Bilberry: For centuries Bilberry / Huckleberry has been used as a circulatory enhancer and diabetic aid.
One of the most beneficial aspects to Bilberry’s circulatory effects is the fact that the most affected are the areas which are usually the last to be improved, scalp, eyes, dental and peripheral areas such as extremities. This is one of the dual actions that diabetes patients value in Bilberry; it’s proven action on the circulatory system which complicates diabetes and the modification of blood sugar levels in type I and type II diabetes.
Bilberry has a legendary reputation as an aid to diabetics.
During World War II RAF pilots were forced to fly at night in order to accomplish any deep assault on Germany. Many pilots and their crew members complained of the poor visibility and its effects on their performance. It was just simply very difficult to work in the dark.
One of the families of a flight leader had an older woman who suggested using Bilberry jam as an aid to night vision. Researchers found fifty years later what the RAF already knew, Bilberry’s powerful effects increased retinal purple (RHODOPSIN) by dramatic amounts in just twenty minutes .
Further research showed that the RAF pilots who survived and continued consuming the jam or other Bilberry products had several remarkable aspects to their health. The most noticeable was perfect vision both near and far as well as a complete absence of eye disorders throughout their lives. The group was absent of any circulatory or digestive disorders in their medical histories.
Another study showed Bilberry to improve eyesight and increase occular blood supply in 75% of patients. It improved nearsightedness after 5 months of regular use while an 83% improvement in visual acuity was recorded after only 15 days.
One of the more encouraging statistics regarding Bilberry’s visual enhancing properties is that over 80% of the people taking Bilberry for the first time improved on their visual acuity exam and passed a night vision test within 3 minutes of ingestion. Long term improvements took an average of 6 weeks with regular doses.
The anthocyanosides of Bilberry which may vary in amounts from one variety to another have been proven to be one of the more powerful antioxidants.
Ranked higher in activity than vitamins E and C by Dr. Pierre Braquet, a well known phyto researcher anthocyanosides prevent free radical damage to collagen and collagenous tissue, making it one of the most important agents to treat diseases such as osteoarthritis, gout, and periodontal diseases.
Vaccinium Myrtillus’ anthocyanosides proved consistently to increase the acetylcholine-induced relaxation of isolated coronary arteries. This is a promising update to the already impressive list of benefits of Bilberry.
Another quality of Bilberry is the effect it has on the digestive system most notably, the stomach. Bilberry increases the secretion of the mucuous layer that protects the stomach from damage. A recent study showed Bilberry to inhibit ulcers in 63% of patients at risk
The active constituents of Bilberry are ericolin, arbutin, beta-amyrin, nonacosane, anthocyanosides, notably myrtocyan. Anthocyanosides are a type of bioflavonoid which causes the deep blue-red color of many berries. These anthocyanosides protect the vascular system by strengthening the capillary walls.
This produces many of the secondary benefits such as lowering of blood pressure, reduction of clots, reducing varicosities and bruising, reversing poor blood supply and improving blood supply specifically to the nervous system.
Bilberry is used in Europe before surgery to prevent excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging. A recent German medical journal reports Bilberry effective in reducing execcesive bleeding by 71%. Bilberry also thins the blood by inhibiting the platelets from adhesion to themselves improving capillary strength, and reducing capillary leakage. This results in improved blood flow and dramatically reduces clotting related health risks.
The fresh or dried berries are useful for a feverish liver and are useful as an adjunct in stomach conditions. In Russia the berries are called affectionately by the name “Chernika” (LITTLE black ones) and are used with the leaves in tinctures [NASTOIKA] for gastric colitis and other digestive problems.
The bilberry is a rich blue color with a faint grey bloom, similar to a blueberry. Because the bilberry is acidic, it has an entirely distinct flavor than a blueberry. Although it can be eaten raw, it is best when cooked and used in jams, jellies, pies, and sauces for game and other meats.
See also Agrimony.