In 14th century Scotland, Euphrasia, or Eyebright, was used as a cure for all afflictions of the eye. In the centuries to follow, Eyebright tea was used, and there was even a popular ale called ‘Eyebright Ale.’ Euphrasia was thought to strengthen the head, eyes and memory and clear the sight.
Euphrasia officinalis has a special affinity for the eyes. Common symptoms include any irritation to the eye with subsequent discharge.
Characteristics of Euphrasia include a sensitivity to light with frequent blinking. This is often associated with inflamed and watery eyes, with or without mucus. Typically, the irritation will spread to the eyelids and even to the nose, producing a bland nasal discharge and sneezing, making Euphrasia an excellent remedy for many allergy symptoms. If these symptoms progress, a hard cough may develop, which is worse in the daytime and better with lying down. The nasal discharge is generally worse during the night while lying down.
Euphrasia is useful for any injury to the eye resulting in inflammation and watery discharge. It can also be effective against associated opacity or injury to the cornea (the surface of the eye).
Because Euphrasia is associated with red and swollen eyes, it is a good choice for dogs suffering from conjunctivitis or even Pannus.
Euphrasia can be given internally and also applied topically, either as an herbal Eyebright tea, or as a homeopathic solution. These homeopathic eye drops can be purchased as a commercial product or you can prepare your own by placing a few pellets in about 20 ml of water. If you can purchase mother tincture, dilute it 1/10 with water. This solution will have a tonic effect on all of the structures around the eye.
Euphrasia is generally an acute, fast acting but short lived remedy.
The generalities include aggravation in the evenings and the dog may suddenly and frequently waken from his sleep. There may be drowsiness during the day. Symptoms are generally worse in the wind and light and may improve with open air. Dogs are generally worse when warm and from being indoors.
A similar remedy to consider for eye afflictions is Pulsatilla. Pulsatilla is associated with thick, profuse, yellow, bland eye discharges along with itching and burning. The eyelids may also be inflamed with redness. Nasal discharge may also be present with yellow mucus. Pulsatilla often fits cases of subacute conjunctivitis.
Pulsatilla is worse in a warm room, especially in the evening. It is better in open air. If Euphrasia does not seem to work, you might consider Pulsatilla if it fits your dog’s symptoms. A good Materia Medica or homeopath might be helpful in this event.
Euphrasia is generally given in smaller potencies. The 6C or 12C potency is generally easy to find and should do well.