Facts About Bilberry
Unless you have dealt with eye problems in the past, you may never have heard of bilberry. It is a distant relative to the blueberry and the cranberry.
The main benefit derived from bilberry is its ability to improve circulation and blood vessel health. This seems to apply specifically, although not exclusively, to the eye tissues. The United States military used bilberry extract back in World War II to improve the night vision of soldiers, especially air pilots. This practice is still in use to this day.
Research relative to blood vessel integrity and eyesight is quite extensive. Studies conducted in Italy have show that bilberry can improve circulation to the eyes thereby mitigating such conditions as diabetes-caused glaucoma, day blindness, near sightedness and cataract formation. One such study showed that bilberry, along with vitamin E, stopped cataract formation in 97 percent of the people who took it.
Another condition, which has eluded many other methods of treatment, is macular degeneration. This problem is becoming more provalent due to free radical damage to the eye tissues from smoke and other pollutants in the air. Bilberry comes to the rescue once again not only because it increases blood flow and hence oxygen to the eye tissue, but it also prevents oxidative damage to the eye.
The specific flavonoids in bilberry, which are called anthcyanosides, not only provide eye tissue support but help to limit calcium deposits and blood clots inside of the arteries. Because of the direst benefit exercised upon the vascular system, bilberry is also very useful in such conditions as leg swelling, varicose veins and even postpartum hemorrhoids.
Lastly, bilberry helps diminish inflammation, a helpful effect in such conditions as arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.
Since bilberry is helpful in improving circulation, it is very good for wound healing. Wounds heal faster and with less infection. Bilberry works together with collagen to rebuild damaged tissues.
From Dr. Steven Whiting's book You Can Be Well At Any Age: Your Definitive Guide to Vibrant Health & Longevity, 2000, pgs. 38-39.