Scientific Name: Vaccinium myrtillius

Bilberry Information

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) has been used in traditional European medicine for nearly a thousand years, primarily to treat diarrhea. Bilberry is a shrub that grows to about 16 inches in height. It has oval, pointed leaves and small pink and white flowers, which bloom from April through June. In the late summer, its dark purple berries are ripe to pick. Bilberry is a relative of blueberry, cranberry, and huckleberry, and its fruit looks and tastes much like the American blueberry. Bilberry fruit contains high concentrations of tannins, substances that act as both an anti-inflammatory and an astringent. Bilberry fruits also contain flavonoid compounds called anthocyanidins. Flavonoids are plant pigments that have excellent antioxidant properties. This means that they scavenge damaging particles in the body known as free radicals and have been shown to help prevent a number of long-term illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and an eye disorder called macular degeneration.

Bilberry Benefits

  • Acts as an anti-oxidant, diuretic, and urinary tract antiseptic
  • Useful for hypoglycemia, inflammation, stress, anxiety, night blindness, and cataracts
  • May help halt or prevent macular degeneration
  • Keeps blood vessels flexible, allowing increased blood flow
  • Helps control insulin levels and strengthens connective tissues
  • Inhibits the growth of bacteria and has anti-aging and anti-carcinogenic effects

Bilberry Nutrient Content

The key compounds in bilberry fruit are called anthocyanidins. These compounds help build strong capillaries and improve circulation to all areas of the body. They also prevent blood platelets from clumping together (helping to reduce the risk of blood clots which may lead, for example, to heart attack or stroke). Bilberry fruit is also rich in tannins, a substance that acts as an astringent, thereby helping bleeding to stop. The tannins and anthocyanidins, therefore, may balance each other out when the whole bilberry fruit is used for medicinal purposes. Anthocyanidins also boost the production of rhodopsin, a pigment that improves night vision and helps the eye adapt to light changes. The tannins have anti-inflammatory properties and may help control diarrhea.

Bilberry Notes

Bilberry fruit and extract are considered generally safe, with no known side effects. There are no known scientific reports of interactions between bilberry and conventional medications. The Dietary Supplement Information Bureau recommends a daily dosage of 80 mg twice a day for optimum results.

Bilberry Products

  Brand & Product Name  Description  Retail 
 More Info  Buy Now 
  Twinlab : Truherbs Bilberry Time Release 
 30 caps, 425 mg  $13.99   $9.95   More info Discontinued
  Nature's Herbs : Bilberry Power 
 60 caps, 475 mg  $15.99   $9.95   More info Discontinued
  Nature's Herbs : Bilberry-Power 
 150 caps, 40 mg  $33.99   $20.95   More info Discontinued
  Natures Way : Bilberry Standardized Extract 
 60 caps  $16.99   $9.95   More info 
  Natures Way : Bilberry Standardized Extract 
 90 caps  $22.49   $13.95   More info 
  Natrol : Bilberry 
 60 caps  $13.59   $7.95   More info 

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