Common Names: bilberry fruit, huckleberry, whortleberry, hurtleberry
Latin Name: 
Vaccinium myrtillus fructus
Origin: Bulgaria

From Nutritional Herbology:

The anthocyanidins of bilberry have considerable pharmacologic activity. They are especially used as anti-aging substances. These bitter compounds inhibit collagen destruction, scavenger free radicals, reduce capillary permeability, increase bloods circulation to peripheral blood vessels and the brain, reduce inflammation and pain and relieve muscle spasms. It is one of the most popular over-the-counter drugs in Europe.

It is so effective that a single dose is said to improve one's night vision within hours.

It has traditionally been used to treat poor night vision, bruising, capillary fragility, varicose veins, poor circulation, Raynaud's disease, circulation complications due to diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and periodontal disease.

This herb 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. Indeed, regular use of the fruit results in quicker adjustment to darkness and glare and improved visual acuity both at night and in bright light during the day. Bilberry may be useful in the prevention and treatment of glaucoma since it strengthens connective tissue and prevents free radical damage.

In the control of diabetes short term, one's blood sugar is lowered and long term, one's circulatory system is preserved. Connective tissue is not destroyed and capillaries function more normally.

In other chronic degenerative diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, the inflammation and pain are reduced while damage to connective tissue is kept to a minimum.

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.

Additional Information:

Recipe:  1 teasp. per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes. Drink 1 to 2 cups daily. If desired, add honey and/or lemon to taste.