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The meadow flower euphrasia officinalis has great importance among the Weleda lead plant ingredients. Popularly known as “eyebright,” it has been used historically to soothe and calm tired eyes. Euphrasia flourishes in unfertilized dry meadows and pasture grass of central and southern Europe, right up into the high mountain areas of the Alps as far as the snowline. This tiny meadow plant – growing barely 12 inches tall – thrives thanks to its resilience and adaptability.
Drawing energy by photosynthesis from sunlight, euphrasia also grows in the roots of surrounding grasses and straws. It takes water and nutrients from other plants, using their energy for its own growth. Weleda processes more than 220 lbs. of fresh euphrasia annually.
Euphrasia is wild gathered responsibly and sustainably in the wine-producing region of Rhineland-Palatinate in southwest Germany. When flowering time comes, collectors gather on two or three weekends in July and August. They gently handpick the plants from the ground in between the grasses, so that the fine roots do not break and the plant returns the next year. The collected harvest is delivered to the Weleda processing plant within 24 hours and processed immediately, so it doesn’t lose potency.
At the processing plant the whole euphrasia plant – leaves, flowers and roots – is crushed, pressed and processed into a tincture for use in our NATRUE certified natural products. The tannins and bitter substances extracted in this way are known for their astringency.
Extracts of eyebright have an invigorating, skin-caring effect on the skin. Eyebright extracts are often used in skin care creams for the eye area. Eyebright contains flavonoids, tannins and bitter substances.
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