounded serrated leaves and small white flowers with yellow, streaked or variegated purple throat.
  • The lower lip of the flower has three incised lobes.


  • Their natural habitat is wet sub-alpine meadows, often in limestone soil and constantly cool climate.


  • In theory, if your garden meets the criteria, you can grow eyebright in spring by planting seeds near host plants.


  • Make sure the soil stays moist.

Harvest and conservation

  • Collect the whole plant when in flower, and let dry thoroughly for your medicinal preparations.

Eyebright could provide relief in case of conjunctivitis. Be sure to consult your doctor before use to ensure there are no risks to your health.

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