Written by Nutrovita
Bilberry, or Vaccinium myrtillus (Latin), is made from a small, blue berry that has been used medicinally for hundreds of years. bilberries have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Bilberry has traditionally been used to treat diarrhea, varicose veins, mucous membrane inflammation, and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). It has also been shown to be particularly beneficial to the health of the eyes.
Bilberry contains flavonoids called anthocyanosides, which are found largely in dark-skinned fruits, and act as potent antioxidants in the body. These anthocyanosides are thought to be at least part of the reason that Bilberry is effective in treating such eye disorders such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. In one Italian study, a combination of bilberry extracts and vitamin E stopped the progression of cataracts in 97 percent of the study participants. Bilberries are very rich in natural antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acids. As an anti oxidant Bilberry is great in the defense against cell damaging agents called free radicals. Free radicals occur naturally in the body and are most commonly produced from simple oxygen exposure. An other common cause of free radical formation is exposure to carbon monoxide from such things as pollution and cigarette smoke. Anti oxidants remove free radicals from the body and help keep cells healthy. Too many free radicals can cause mutation of cells, which can lead to such things as cancer. Using Bilberry with other anti oxidants such as vitamin C and E and performing regular exercise can help keep your body purged of free radicals and may drastically help reduce the risk of such mutations.
The following active constituents have been found in Bilberry: ericolin, arbutin, beta-amyrin, nonacosane, and anthocyanosides. Anthocyanosides are a type of flavonoid which causes the deep blue-red color of many berries. This may produce 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. Bilberry is used in Europe before surgery to prevent excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging. A recent German medical journal reports bilberry effective in reducing excessive bleeding by 71% (Lietti). Bilberry also thins the blood by inhibiting platelet adhesion (Bottecchia). This combination of actions
1. improving capillary strength,
results in improved blood flow and may reduce clotting-related health risks.
Benefits Of Billberry
The Bilberry pigments decrease capillary permeability and fragility, and the tendency to bruise easily. Therefore,Bilberry Extract are useful for the treatment of microcirculatory disorders, such as varicose veins, venous insufficiency, and hemorrhoids. Bilberry preparations are also useful for degenerating eye conditions such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.
The anthocyanidin pigments, along with the flavonoids and other antioxidants, help protect and relax blood vessels, inhibit blood clot formation, and improve microvascular blood flow, thereby diminishing angina events. Many of the antioxidants in Bilberry are more potent than vita min E and can inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, as well as promoting vasorelaxation. Preliminary experiments reveal that Bilberry extracts also possess antimicrobial and anticancer properties and may help in the healing of wounds and ulcers.
Bilberry promotes good circulation and strengthens artery walls, and thus may be an effective treatment for atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up on the artery walls and blocks the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart. Bilberry's anti-inflammatory properties also work to reduce the overall inflammation, including inflammation of the gums, that has been linked with heart disease.
Bilberry extract called Vaccinium Myrtillus Anthocyanoside (VMA) is a popular treatment for chronic venous insufficiency, a condition characterized by swelling, varicose veins, pain, itching, and skin ulcers in the legs. It might also prove to be an effective treatment for Raynaud's disease, a condition that causes numbness and pain in the outer extremities (fingers, toes, nose) upon exposure to the cold--the anti-inflammatory properties of Bilberry help reduce the stress on capillaries, and relax small blood vessels, which helps keep the blood flowing to all parts of the body. Because Bilberry strengthens the capillaries, it is also used to discourage bruising. Bilberry has long been used to ease gastrointestinal discomfort.
Uses Of Bilberry
* Bilberry leaf has been used for diabetes, stomach problems, arthritis,
blood circulation problems, and heart problems
Side Effects Of Bilberry
There are no any serious side effects of Bilberry but it may cause gastrointestinal upset, dizziness, or headaches. Also, people taking drugs or herbs that lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, cause diarrhea, or thin the blood, should take Bilberry with caution--it could increase the effects of these herbs and medications.
About the Author
This article written by the Research & Herbs Department At Nutrovita.com.
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