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Bilberry

Bilberry photo

Other Names: Whortleberry, Whinberry, Blaeberry

Family: Ericaceae

To brighten the eyes and fight free radical damage.

Botanical Description

Bilberry is a close relative of the commercial blueberry and is often also known as the ‘European or Wild Blueberry’. It is native to Europe, Asia and the Western states of the USA, but wild cultivars are now found across many temperate climates. It grows as a low shrub on moorland and mountain ranges. Its leaves start as a rose colour, they then turn yellow-green and eventually become a deep red in the Autumn. The leaves are very small and ‘leathery’ to the touch and its flowers are a light pink colour and bell shaped, the fruit are a dark purple and similar in size and shape to a blueberry.

How it Works

Any fruits with a deep purple or red colouring contain high levels of the constituent anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are a natural and potent antioxidant and often indicate the presence of Vitamin C. Anthocyanin is also a strong anti-inflammatory to the heart and circulation. These constituents strengthen blood vessel walls and maintain capillary structure whilst also encouraging circulation of red blood cells and, therefore, oxygen around the body. Anthocyanins will stabalise and strengthen collagen in the body, helping to maintain circulatory and muscular structure. They also improve the body’s ability to metabolise cholesterol.

Into the Heart of Bilberries

Bilberries are a natural source of antioxidants and provitamin A, protecting us from the damage caused by free radicals. They have a specific action within the circulatory system in addition to supporting eye health. They increase levels of retinal pigments in the eyes and boost blood and oxygen supply to the eyes through improving the number of capillary connections and the strength of minor capillary networks. Bilberries have demonstrated a vasodilatory effect on the blood vessels, opening the vessels and reducing blood pressure. This, in combination with its ability to maintain collagen structure, makes bilberries effective for the treatment of varicose veins and also as an anti-ageing tool. The vasodilatory effect of the herb within the body also helps to maintain blood sugar levels, acting as an effective hypoglycemic agent.

Indications

Eyes: Indicated in night vision, macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy.

Circulatory: Indicated in varicose veins, thread veins, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, wound repair, blood clots, hemorrhoids.

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