- 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.
- The chemicals in eyebright might act as astringents and kill bacteria.
- 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.
- 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.
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Source: WebMD, “Eyebright”, http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/