Bilberry - What is it & How to use

What is it?

  • The bilberry bush is a relative of the blueberry and is native to many areas, including the Rocky Mountains and regions of Europe and Asia.
  • Its berries and leaves have been used for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages for a variety of conditions, including diarrhea, scurvy, infections, burns, and diabetes. During World War II, British pilots ate bilberry jam, thinking it would improve their night vision.
  • Today, bilberry is used as a dietary supplement for cardiovascular conditions, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, eye problems, diabetes, and other conditions.
  • Bilberry extract is sold in tablets, capsules, and drops, and the berries are sold dried and as a powder. The leaves are made into teas.
  • There’s not enough scientific evidence to support the use of bilberry for any health conditions.
  • Researchers are interested in bilberry in large part because its berries have a high concentration of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which some studies suggest may have health benefits.

Safety Concerns

  • Bilberry fruit is considered safe when consumed in amounts typically found in foods, or as an extract in recommended doses for brief periods of time.
  • Bilberry leaves may be unsafe when taken orally (by mouth) in high doses or for long periods of time.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.