The Benefits of the Bilberry
Reviewed by Herbalist, Rasheeqa Ahmad on 20 July, 2019
If you’ve been reading up on the benefits of berries, then you’ve probably heard a lot about how they can help you to lose weight. However, this is not all these clever little berries can do.
Take bilberry for instance…
Bilberry extract has been proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and is commonly used to treat macular degeneration and cataracts; improve blood sugar levels (diabetes) and ease the symptoms of heart disease:
- Eye health– due to bilberries high concentration of flavonoids (anthocyanosides), bilberry is often used to treat eye problems including macular degeneration, diabetic neuropathy and cataracts, as it helps to protect collagen structures in the blood vessels of your eyes.In fact, bilberries are so well known for their ability to help your eyes adjust to light changes, that during WWII pilots ate bilberry jam to improve their vision (for both day and night flying).
- Blood sugar– aside from flavonoids, bilberry also contains glucoquinine which has been found to lower your blood sugar levels.
NOTE: If you are a diabetic, I strongly suggest speaking to your doctor first if you are interested in trying bilberry extract. This is particularly important, if your blood sugar is already low as it could affect your medication.
- Varicose veins – recent studies have found that bilberry can alleviate swelling and varicose veins, relieving itching and pain.
- Heart disease – similar to your eyes, bilberry extract can help to combat hardening of the arteries, improving blood flow and circulation.
- Reynaud’s disease – due to its ability to alleviate swelling and inflammation, bilberry is often used in the treatment of Reynaud’s disease which causes numbness to your fingers, toes and nose (when cold).
- Circulation – similar to the capillaries in your eyes, bilberry can help to improve your general circulation.
- Blood pressure – remember how I said bilberries are overflowing in antioxidants? Well, its antioxidant anthocyannin has been found to reduce high blood pressure.
Is bilberry risk free?
Now whilst bilberry has not been found to cause any known adverse effects, there is a small chance that you may experience a stomach upset, dizziness or a headache when taking bilberry.
Similarly as I mentioned before, as bilberry extract can lower your blood sugar levels and blood pressure, it is important that you speak to your doctor first before trying it so they can modify your medication levels.
Other than that, bilberry is a fantastic nutritional source which can offer you an assortment of health benefits. So if you are looking to improve your vision or tackle those annoying varicose veins, then why not give bilberry a try? From one simple berry, you can gain so much…
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