Multi nutrient-rich bilberry is valuable in maintaining skin health, cardiovascular fitness, cognitive strength, healthy and disease-free eyes, unobstructed blood flow and better functioning of the overall body. For many decades, the antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of bilberry have been prized for their effectiveness in a range of disorders including diarrhea, diabetes, cancer, liver and kidney damage.
Bilberry is a small edible dark blueberry of a low-growing shrub in the genus Vaccinium. Bilberry is scientifically referred as Vaccinium myrtillus. It is a close relative of blueberry, blaeberry, huckleberry, whortleberry, and cranberry. These are delicious berries are native to Northern Europe and have been valued for their therapeutic effectiveness in the conventional system of European medicine since many centuries.
Just like its cousins, huckleberry, and blueberry, bilberry is the richest natural sources of anthocyanin, which is an antioxidant that provides it the dark blue color. Along with anthocyanin, it also contains other phenolic components such as quercetin, tannins, pectin, and catechins. It also contains alkaloids, carbonic acids, and a range of vital nutrients including vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, and K. The mineral treasure present in it chromium, manganese, zinc, and iron.
Sprinkle one to two teaspoons of chopped fruit with 250ml of cold water and leave it for at least hour to two (can also overnight). Heat until boil, cover the dish, leave it standing 3-5 minutes, process and drink.
Bilberry is useful for the maintenance of eye health. Scientific studies have also advocated the effectiveness of bilberry extract in preventing age-related ocular disorders along with other eye diseases such as cataract and night-blindness. Leutin present in the eye, when combined with the compounds present in bilberry, helps enhance vision. Another research conducted on bilberry has also suggested that its beneficial enzyme-stimulating activity protects the eyes from endotoxin-induced uveitis. Its extracts stimulate the production of rhodopsin pigment which supports the eye to adapt to light changes.
Due to the astringent action of tannins and pectin present in bilberry, it exerts a therapeutic effect on stomach inflammations. It also heals inflammation caused by the mucous membranes of the throat and mouth when applied topically. Anti-inflammatory properties of this fruit also assist in curing conditions like thrombosis and angina.
Research studies have validated the positive effects of bilberry on blood pressure and vascular health leading to the inhibition of platelet aggregation and smooth muscle contraction. It helps to strengthen capillaries, stimulates circulation and prevents disorders like varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition in which the valves in leg veins that carry blood to the heart gets damaged. This results in itching, swelling, and pain in the leg. It sometimes also leads to skin ulcers. The anthocyanosides present in bilberry helps to strengthen the blood vessels and decrease the symptoms.
The effectiveness of bilberry for preventing and curing diabetes has been appreciated since early times and has also been advocated by recent scientific findings. It assists in regulating the blood sugar levels in the body, due to the rich concentration of anthocyanins. Studies suggest that dietary bilberry extract helps in improving the condition of hyperglycemia and insulin sensitivity in the people suffering from type-2 diabetes.
Bilberry extracts have been found to be effective against the development of various cancers including colon cancer, breast cancer, and leukemia. A comparative study conducted on different berries has rendered bilberry to be the most potent in inhibition of cancerous cells.  They prevent the proliferation of malignant cells and induce apoptosis. It also prevents the side effects of chemotherapy.
Bilberry treats cognitive issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. The phenolic compounds present in the fruit alleviates these neurological issues.
Women have also reported its effects on lowering menstrual cramps. Bilberry extract is also effective in curing ulcers and inhibiting fibrocystic breast disease.
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