Eyebright

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What other names is Eyebright known by?

Aufraise, Augentrostkraut, Casse-Lunettes, Eufrasia, Euphraise, Euphraise Officinale, Euphraise de Rostkov, Euphrasia, Euphraisia Eye Bright, Euphrasia officinalis, Euphrasia rostkoviana, Euphrasia stricta, Euphrasiae Herba, Eye Bright, Herbe d'Euphraise, Luminet.

What is Eyebright?

Eyebright is a plant. The parts that grow above the ground are used to make medicine.

Eyebright is taken by mouth to treat swollen (inflamed) nasal passages, allergies, hay fever, common cold, bronchial conditions, and inflamed sinuses (sinusitis). It is also used for cancer, coughs, "pink eye" (conjunctivitis), earaches, epilepsy, headaches, hoarseness, inflammation, jaundice, runny nose, skin ailments, and sore throat.

Despite serious risk of infection, some people apply eyebright directly to the eye in the form of a lotion, poultice, or eye bath to treat a variety of conditions including conjunctivitis; inflammation of the eyelids at the edge of the lashes (blepharitis); eye fatigue; inflammation of the blood vessels, eyelids and conjunctiva; and for "glued" and inflamed eyes. Eyebright is also applied to the eyes to prevent mucous and mucous membrane inflammation of the eyes.

In foods, eyebright is used as a flavoring ingredient.

Historically, eyebright has been used in British Herbal Tobacco, which was smoked for on-going lung conditions and colds.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis). Early research suggests that applying one drop of eyebright eye drops (WALA Heilmittel GmbH, Eck-walkden/Bad Boll) up to five times per day for 2 weeks helps increase the rate of recovery from pink eye.
  • Inflamed nasal passages.
  • Inflamed sinuses (sinusitis).
  • Colds.
  • Allergies.
  • Coughs.
  • Earaches.
  • Headache.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of eyebright for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Eyebright work?

The chemicals in eyebright might act as astringents and kill bacteria.

Are there safety concerns?

Eyebright is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. However, when used directly on the eye, eyebright is POSSIBLY UNSAFE and is not recommended. It can be contaminated and cause eye infections. Side effects of eyebright tincture include confusion, headache, tearing, itching, redness, vision problems, sneezing, nausea, toothache, constipation, cough, trouble breathing, trouble sleeping (insomnia), sweating, and others.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking eyebright if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Eyebright might lower blood sugar in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use eyebright.

Surgery: Eyebright might lower blood sugar in some people. In theory, eyebright might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgical procedures. Stop using eyebright at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Eyebright might lower blood sugar in some people. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking eyebright with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Dosing considerations for Eyebright.

The appropriate dose of eyebright depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for eyebright. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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