Bilberry

Vaccinium myrtillus is also known as huckleberry, whortleberry, and European blueberry. It is a shrubby perennial that grows wild in the woods and meadows of Europe. Bilberries contain more than 15 anthocyanosides, flavonoids made out of anthocyanidins and one of three sugars. Anthocyanosides are potent antioxidants, collagen stabilizers, artery and capillary protectors, and eye tonic agents.

  • Anti-inflammatory. Anthocyanosides inhibit histamine and inflammatory series 2 prostaglandins, leucotrienes and enzymes. They equally prevent collagen fibers from being damaged by enzymes released during inflammation, and hence help protect connective tissue.
  • Antioxidant. Anthocyanosides directly neutralize free radicals, while they may also support the activity of other antioxidants such as vitamin C.
  • Blood sugar regulator. Myrtillin, one of the anthocyanosides found in bilberry, seems to have significant effects against hyperglycemia. It has remarkably long lasting effects even from a single dose.
  • Circulatory tonic. The flavonoids of bilberry enhance the integrity of the vascular system by stabilizing vascular collagen, helping vasodilation, and inhibiting platelet aggregation and free radical damage.
  • Collagen stabilizer. Anthocyanosides tend to bind to collagen, maintaining its structural integrity.
  • Eye tonic. This is perhaps the most important application of bilberry until today. Its flavonoids improve eye circulation increasing oxygen and energy levels in eye tissues. They have been used against adaptation to darkness, age related degeneration, diabetically induced cataracts, day and night blindness, eye strain, glaucoma, macular degeneration, myopia, retinopathy, and visual acuity.