Wednesday 6 April 2011

E is for Eyebright– that’s what E is for ...

Eyebright flower c/o Ehow Health see below

Eyebright is so variable that botanists distinguish a number of forms of which seventeen are British; it is a semi-parasitic plant attached to clovers and plantains, and is found throughout the British Isles, especially around coastal regions.

They are found on heath and grassland giving us a carpet - coloured white or violet, streaked with yellow and purple, when they appear from May to September, where the common name is Meadow Eyebright.

The flowers resemble bloodshot human eyes from the spotted and stripy surface of the flower.  Today herbalists may prescribe an eyebright lotion for treating conjunctivitis and other eye problems, or a poultice for the treatment of styes.  This follows on the tradition of Culpeper and Parkinson.

Euphrasia Minima
Eyebright – Euphrasia Officinalis ... is derived from the Greek words meaning ‘to see well’; Herbalists were known in the Middle Ages to prepare a powder for brightening the eyes from this plant.

The herb is also recommended for eyestrain and to relieve inflammation caused by colds, coughs, sinus infections, sore throats and hayfever.

That is Eyebright – that is what E is for ... 

Part of the ABC - April 2011 - A - Z Challenge - Aspects of the British Countryside

About Eyebright Herb - eHow Health shows the flower Eyebright

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories



I have never heard of Bright Eye before but it looks very pretty.

Thanks for the visit and comment as always most grateful.


Talli Roland said...

Eyebright! I've never heard of this plant, but it's gorgeous. Thanks, Hilary! Hope you're enjoying the Challenge.

Margo Kelly said...

Great pictures.
I'm a new follower from the A-Z challenge. Nice to meet you! :)

Bossy Betty said...

These are so pretty! They are new to me and I just may have to stalk them with my camera now!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Eyebright. I'll remember that. Beautiful, almost mystical. Thanks, Hilary.

TALON said...

E is also for excellent - excellent post, Hilary! :) I've never seen eyebright before. What a amazingly complex and lovely bloom! I learned something new today - thank you!

Sara said...


I'm curious does the herbal treatment work? It's interesting the flower looks like what it meant to treat:~)

I wonder how people learned to use Eyebright. Did they look at and think that it looks like the illnesses and therefore,it should treat it?

This was a very interesting post. I still can't believe you're doing this challenge, but you are doing a very good job at it:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Yvonne .. it runs wild in the meadows and I just thought it would be an interesting subject to write about. Pleasure visiting you!!

@ Talli .. we need Eyebright - don't we? Yes I'm enjoying the challenge and nursing a cold - Eyebright would be good for me now! Must get back to you .. forgot to click over to the chart ...hope your walk was good - beautiful day.

@ Margo - good to meet you too .. glad you enjoyed the photos!

@ Bossy Betty - thank you .. good luck with the stalking .. don't stoop too low - they're that kind of flower!

@ Talon - thanks so much - very kind of you! We must thank those ancient herbal samplers .. they knew their plants.

@ Sara - well it's marketed by well known brands - so I guess there must be something there. I'm sure it works .. if after a 1,000 years it's still in use?!

As I mentioned to Talon above - originally the herbal samplers .. and perhaps even the Greek botanists, physicians, pharmacologists would have found the plants uses ... maybe 2,000 years ago .. see Dioscorides in Wiki (here: ) then as I mentioned Culpeper and Parkinson - well known herbalists ..

This is the link from the blog: but there are lots of others .. don't know if you could find a recommended herbalist in your area to talk to .. hope this helps!

Yes - I thought the A - Z would be good for a series .. and I thought I'd do different! Thanks so much for the compliment! Cheers.

Thanks everyone .. love having you here .. cheers Hilary

~Sia McKye~ said...

Hilary, I always thought it funny it could help with making the eyes bright--relieving eyestrain and hayfever. I didn't know about the sore throat or sinus infections.

Aptly named, eh?

Laura M. Campbell said...

What a beautiful and useful flower. Thank you for sharing. Good luck with the challenge!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sia .. names are so obvious sometimes aren't they - yet we forget they've been around for millennia .. and others worked out their uses. I didn't know about the sore throat and sinus .. certainly my eye cold (coughs and splutters) could do with some eyebright now!

Very aptly named as you say ..

@ Laura .. hi and welcome - thank you - it is one of those wonderful herbal treats .. glad you enjoyed it. You too enjoy the A - Z challenge .. I am!

Thanks Sia and Laura ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joylene .. almost missed you - sorry! It is a fascinating little plant and name .. good for a story - I saw the name Euphrasia on a gravestone here locally .. born in the late 1800s .. interesting I thought - now I know better = Eyebright.

Cheers - glad I caught you eventually! Always lovely having you here .. Hilary

nutschell said...

new follower here!How interesting! Might be something I can use in my own fantasy novels. Thanks for sharing this.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
A most interesting an informative posting in the ongoing 'A to Z blogging challenge'.
Personally, I had never heard of Eyebright and I thank you for the photo and the fascinating accompanying posting.
Cheers, Gary.

Sarah Mäkelä said...

I'd never heard of an Eyebright. Thanks for sharing this! They're pretty.

Barbara said...

Thank you for visiting my Blog :) It's kind of you to leave your mark there! Nice to meet you!

What a great post - truly wonderful flower! wow! I just could keep on looking at it :) Amazing!

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

I've never heard of this plant but I find the information quite interesting. I firmly believe in natural remedies. I know, it may sound weird since I am a healthcare worker. I have seen nursing home residents in their 90's who have never been on medications, doing remarkable well. I have also seen residents on fish oil, with the most amazing effects in preventing colds and upper respiratory infections. I could go on and on... :-))

Nice **E** post!!


DEZMOND said...

what a strange little flower!

mamtc said...

The flower is so amazing..eyebright -rite nanme and perfect eyecandy flower

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

I've not seen an Eyebright before - what a delicate and fragile looking flower. However, if it is coastal, I suspect it's hardy.

Funny that it looks like an eye and heals eye problems. Nature does that on occasion, as if she's telling us something.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I think we're all going to need some Eyebright by the end of the a-z challenge. LOL, my eyes are getting blurry already!

baygirl32 said...

I have never heard of this flower before, its quite pretty!

Dawn Embers said...

Interesting. They sound familiar though I can't quite place them. They're kind of pretty. :-)

walk2write said...

I've never heard of this plant and wonder if it grows anywhere here in the U.S.? Thanks for posting about it. The foraging animals in Great Britain probably all have 20/20 vision.

Anonymous said...

Meadow Eyebright sounds like a very interesting herb. Thanks for the info Hilary :-)

Melissa Sarno said...

Fascinating stuff! Thanks for telling me about a plant I've never heard of before.

Sheila Deeth said...

Cool that it's pretty and useful.

Ju Dimello said...

Wow, never heard of those flowers..but I'm not able to recall if I've seen them earlier..

Reminds me of spring.. !!

Following you from A-Z challenge!

Tracy said...

I learned something new today!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi everyone - sorry bit late - been not too well .. buggy blip - improving now!

@ Nutschell - thanks for coming by .. sounds like a good idea .. fantasy with real life rolled into one. Goo to meet you.

@ Gary - thank you .. nor had I - that's why I thought I'd include it for E. It seems to be appreciated - as do you .. great to see you here.

@ Sarah - good to meet you and glad you enjoyed the post.

@ BZ - pleasure linking up .. and just so pleased you're appreciating the beauty of the eyebright flower.

@ Doris .. I thought this might interest you .. I too firmly believe in natural remedies - & have used the Bach Flower Remedies now for over 30 years. I hadn't cottoned on to Eyebright though.

As you say so many of our elders are in good health from their early eating habits - good fresh food straight from the land .. & I could have done with the fish oil remedy this week .. some bug or other!

We had fish oil after the war for many years, and in the past I've taken it .. I should perhaps once again, though I'm a healthy eater. Lovely seeing you here .. and glad "E" met with your approval ..!

@ Dezmond .. isn't it beautiful though ... it grows in Europe quite prolifically.

@Me and My Thinking Cap - lovely seeing you here all the way from India. It is an amazing flower and so correctly named.

@ Amy - lovely seeing you here .. it is - you're right - fragile .. close growing. Nature does exactly what you say .. she does tell us things.

@ Sharon - actually I needed it when I was doing the post - but it's a buggy eyebright I needed! Better now .. well on the way.

I need digitalis for my digits too!!

@ Baygirl - glad you enjoyed seeing it here!

@ Dawn - it is interesting isn't it - I honestly don't think I'd heard of it .. but as you say they're pretty.

@ W2W .. it does grow in the States .. more in the cooler climatic areas .. check the website out on the blog.

That's a fun comment about the 20/20 vision .. the foraging animals probably do ...

@ Ron .. Delighted that you enjoyed the little plant .. it certainly seems to deserve more attention ..

@ Melissa - good to meet you - I'll be over to say 'Hi' later .. and glad you enjoyed the post.

@ Sheila .. exactly as you say - thanks for coming back ..

@ Ju - good to meet you - I'll be across shortly .. lovely that you appreciated the information.

As you say - Spring just might be here .. wonderful day today .. sunny!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Tracy .. many thanks - nearly missed you off .. appreciate the comment. Cheers Hilary

Susan Scheid said...

I do love stories like this about the derivation of names and the uses of wild plants. On visiting England again, I must be sure to keep my eyes bright for a glimpse of this plant!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan .. great to see you - & I'll catch up properly on your next comment 'O' I think!

Keep your eyes low .. it seems it's a very low growing plant .. creeping across the earth ..

Love your comment though & I too appreciate derivations and uses ..

I'll be across to your blog shortly .. cheers Hilary