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Home :: Bilberry :: Herbs

Bilberry Herb - Uses And Side Effects

Native Americans used bilberry teas and tinctures to treat diabetes symptoms. During World War II, British pilots ate bilberry preserves to improve their night vision.

Bilberry's active components are extracted by a drying process from the Vaccinium myrtillus plant. Some people prepare a hydro alcoholic extraction of the leaf.

Common doses of Bilberry

Bilberry comes as:

  • capsules (60, 80, 120, and 450 milligrams)
  • liquid
  • tincture
  • fluid extract
  • dried roots, leaves, and berries.

Some experts recommend the following doses:

  • To improve night vision, 60 to 120 milligrams of bilberry extract taken orally daily.
  • For poor vision or poor circulation, 240 to 480 milligrams orally every day, taken in two or three equal doses.

Why people use Bilberry herb

  • Cataracts
  • Diabetic retinopathy (a vision disorder caused by diabetes)
  • Glaucoma
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Muscular degeneration
  • Poor circulation
  • Poor night vision
  • Varicose veins

Side effects of Bilberry

Call your health care practitioner if you experience unusual symptoms while taking bilberry. Long-term consumption of large doses of bilberry leaves may cause toxic reactions. Doses of 1.5 grams of bilberry per kilograms of body weight may cause death.

Interactions

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking, especially:

  • Antabuse (don't use bilberry products containing alcohol when taking Antabuse) . anti platelet drugs such as aspirin
  • blood thinners such as Coumadin.

Important points to remember

  • Don't use bilberry if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you use bilberry when taking a blood thinner, be sure to report unusual bleeding or bruising to your health care practitioner.
  • Know that experts recommend using only standardized bilberry products with 25%, anthocyanoside content.

What the research shows

A study conducted in the 1960s found that bilberry improved night vision. Medical experts are intrigued with the possible use of bilberry extracts to treat fluid retention and blood vessel leak ­ age, but can't support such use until more human studies are done. What's more, they know little about bilberry's potential toxicity except that daily doses exceeding 480 milligrams may be dangerous.

Other names for Bilberry : -

Other names for bilberry include bilberrlcs, bog bilberries, European blueberries, huckleberries, and whortleberries.

A product containing bilberry are sold under such names as Bilberry Extract and Bilberry Vegicap.

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