Bilberry fruit - whole

Herbs: Bilberry Fruit - Whole

Common Names: bilberry fruit, huckleberry, whortleberry, hurtleberry
Latin Name: Vaccinium myrtillus-ericaceae family
Origin: Albania

Short Descriptions:

Bilberry has marvelous anti-aging properties in both its fruit and leaves. Bilberry improves visual acuity both at night and during the day.

Excerpts from Nutritional Herbology

The anthocyanidins of bilberry have considerable pharmacologic activity. They are especially used as anti-aging substances.

Bilberry Fruit is becoming more important to the aging populations of the world. This fruit and its extracts have marvelous anti-aging properties. Bilberry was first studied for its effects on poor night vision.

This is an important fruit to add to one's daily diet. Blueberries and black currant fruit may also be as useful as bilberry but are not yet as popular for their medicinal properties.


Related Article

Bilberry and Pilots

by Shoshanna Easling

August 2004

My husband is a pilot, and, of course, I have a great interest in herbs. The other day we were driving along, and he was telling me about some of the wild adventures he has had in Alaska.

He has spent a lot of time there in commercial fishing, building cabins, and flying. One of his jobs was to fly a small plane over the water and spot fish. In the spring the fish spawn, which makes it a great time for the fishermen. There are dozens of planes and boats working together to catch as many fish as possible in the time allowed. Some days they work 20 hours. James told me about one of the men on his fishing boat falling asleep from exhaustion, on deck, with waves breaking over the top of the boat. I sat fascinated while listening to his stories. Airplane pilots have to be in top condition. They have to be physically fit. Their vision has to be exceptional. In small planes, it is very important, because so much depends on sight, not on computers. You have to maintain a sharp eye to keep from hitting other planes that may be spotting the same school of fish. Two years before James got there, an incident happened where one plane rose without seeing the plane directly above. Both planes crashed, and two men died. Most of the spotting planes have two pilots, one to keep his eyes on other planes, and the other to help spot the fish.

He went on to tell me about the pilot's miracle. "You have probably heard the stories about World War II, where pilots in the British Royal Air Force ate bilberry preserves before flying, crediting it with improving their vision when flying night bombing runs. The bilberry fruit was improving their eyesight." It is one thing to read about bilberry in an herb book, but it is quite another to hear a pilot tell you about it in person. The pilots he knows have great confidence in bilberry to improve their vision.

Bilberry (fruit or leaf) works its miracle by the nutritional support it lends to the small vessels in your eyes. Since the breaking down of blood vessels is one of the curses of old age, bilberry is especially useful as an anti-aging supplement. Basically, bilberry is effective for any part of the body that can be helped by lending support to the small vessels. It is said that bilberry is so effective that a single dose will improve one's night vision within hours.

Since the merits of bilberry (fruit or leaf) are nutritional, rather than medicinal, you do not have to worry about using too much. When making a tincture for a daily nutritional support, add bilberry, or, when you make a cup of tea in the morning, add a teaspoon to your herbal mix. It tastes good and is full of life giving properties.

My mom's (Dr. Deb) favorite daily tincture mixture includes, among other herbs, bilberry for dad's eyes, and Nettle to keep her blood pressure and dad's homocysteine levels nice and low. But that is the subject of next month's article, so I better not get started.


From Our Reading and/or Experience...

  • We use it often in tea and tincture combinations. Of course, it can be used in many other types of remedies. For instance, it can easily be made into powder, and used as such in capsules.
  • Bilberry is a food, as such, keep it in the kitchen as all other food ingredients. We add it to dishes (salads, meat dishes, soups, stews, etc.) in small amounts so as to add nutritional value to the dish without changing the flavor.
  • Bilberry can be used to benefit anyone: men, women (including before, during or after pregnancy, and nursing), children and animals.
  • It can be used as often as you would like, and in any way you choose.
  • As is the case with most herbs, Bilberry should be stored in a dark, dry, and cool place. Refrigeration or freezing is great, but certainly not necessary. Following these suggestions will delay the loss of its highly valued nutritional and medicinal properties.

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