Overview

Bilberry is a plant. The dried, ripe fruit and leaves are used to make medicine.

Bilberry is used by mouth to treat poor circulation that can cause the legs to swell. Some people take bilberry for diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and many other conditions. But there is no good scientific research to support these other uses.

Bilberry is also sometimes used by mouth to treat eye conditions such as disorders of the retina, cataracts, nearsightedness, and glaucoma. There is some evidence that bilberry may help retinal disorders, but there is no good scientific evidence that bilberry is effective for treating other eye conditions.

In fact, bilberry was once commonly used for improving night vision. During World War II, British pilots in the Royal Air Force ate bilberry jam to improve their night vision, but later research showed it probably didn't help.

Bilberry is sometimes applied directly to the inside of the mouth for mild mouth and throat soreness.

How does it work ?

Bilberry contains chemicals called tannins that can help improve diarrhea, as well as mouth and throat irritation, by reducing swelling (inflammation). There is some evidence that the chemicals found in bilberry leaves can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Some researchers think that chemicals called flavonoids in bilberry leaf might also improve circulation in people with diabetes. Circulation problems can harm the retina of the eye.

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