Euphrasia. officinalis. N.O. Scrophulariaceae.
Synonym ► Birdeye, Brighteye.
Habitat ► Plentiful on commons, heaths, and in meadows, as well as on sea cliffs, but varies considerably in growth and development with the richness of the soil.
Features ► The stems are four to six inches long, and under suitable soil conditions, branched below. The lower leaves are opposite each other, and alternate higher up the stem, small, dark green, lanceolate or nearly rhomboid above, deeply cut, proceeding directly from the stem. The flowers are small, axillary, and range in hue between white and purple, while some are delicately variegated with yellow. The taste is bitter, salty and slightly astringent.
Action ► Astringent and tonic.
This herb, as its name indicates, is valued mainly as an application in
inflammation and weakness of the eyes, and is frequently combined with Golden Seal to make an excellent lotion for this purpose. A large pinch of the herb should be infused with sufficient boiling water for each application. The eyebath should be freshly filled for each eye, care being taken to strain thoroughly before using the tepid lotion.
Euphrasia is also employed externally to arrest hemorrhages.