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Bilberry aids vision problems, improves circulation

Common Name: Bilberry, European bilberry
Scientific Name: Vaccinium myrtillus
Uses: Eye disorders, vascular problems, diabetes
Possible Side Effects: None

Bilberry is a member of the genus Vaccinium, comprised of nearly 200 species of berries that include cranberry, cowberry and American blueberry. Bilberry differs from the American blueberry in that its meat is dark purple, whereas the American version is of cream color. Of course, bilberries have been utilized for hundreds of years as food and for their high nutritive value. It has also been used as a folk medicinal treatment for disorders of the urinary system, including urinary infections and kidney stones, and for diarrhea and dysentery.

In Europe, bilberry extracts are now part of the conventional medical treatment of various eye disorders, including cataracts, macular degeneration, night blindness, diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosa. These uses have been backed by the release of various current studies. The substance that gives bilberries its pharmacological activity is its anthocyanosides.

Anthocyanosides possess potent antioxidant properties, can increase intracellular vitamin C levels and decrease capillary permeability and fragility.

One of the anthocyanosides most important actions is to normalize collagen structures, which ultimately leads to bilberry's apparent ability to prevent and reverse visual and vascular disorders.

Other uses of bilberry have been documented, and are worth noting. These include blood sugar control, cholesterol reduction, the relaxation of smooth muscle, and the ability to prevent and reduce the severity of ulcers.

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Bilberry, vision, circulation,