Do Eyebright Drops and Supplements Benefit Health?
Drinking eyebright (Celastrus orbiculatus) is a traditional remedy used in China for treating cataracts. It was first introduced into Europe during the 18th century. In recent years, it has been gaining popularity among Westerners because of its purported health benefits.
The Chinese believe that drinking eyebright helps prevent or treat certain diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. According to some studies, it may even help prevent blindness from glaucoma.
However, there are no long term studies proving these claims.
Eyebright is a plant native to China and India with leaves up to three inches long and one inch wide. It grows wild throughout Asia but is rarely cultivated due to its toxicity if ingested in large quantities.
It is not known how much eyebright is safe to consume.
In the United States, eyebright is available over the counter without a prescription. Some brands include: Biotene, CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid Pharmacy, Walgreens Drug Store and Walmart.
Eyebright contains a number of active ingredients including tannins and flavonoids which have antioxidant properties. These compounds may protect against various forms of cancer and other conditions associated with aging.
In addition, eyebright contains molecules that act similarly to ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). This substance may help relieve pain and inflammation.
Eyebright may also help prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure and prevent cholesterol from forming in arteries.
Eyebright is typically taken as an eye drop solution (2-4 times daily), however, it can also be taken orally. It can also be placed directly on the eyes with an eye dropper.
The most common side effect of eyebright is stinging or burning of the eyes. In some cases, this may lead to a temporary loss of vision.
This typically occurs when using eye drops that contain alcohol or other chemicals, rather than the natural form of eyebright.
Eyebright is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Eyebright may interact with other drugs.
It is not known whether or not it is safe when applied directly to the eye (without diluting).
Eyebright is an herb that has been used for centuries for a wide variety of conditions. However, there is a lack of studies proving its safety and effectiveness.
People should always talk to their doctor before starting any new medication or supplement. Since eyebright can have toxic effects, people who have certain medical conditions should avoid it altogether.
Do Eyebright Drops and Supplements Benefit Eye Health?
The claim that taking eyebright supplements can prevent or treat certain eye diseases is based on limited evidence. For example, eyebright contains ingredients that promote healthy blood vessels and may help prevent or treat glaucoma. It has also been used with some success to treat acute inflammation of the eye (such as red eyes or conjunctivitis). However, at this time there are few human studies to support these claims.
Eyebright is also used to treat other medical conditions such as:
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
However, there is no reliable evidence to support these uses. More research is needed.
How do you take eyebright?
Most eyebright products are eye drops. The eye drops are usually applied 2-4 times per day. Eyebright in the form of supplements or tea may also be ingested orally up to 3 times daily. Do not apply directly to the eyes without first diluting eyebright with water.
Eyebright should not be used by people who have certain medical conditions. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use eyebright due to a lack of knowledge about safety.
What are the possible side effects of eyebright?
Eyebright may cause a sensation of burning, stinging, or itching when applied to the eyes. Eyebright can also cause temporary vision changes such as blurriness, sensitivity to light, and other disturbances (possibly only with certain forms of eyebright, such as non-diluted drops). Do not place drops in your eyes if you have an artificial lens such as a contact lens. Stop using eyebright and seek immediate medical attention if you have any severe allergic reaction.
Eyebright can interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor about any prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking.
Avoid getting eyebright in your eyes, as this could cause additional vision disturbances. Do not use eyebright if you have a perforated eardrum.
Avoid using eyebright for periorbital cellulitis (a type of skin infection around the eye).
Not enough research has been done to know if eyebright is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
What is eyebright?
Eyebright is a common name for the herb Euphrasia. Eyebright contains a yellow-colored pigment called flavopyrrole that some researchers believe is related to its medical benefits. Eyebright was historically used to treat inflammation of the eye, and continues to be used in modern times for this purpose.
What is the history of eyebright?
Eyebright has been used as medicine in many cultures for centuries. It was originally used to treat sore throats and respiratory problems, but it was also used topically as a treatment for eye conditions such as inflamed eyes or eyes that were irritated due to exposure to bright light (as in mountain climbers). It has been used in combination with other herbs as an eyewash to wash out foreign objects such as dust or sand from the eyes.
Eyebright was considered a useful plant during World War II, as soldiers commonly used an eyewash prepared with eyebright to treat ailments such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other problems related to their eyes. Eyebright is used in alternative medicine today.
Sources & references used in this article:
Assessment of eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis L.) extract activity in relation to human corneal cells using in vitro tests by GMO Policy, PTH wOrKs Rental
The place of food and nutrient supplementation in a family’s health belief system by R Paduch, A Woźniak, P Niedziela… – Balkan medical …, 2014 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Winston & Kuhn’s herbal therapy and supplements: A scientific and traditional approach by S Messonnier – 2001 – Three Rivers Press
Herbs and other dietary supplements by L Skidmore-Roth – 2009 – books.google.com