Bilberry is a berry-producing plant similar to blueberry or cranberry. Also known as whortleberry and blaeberry, the bilberry plant
is native to Northern Europe. Both the bilberry leaf and fruit have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years.1 2 3
The bilberry fruit can be eaten raw like any other berry but it is also often made into an extract for bilberry uses for health. The bilberry leaves can also
be made into extracts or dried and used in tea.1
Bilberry Health Uses and Health Benefits
The most well-known bilberry benefits are its high levels of antioxidants. Specifically bilberry contains high concentrations of
anthocyanosides, which are known to improve eye health, night vision and eliminate free radicals in order to repair damaged cells.1 2 In addition to its high
content of anthocyanins, bilberry also contains other antioxidants including phenolic acids, flavonols, quercetin, catechins, tannins and ellagitannins.1
Antioxidants like those contained in bilberry, have many important disease prevention benefits. Some of the important bilberry benefits include:1 2
Altitude Sickness Symptoms
Considered a superfood, bilberry is often used as a natural remedy to treat and prevent many conditions. Bilberry uses for health and disease prevention include:
- Reduces inflammation
- Lowers and prevents circulation problems
- Lowers bad cholesterol levels (LDL)
- Stabilizes blood sugar levels
- Promotes eye health including bilberry for cataracts
- Appetite loss
- Stops diarrhea by reducing intestinal swelling
- Treats skin wounds by providing astringent benefits
- Reduces risk of developing other chronic disorders including Alzheimer’s disease
- Macular Degeneration - Bilberry benefits include being able to prevent macular degeneration in those who take supplements regularly.
- Glaucoma - Glaucoma is another condition that can be prevented and treated using the antioxidants found in bilberry.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis - Bilberry has positive effects on improving blood circulation and preventing conditions such as deep vein thrombosis. Bilberry extract can also help improve related symptoms such as pain and swelling.
- Cataracts - Taking bilberry for cataracts is known to help improve eye health and reverse damage caused by this condition.
- Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) - Bilberry leaves help to control hypoglycemia by preventing sudden drops in blood sugar levels.
Bilberry Side Effects and Precautions
There are no known bilberry side effects. However, antioxidants in bilberry may prevent blood clotting and cause increased risk of bleeding. Be aware of these possible bilberry side effects if taking blood-thinning medications.1