Bilberries can be almost any of ground level bushes in the genus Vaccinium, having non-toxic berries. Typically the group frequently is called Vaccinium myrtillus, yet there are numerous differences.
Bilberries extract are normally found in extremely acidic, infertile ground all through the warm temperate regions and close to arctic areas of the globe. These are directly in connection with American blueberries and huckleberries inside the genus Vaccinium. A particular attribute of bilberries extract is because they make single or coupled berries on the bush as opposed to groups, like the blueberry.
Information on what is bilberries, both the fruit and its extracts, now includes their internal components. Recent researches in Europe have determined that bilberries extacts have a number of biologically active components, like a class of compounds known as anthocyanosides. Bilberry extract has been found to be an antioxidant, mucostimulant, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, “vasoprotectant”, and lipid-lowering agent.
But information on bilberries extract (especially its evaluation for human consumption) still has gaps when compared to other supplements. Nevertheless, some studies have proven that bilberries can be beneficial to one’s healthy diet regimen. If you are planning to take them, then read for essential information on bilberries:
What is Bilberry
First things first, what is bilberry? Bilberry is the name that is given to species of shrubs in the vaccinium genus. This type of shrub usually bear fruits that are very tasty. Bilberry is usually found under the canopies of old trees in the cooler places in Eurasia and North America. Believe it or not, bilberry has long been known during ancient times as a powerful herb that could correct diseases found in the digestive, circulatory system as well as the eyes. Bilberry is a plant and they dry the ripe fruit extract it for medicinal purposes. Mainly used to boost eyesight,they use bilberry to treat a number of chronic health conditions. The fruit has chemicals known as tannins known for being helpful for throat and mouth irritation, diarrhea, inflammation, and control cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Other chemicals like flavonoids are also present in bilberry and are excellent for circulation, especially for diabetics. Lack of circulation can affect eye functions and bilberry extract vitamins can help reverse these effects.
Also known as huckleberries, bilberries extracts are used medicinally to treat a number of conditions from digestive distress to scurvy and urinary tract infection. Especially known for its vision enhancement properties, bilberry finds its roots in the Second World War when soldiers swore by its benefits. With proven vision-enhancing benefits, bilberry extract vitamins are also known to enhance night vision to a great extent, helping people that have a disability like
cataracts, glaucoma, and other macular degeneration conditions.
The dried fruit of the bilberry contains 5% to 10% tannins, which act as an astringent; these tannins may help target the bowel and help treat diarrhea. The anthocyanidins in bilberry help prevent angina episodes, reduce capillary fragility, and stabilize tissues that have collagen-like tendons and ligaments. They also inhibit platelet aggregation and thrombus formation by interacting with vascular prostaglandins. The anthocyanidins also help regenerate rhodopsin, a light sensitive pigment found on the rods of the retina, so bilberry may help treat degenerative retinal conditions, macular degeneration, poor night vision, glaucoma, and cataracts.
The antioxidant effects of anthocyanidins may also give bilberry vasoprotective and hepatoprotective properties. The anthocyanidin pigment in the herb may increase the gastric mucosal release of prostaglandin E2, accounting for the antiulcerative and gastroprotective effects. Bilberry is available as a dried fruit, a 10% decoction for topical use, a dry extract (25% anthocyanosides) in 80 mg capsules, and a 1:l fluid extract. It’s available in products such as Bilberry Power.
Here, you can find out about the bilberry benefits and learn a little more about the plant. Berries, of all kinds, contain unique antioxidants. These antioxidants are responsible for the deep beautiful colors of the fruits. Most experts recommend adding more berries to your diet. But, bilberries extracts are not readily available in many areas of the world.
The berries are found growing in damp, acidic soils throughout the temperate and subarctic regions. They are closely related to the North American blueberries and huckleberries, which are of the same genus. The easiest way to distinguish between the blueberry and the bilberry is that the bilberries occur in single or pairs on the bush, rather than clusters. The fruit is also smaller and darker, appearing nearly black. The inner flesh is red or purple, while that of the
blueberry is light green.
Bilberry tea is a good substitute for eating the fresh berry. Several companies provide this type of tea. It is created by using the dried fruit. It is a caffeine-free beverage, with a fruity taste that herbal tea lovers find delicious.
Bilberry Benefits: Eyes, Digestive System
Primarily, bilberry benefits the eyes and the digestive system. The bilberry health benefits are due to the anthocyanins that it contains. Similar to the proanthocyanidins found in other dark purple fruits and vegetables, these pigments seem to act like UV filters within the eyes, protecting them from UV rays, which are responsible for the formation of cataracts.
That’s one of the reasons that you see bilberry eye health claims. Another is the laboratory studies showing that it may inhibit of reverse macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in the carotenoid family of antioxidants, are also beneficial for these conditions.
Bilberry Benefits: Heart & Circulatory System
There may be bilberry health benefits to the heart and circulatory system, but it is the visual benefit that is currently driving sales of bilberry herbal supplements. For those people that want bilberry health benefits, but can’t find them at their local grocers, these supplements are a simple solution. The reason for their rarity is that they are much more difficult to cultivate than blueberries and bushes produce only small amounts each year.
Bilberry Benefits: Cancer
One of the bilberry benefits may be a reduced cancer risk. Most antioxidants have been shown in laboratory studies, animal models and human clinical trials to have an anti-cancer effect. As I mentioned, the bilberry eye health benefits for preventing and reversing macular degeneration are currently driving sales, but many people are also interested in the prevention of cancer and heart disease.
Best Use of Bilberry
If you like bilberry tea, go ahead and drink it. You might want to use it to wash down a multinutritional supplement that contains the extract. Single ingredient bilberry herbal supplements are not nearly as beneficial as multi-nutritional ones. There is only so much that a single nutrient, of any kind can do.
Striving for optimal nutritional intake should be everyone’s goal. lt seems that every day, there is a new story about how low levels of this vitamin or that mineral are associated with a life threatening health problem. Today, vitamin D was in the news. While the bilberry benefits may be many, it will not prevent nutritional deficiencies. You need something more to do that.
The major benefits of bilberry extract are actually somewhat numerous. Bilberries are similar to blueberries and they are native to the northern part of Europe. The difference between bilberries and blueberries is that bilberries are usually grown individually or in pairs while blueberries are grown in larger groups.
Bilberries are also darker in color than the blueberry. One of the major health benefits of bilberry is that it’s great for skin care. This nutrient contains a ton of antioxidants that not only eliminate harmful free radicals and toxins it can heal bruises and nasty varicose veins. Another of the major benefits of bilberry is that it can be great for cardiovascular health which includes the heart.
One of the ways that bilberry can improve heart health is that it can improve blood circulation by expanding arteries. Not only does this ease pressure on the heart muscle but it has been shown to prevent blockage in the form of cholesterol which can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Another positive effect of bilberry is that it can treat diarrhea. This may also be one of the earliest uses for this herb since people where probably more likely to get food poisoning in earlier times. The reason this nutrient can help with this ailment is because it can decrease inflammation in the intestines. Also this vitamin has a large amount of tannis and fiber that effectively eases diarrhea and clinical studies validate this theory. Another point I would like to make is that dried bilberries are better than fresh ones when using it as a medicine for diarrhea.
Bilberry extracts can also improve someone’s vision. It got its reputation as an eye seeing enchanter during WW2 when British airplane pilots would eat this plant and they noticed they had better night vision. Bilberries have flavonoids which help heal a section of the eye which job is night vision.
Macular degeneration and cataracts are horrible eye problems which this herb can also help out with. Macular degeneration is when someone loses their central vision but they retain a clear peripheral vision, while cataracts are when someone eye sight is cloudy. What bilberry does is prevent damage to collagen structures in the eye which in itself prevents these two health problems. Clinical Trials have concluded that consuming this plant with vitamin E can slow the growth of cataracts.
If you live, in an area outside of Europe don’t despair, there is a way that you can enjoy the positive benefits of bilberry of this herb. The solution is to take a daily supplement with bilberry in it.