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The Benefits of Bilberry

27 Şub 2011 , Posted by Onur ALPAY at 13:22

While a bilberry may seem as insignificant as a "schnozberry," something the fictional Willy Wonka might produce in his candy factory, the bilberry is actually a cousin to the blueberry and the cranberry, another low-growing shrub that gives off tiny berries chockfull of healthy antioxidants. Found throughout the world but rarely cultivated, the bilberry has a lot to offer the human body.

Although smaller than a blueberry, the bilberry has a similar taste but is almost black in color and has a potent ability to stain the skin and clothes. Apparently in Europe some dentists are known to have children swish bilberry juice in their mouth before and after brushing in order to stain hard-to-reach areas that didn't get touched by the toothbrush. Bilberry is not yet commonly known or used but some people have started taking an extract made from the plant in order to gain the benefits without the stain-quality of the fruit.

Bilberry has been experimented with all over the world for years as an alternative medicine to treat diarrhea symptoms, increase blood flow, help strengthen gums, protect the skin from irritation and infection when used as a salve, and help heal the body from gastrointestinal discomfort. It is known to help with menstrual cramps and bilberry contains glucoquinine that is said to significantly lower blood sugar while still keeping blood pressure levels normal. There are other claims that bilberry tea is used to treat sore throats and an old wive’s tale that bilberry can keep varicose veins at bay.

The largest of the folklore claims is that British pilots flying in World War II said that they had improved night vision when they consumed bilberry jam, which ultimately led to a study done by the Navy that proves that bilberry doesn't actually have any scientific evidence to support the long-standing claim. However, bilberry is used in traditional medicine to help stop the spread of macular degeneration—the result of damage to the retina usually in people over the age of 50, hindering their ability to read or recognize faces making their mainline vision blurry—and can also be used against cataracts. The positive effects on the eyes are largely due to the flavonoids in bilberry which build up the collagen in the blood vessels in your eyes helping to protect your sight and the sensitive areas around your retina. In a double-blind, clinical trial, 50 volunteers with cataracts took a mixture of vitamin E and bilberry extract for four months and 97 percent stopped the progress of the cataract on the lens.

Although bilberry isn’t for everyone, pregnant women should be extra careful and anyone thinking of adding an extra supplement to their pill box should consult their private care physician in case any of their current medications should cause unnecessary sickness from them mixing together. A bad reaction to bilberry can cause diarrhea instead of help it as well as an upset stomach, headache, or dizzy spells and bilberry can cause your blood to become thin. Use precaution before consuming bilberry and reduce your amount or stop taking altogether if you notice any uncomfortable side effects to utilizing this beneficial herb.

Although bilberry sounds like a made-up children’s book character’s berry, people who have eaten it are thankful for it’s existence. If you are looking for an extract, nutritionists recommend looking for a 100 percent pure bilberry extract in order to receive the full benefits of this tasty herb. Or, next time you are at the neighborhood farmer’s market or roadside stand, look past the raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, and boysenberry jams and you might get lucky and find a little healthy treasure dressed in black called bilberry.

healthnews. com

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