The Good and Bad Qualities of Bilberry

The Good and Bad Qualities of Bilberry

Bilberry, a close cousin of the blueberry, is a common cooking ingredient used in jam, pie, and other goods.  This berry originated in the United States.  It has a number of benefits, ranging from treating diseases to improving general health.  In supplement form, the bilberry is not regulated by the FDA, so if you decide to take one, be sure that you are taking the proper amount.  Listed below are some of the various benefits of bilberry supplements.

 Fight Diabetes

 The leaves of the bilberry plant are commonly employed as a way to control the levels of blood sugar in people who have diabetes.  It is also speculated that taking supplements of bilberry benefits the retina when it is inflicted with retinopathy (a condition caused by the eyes being under hypertension or suffering long-term high levels of blood glucose).

 Fend off UTIs

 Bilberries are very similar to cranberries, which contain agents that help fend off Urinary Tract Infections, or UTIs.

 Treating CVI

 Chronic Venous Insufficiency, or simply CVI, is a health problem focused on the veins in the leg.  This condition results in blood flow being halted or greatly slowed.  One of the benefits of bilberry is that it strengthens the body’s blood vessels and provides short term relief of CVI symptoms.

 Better Circulation

Increasing the blood flow throughout one’s body is an effect of taking bilberry supplements or adding them into your diet.  This is due to anthocyanidin, which is an antioxidant that is plentiful in bilberries.  This is especially useful for people with diseases that disrupt blood flow.  It can also be used to generally treat issues of poor circulation, such as red/swollen muscles and varicose veins.

Blood Thinner

Bilberry is a natural blood thinner that can prevent the formation of unwanted blood clots.  It also reduces the plaque that accumulates in the body’s blood vessels, effectively fighting off strokes and/or heart attacks.

Better Vision

Anthocyanidin, a pigment found in this berry, is known to help rhodopsin in the body flourish.  This is the pigment that is responsible for the dilation of the pupils and one’s ability to see clearly in darker conditions.  It is speculated that concentrated doses of bilberry may directly fight off glaucoma, cataracts, or other conditions of the eye.

Treatment for Gastrointestinal Problems

Diarrhoea, ulcers, acid reflux disease and many other gastrointestinal issues may be curbed or dispelled by consuming fresh bilberry.  It has been used to this end for years in Europe due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to repair tissue.

Things to be Wary of

 All in Moderation

 Like any supplement, any concentrated form of bilberry should be taken in closely monitored doses.  Consuming too much will result in toxicity in the blood stream, resulting in any number of conditions ranging from unhealthy weight loss to death.

Blood Sugar Concerns

While it can be used to control one’s blood sugar, it should be noted that anyone with already low blood sugar should avoid taking any form of bilberry.  The same applies for those who are taking other medicines or supplements to lower blood glucose levels.  In either case, the herb could become very dangerous, very quickly.

Blood Thinning Concerns

 Again, the effect of preventing blood clots can be considered a bad and dangerous effect.  Ultimately in the worst case scenario one could develop hemophilia from bilberry toxicity.  Consult a doctor before taking any form of bilberry if you already have hemophilia, or are already taking a drug or supplement that acts as an anticoagulant.

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Sagar is co-founder and CTO at Multia, a leading creative agency in Pune. He started his venture when he was 16, he has won numerous international and national web development competitions and has worked on 100+ web, mobile and online marketing projects. He’s a globe-trotter and has traveled to San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Jakarta and Bali Islands.
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