Bilberries are native to Northern Europe and some parts of North America and Asia. People may confuse bilberries with blueberries because of their identical appearance but they both vary in properties and nutritional values. Bilberry has many names that vary from region to region, but scientifically it is referred to as Vaccinium Myrtillus. It is found on low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium.
Bilberries are known for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. They have major positive effects on the human eyes and the cardiovascular system.
In this article, we will be discussing the bilberry in detail so you can know about its many health, skin and hair benefits that can provide many benefits.
In the distant past, Bilberries were used among the European and Native American population. There is evidence of bilberry’s usage as an herbal medicine in the 12th century to induce menstruation. By the 16th century, there are records that show bilberries being prescribed by many German herbalists for different ailments such as bladder stones, lung diseases, and liver disorders.
One cup (100 g) of bilberries contains:
- 44 calories
- 0.7g of proteins
- 0.2g of water
- 11.5g of total carbohydrates
- 2.8g of dietary fiber
- No sugar, no starch
- 0.5g of total fat
- 44mg of vitamin C
- 15mg of calcium
- 0.8g of iron
- 7mg of magnesium
- 103mg of potassium
- 0.1mg of zinc
- 0.11mg of copper and much more
Properties of bilberries
Bilberries have a high concentration of anthocyanosides that can help in many things such as building strong blood vessels, improving circulation, and preventing blood platelets from sticking to each other.
Another major benefit of anthocyanosides is that it increases the production of a pigment called rhodopsin that works great in improving night vision.
Uses of bilberries
- You can use the blueberries as an herbal supplement according to the consultation of your practitioner
- Add bilberry tea, leaves or fruit to hot water to your diet and get yourself a refreshing start in the form of a healthy drink
- You can drink bilberry extract for different purposes such as liver, kidney or vision problems
- You can use the bilberries as a filling for tarts and pies
- You can collect some fresh bilberries to make a fresh jam and relish it with bread
- You can utilize
- And of course, bilberries are great to eat fresh
Let’s now discuss the benefits of bilberries in terms of health, skin, and hair.
Benefits for health
Ocutain Powerful Vision Formula with Lutein, Bilberry, Beta carotene - Macular Eye Health for Eye Strain and Overuse, Screen Fatigue, Clinical Strength
Improves eye health
Bilberry extract has compounds in it that enhance the eye vision when combined with the lutein that is present in the macula (a yellowish area near the center of the retina in the eye). Bilberries also work great in preventing age-related ocular diseases and other diseases such as night-blindness and cataract etc. Bilberry extract also helps in producing rhodopsin pigment that supports the human eye to adapt to light changes.
According to a brief study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging, bilberry shows great assistance in the treatment of eye fatigue. A test was conducted on 281 people who used too much video display terminal (VDT), and the researchers determined that treatment with bilberry extract may help them overcome subjective and objective measures of eye fatigue.
You can use Nature’s Truth New Bilberry for promoting healthy blood circulation that can also support eye health.
Increase blood health
Consumption of bilberries helps in increasing the blood circulation and regulation of blood pressure and vascular health that leads to efficient muscle contraction. Its consumption also showed a reduction in varicose and spider veins.
Prevents bad cholesterol
The high concentration of anthocyanosides found in bilberries helps in strengthening blood vessels and preventing LDL (commonly referred to as “Bad Cholesterol”), which is a major risk factor for our body as it might block the blood vessels, which in return can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Bilberries have a high content of anthocyanin (about four times more than blackcurrants), that makes them possibly the best choice for reducing LDL cholesterol levels.
Click here to read additional research.
Help control diabetes
Not just raw bilberry, but its leaves are also excellent for medicinal purposes. Consuming a tea of bilberry leaves can be a great remedy to control the blood sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes. You can get Bilberry Leaf Cut & Sifted Organic and mix it in the hot water to prepare yourself a refreshing tea.
You can consume the bilberry leaf tea right after eating meals that have a high amount of sugar, and the tea will help reduce the glucose in the body that results after consuming sugar-rich food. If you don’t want to drink tea, you can also eat raw bilberries in combination with other healthy meals such as oatmeal.
Click here to read additional research.
Help prevent cancer
The anthocyanins in the bilberry have cancer-preventive qualities due to the antioxidants present in it. You can use Bilberry extract to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells. A study conducted on DNA showed an anti-inflammatory profile in macrophages (a type of white blood cell of the immune system) which was treated with bilberry extract. Since inflammation is an essential risk factor for cancer, bilberry might be very fruitful in preventing it.
Click here to read more research in this area.
Ancient Europeans used bilberry to treat diarrhea for many years. It is because this berry contains tannins (substances that can act as both astringent and anti-inflammatory) that can help strengthen tissues. Bilberry is believed to reduce the symptoms of diarrhea by reducing the intestinal inflammation.
Help control gum inflammation
According to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, bilberry may help control the gum inflammation in people with gingivitis. The study included people that were given a choice to consume either 250 grams of bilberries, 500 grams of bilberries, or placebo or receive a standard care for 7 days. The researchers concluded that consuming 500 grams of bilberries resulted in a reduction of gum inflammation.
Treat a sore throat
A sore throat can make our day worst, but there are a lot of natural remedies to treat it too. One of them is using bilberries; they can be used to ease the discomfort caused due to a sore throat. You can chew on a handful of dried bilberries for 4 times a day, daily, for better results. Alternatively, you can also gargle with bilberry tea for about 3 to 4 times a day. Boil either 1 to 2tbsp of mashed bilberries or bilberry leaves in hot water. Once the water is cooled down, you can use it for gargling.
Benefits for skin
Bilberries are also amazing for the skin! Their consumption can help improve skin health by toughening and strengthening the collagen structures. The amount of resveratrol and quercetin available in the bilberries has amazing anti-aging effects on the skin. The antioxidants present in them are also a plus that can help protect the skin from free radical damage.
Here are some other benefits of bilberries on the skin.
Acne on the face can be a major cause for people losing confidence in the public. Well, you can consume bilberries to prevent the acne breakouts. Bilberry is enriched with a high concentration of zinc, fiber, and vitamins that can make your skin healthy and well-nourished.
You can use Skin Treatment Kit by Planet Eden that includes 50% Glycolic peel, Glycolic Acid Pre-Peel cleanser, and antioxidant recovery cream. It contains organic extracts of bilberry, apple, lemon, orange, papaya, grapefruit and a combination of other healthy ingredients to revitalize dull, acne-prone, and sun damaged skin. You can apply all these 3 products to free your skin from acne.
Treat skin allergies
When our skin is exposed to the sun, the high amount of UV rays causes the destruction of skin cells by triggering oxidative stress. Topical application of bilberries can help ease several chronic skin allergic conditions such as dermatitis, pruritus, and eczema.
The anthocyanins present in bilberry might also be useful for reducing chronic pruritus that can occur in people with atopic dermatitis or other skin ailments.
Skin Treatment Kit by Planet Eden contains 3 best products to treat sun damaged and rough skin.
There are so many chemical products out there to remove those ugly little blackheads on our skin especially on our nose. Using chemical products might not be a problem for some people but those products sure come with side effects. You can also use bilberries here. All you need to do is crush some fresh bilberries and apply on your affected skin. You have to repeat this every day to see positive results.
Benefits for hair
Treat hair loss
Hair loss is a major problem in adults, and people might go for dangerous ways to get hair back on their head. It is better to treat and stop hair loss rather than worrying about it later. Eating bilberries or using them directly on the head in the form of bilberry extract or mask can help make your hair follicles stronger than ever.
You can use Sanzi Organic Moisture Shampoo that contains the power of organic bilberries and other healthy ingredients including coconut oil, sugar cane, citrus extracts, and many more. It can help moisturize and hydrate your hair.
Soothe the agitated scalp
The tannins in the bilberries have anti-inflammatory properties that make them a perfect natural remedy for an agitated scalp. Raw bilberries or their extract also help boost the production of collagen in the hair.
Side effects of bilberries
- Bilberries contain tannins that are also present in other foods such as coffee, red wine, tea, chocolate, beans etc., so if you are allergic to any of them, you should avoid consuming bilberries
- High consumption of bilberries can reduce the blood sugar levels, hence, they should not be taken when you are taking any medication to lower blood sugar or thin the blood.
- Bilberries may cause dizziness, gastrointestinal upset or a headache, but such reports are rare.
- Some might experience allergic reactions and abdominal discomfort
- Not recommended for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers
Bilberries storage tips
If you want to store them for long durations, then your best bet would be freezing them. Wash them, pat them dry, put them on a baking tray and put it into the freezer. Once they are fully frozen, you can move them into an airtight jar and then store them in the freezer again.
If you do not plan to store the bilberries for a long period of time, you can place them in an airtight container and cover it with plastic wrap. Its contact with water can cause them to rot faster.
This vegetarian standardized herbal extract is specially made for people with weak eyesight. You can add this supplement to water or shake as the capsules contain powder and are easy to pull apart.
If you use too many electronic devices then their screens can emit blue light that can hurt your eyes. Take these capsules with water or take them apart and add the powder to your favorite smoothie for refreshing results.
This antioxidant-rich formula contains the power of bilberries and ginkgo that provides your body with important nutrients, minerals, and herbal extracts.
Consuming these capsules will help fight free radicals that can damage your cells. Hence you will get healthy eyes, vision, and skin. The capsules are great for vegetarians as well. The bilberries used to make this extract are organic and non-GMO. People who are allergic to gluten can also easily consume these capsules as they do not contain gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, sodium, sugar, sweeteners, artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors that can cause any kind of allergy.
This herbal supplement product contains 180 softgels that can help combat free radicals that form in your body, with the help of its antioxidant properties. Each softgel contains 1000mg of bilberry extract. This product contains extract of all the essential nutrients present in bilberries.
These softgels are free from any kind of artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, sugar, flour, starch, milk, and sodium. Consuming this supplement will promote healthy circulation and collagen formation that make healthy skin and eyesight.
How about starting your day with a fresh organic bilberry fruit spread sandwich? It won’t just give your body a healthy start but also provide it essential nutrients. This spread is GMO-free, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly that together ensures you are eating something nutritious and beneficial.
As bilberries are known for their anti-oxidant properties and several other benefits for skin and health, you can rely on this spread because it contains all the properties of bilberries.
If you don’t like taking capsules or other supplements then this is for you! Bionaturae organic bilberry fruit nectar is made with 100% farm fresh bilberry puree, organic apple juice, and lemon juice. It provides you with all the essential nutrients to start your day with. The health properties of apple, lemon, and bilberries together form delicious nectar that has a shelf life of about 730 days.
You will get a pack of 6 bottles, each contain 25.4 ounces of juice.
Bilberry tea by Celebration Herbals is made by 100% organic bilberry leaves that contain a lot of healthy nutrients. All you have to do is dip these teabags in hot water and have yourself a refreshing cup of tea.
The anti-oxidant properties of bilberry leaves in the tea will combat and remove all the free radicals that your body produces. Drinking this tea every morning can help increase your eyesight and freshen your skin by boosting the collagen in your skin.
This liquid bilberry extract is alcohol-free and is made from only the natural ingredients. HawaiiPharm uses the classic conventional method of extraction that is tailored according to the type of herb. Bilberry extract is rich in antioxidants known as anthocyanins that have many health benefits including improved eye vision, treatment of eye conditions such as cataracts, and disorders of the retina.
You can either consume it directly by taking 20-30 drops three times a day or by adding it to a glass of water, tea, or juice and drink it. Make sure to consult a medical practitioner before consuming it.
These softgels by TNVitamins provides about 1200mg of bilberry herb in each capsule. You can take them once or twice a day to promote healthy circulation and help neutralize the free radical damage. The high concentrate of bilberries gives a lot of healthy properties that are essential for healthy eye vision.
It is important for pregnant and lactating women to consult a doctor before consuming these bilberry extract softgels.
Bulksupplements is one of the best health and fitness companies that makes pure extracts and nutritious supplements. This bilberry extract powder comes in a factory-sealed zip pouch and taking about 1/4tsp once or twice daily with a meal can help improve eye vision, heart health, and treat diarrhea.
It contains natural anti-inflammatory properties of bilberries that can also promote bladder and digestive health.
The L’Erbolario nourishing face cream has the power of madacamia, pumpkin oil, and bilberry extract. It is an excellent choice for mature, tired, and sensitive skin as it provides protection against wrinkles and sagging. It can also keep your skin well-protected from the atmospheric pollution to maintain a smooth and long-lasting fresh skin.
All you have to do is apply it on your skin and massage it gently for about 2 to 3 minutes in a circular motion.
This dental protection pack by Ecodenta includes two kinds of toothpaste; Pineapple mornings and Bilberry nights. The former one provides protection against plaque and strengthens teeth enamel, giving extremely long-lasting cleanliness while the latter one soothes teeth and gums to make them less sensitive.
Ecodenta recommends using the pineapple toothpaste in the morning and the bilberry one in the night.
Starting your morning with a cup of healthy bilberry leaf tea can make you feel fresh and help keep the digestive system healthy. This bilberry leaf tea comes without any fillers or extenders, it is in loose form. To make a cup of tea, you have to use iced tea brewing method. Put 1tsp of tea for each cup in the pot, pour boiling water, cover and steep it for at least 3 to 5 minutes (according to your taste). The longer you steep it, the stronger the tea will be.
The pure freeze-dried organic bilberry powder by Virgin Extracts is 4 times stronger than most other powders. It is loaded with antioxidants including anthocyanins and flavonoids. The combination of a number of healthy properties of bilberry results in a product that provides anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and healing qualities.
According to the manufacturer, this powerful 4:1 concentrate takes 20lbs of raw bilberries to make 1lb of this organic powder. You can consume it however you want; Mix it with smoothies, ice cream, cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, juice, and so much more.
If you do not want to consume extract capsules or extract liquid then the best and healthy thing to go for is this organic bilberry and apple juice by Daylesford. It contains the power of both healthiest and sweetest fruits; apple and bilberry.
It comes in a 750ml bottle. You can consume it any time of the day. It contains all the healthy properties of bilberries and apples that can help improve eye vision and provide a number of healthy nutrients.
While bilberries do come with a lot of benefits for health, skin, and hair, they still should not be used as a substitute for standard treatment for any medical condition. However, eating them might give you a boost in health but you should still eat them in a moderate amount. You can find bilberries in many forms such as dried, raw, jam, extract, or powdered. What you take totally depends on your choice and requirements.