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Irwin Naturals, Vision Sharp, Multi-Nutrient Eye Health, 42 Liquid Soft-Gels
Cost Per Serving : $0.59
Jarrow Formulas Women's Multi with Iron, Multi-Vitamin Mineral Formula, 60 Tablets, From Jarrow
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Bilberry is the herb that is synonymous with healthy eyes; it grows in Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States. The English call them whortleberries, the Scots refer to them as blueberries. Bilberry is a perennial, ornamental shrub found in damp woodlands and moorlands.
The use of Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) as an herbal remedy stems back almost one thousand years to Europe, where it was mainly used to relieve diarrhea. Bilberry is a 16-inch tall shrub with pointed, oval leaves and small white and pink flowers which bloom between April and June. Its dark purple berries ripen in late summer. Bilberry is a relative of the cranberry, blueberry, and huckleberry. Its fruit looks and tastes similar to the American blueberry. Bilberry fruit contains high concentrations of tannins, substances that act as both an astringent and an anti-inflammatory. This fruit also contains flavonoid compounds called anthocyanidins. Flavonoids are plant pigments that possess outstanding antioxidant properties, foraging out dangerous particles in the body known as free radicals. Bilberry has been connected with the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration.
Anthocyanidin (a flavonoid) is the primary compound in bilberry fruit, building strong capillaries and improving circulation throughout the entire body. Anthocyanidins may prevent blood platelets from clumping together, which minimizes the risk of blood clots (associated with heart attack and stroke). Bilberry fruit contains tannins, a substance that acts as an astringent, stopping bleeding. The tannins and anthocyanidins may equalize each other when the whole bilberry fruit is used for medicinal purposes. Anthocyanidins increase rhodopsin production, a pigment that assists the eye's ability to adapt to light changes and enhances night vision. The tannins possess anti-inflammatory properties and as mentioned previously may relieve diarrhea.
The Bilberry herb has been also been associated with the care and treatment of number of ailments including atherosclerosis, cataracts, diabetes, diarrhea, macular degeneration, night blindness, and retinopathy, and is considered a strong antioxidant by many experts. Though the medicinal benefits of Bilberry are not certain, thousands of people continue to seek bilberry for its health-related properties.
Supplement Forms of Bilberry
Bilberries may be eaten fresh or dried. Bilberry tea may also be made from fresh or dried berries, or from the leaves. Bilberry extract comes in capsules and should be standardized to 25% anthocyanidins. The extract contains the highest percentage of anthocyanidins, making it the most effective form of bilberry.
Common Doses of Bilberry Extract
A typical dose of bilberry is 40-80 mg three times per day of an extract standardized to contain 25% anthocyanosides.
Why People Use Bilberry
Bilberry is primarily used for eye conditions and to strengthen blood vessels. During World War II, British Royal Air Force pilots found that eating bilberry jam just before a mission improved their night vision. Researchers subsequently investigated bilberry's properties and recommended it for eye disorders.
In addition to improving night vision, bilberry is also used to prevent and treat macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts.
Bilberry contains anthocyanosides, which strengthen the walls of blood vessels, reduce inflammation, and stabilize all tissues containing collagen, such as cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Grape seed contains similar substances, however bilberry's anthocyanosides have numerous benefits on the eye.
Due to it's ability to strengthen blood vessels, bilberry may be useful for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and to prevent easy bruising.
Is Bilberry Safe?
Bilberry fruit is a food and is considered safe. There are no known drug interactions. Bilberry doesn't appear to interfere with blood clotting.
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