Native to Europe, Eyebright has small, scallop-edged white flowers with yellow spots and a black centre, somewhat resembling a bloodshot human eye. Historically, Eyebright's use for eye problems was due to the Doctrine of Signatures, a sixteenth-century theory that held that a plant's appearance indicated the conditions it could treat.
The Latin name for Eyebright, Euphrasia, is derived from the Greek word "Euphrosyne" meaning gladness. Euphrosyne was the name of one of three Graces known for her joy and happiness. The ancient Greeks used this herb to treat eye infections, thereby creating happiness.