Scientific name: Euphrasia officinalis

Common names: Euphrasy, Red eyebright

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    العرقون (al urqoon)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Schrophulariaceae

Approximate number of species known: 450

Common parts used: Leaf, flower

Collection: Found in alpine or sub-alpine meadows where snow is common

Annual/Perennial: Annual

Height: 4 to 8 inches

Actions:  Anti-catarrhal, astringent, anti inflmaatory, tonic

Known Constitutents:  Irdoid Glycosides including aucubin, catalpol, euprhoside, ixoroside; flanaoids including quercetin and paigenin glycosides; lignans; tannins, resins, oil

Constituents Explained:

Description: 

It got the name ‘eyebright’ from the fact that the flowers may vaguely resemble the human eye.  The latin name ‘Euphrasia’ comes from the Greek word euphrosyne which means ‘gladness.’

Traditional Use:

It is commonly used for eye problems.  Certain water extractions have been used as eye baths.

Its use in hay fever has been used by those seeking relief gtom allergies pertaining to the respiratory system.

Used as an anti inflammatory and astrigent its valuable for mucous membranes, partciulary in the respiartory system.

Clinical Studies:

Eye drops made from Euphrasia rostkoviana Hayne have been used in anthroposophical medicine for more than 70 years for the structuring of the fluid organism in the eye, especially in inflammatory and catarrhal conjunctivitis. 

A prospective open label, one-armed, multicentered, multinational cohort trial described the efficacy and tolerability of these eye drops in a community-based setting. The trial was carried out in the clinics of 12 experienced anthroposophical general practitioners and ophthalmologists in Germany and Switzerland.

Patients with inflammatory or catarrhal conjunctivitis, treated with Euphrasia single-dose eye drops were included in the trial. One drop of Euphrasia single-dose eye drops 1-5 times a day was prescribed. The prescription was determined solely by medical therapeutic needs.

Efficacy variables were: redness, swelling, secretion, burning of the conjunctiva, and foreign body sensation. Tolerability variables were: conjunctival reddening, burning of the conjunctiva, foreign body sensation, and veiled vision. 

All symptoms were given for the right or left eye separately, with degree of severity in relation to baseline after approximately 7 days and after approximately 14 days. If, after the first follow-up, all symptoms had disappeared, no second follow-up was done.

Sixty-five (65) patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria for the protocol evaluation. A complete recovery was seen in 53 patients (81.5%) and a clear improvement in 11 patients (17.0%). A slight worsening could only be determined in 1 patient in the second week of treatment (1.5%).

No serious adverse events were observed during the entire trial. The efficacy and tolerability were evaluated by the patients and doctors as “good” to “very good” in more than 85%.

Euphrasia single-dose eye drops can effectively and safely be used for various conjunctival conditions by general practitioners and ophthalmologists. A dosage of one drop three times a day seems to be the general prescribed dosage.

References:

Stoss M, Michels C, Peter E, Beutke R, Gorter RW. “Prospective Cohort Trial Of Euphrasia Single-Dose Eye Drops In Conjunctivitis.” 2000 December http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11152054