Label: Beneficial Botanicals
Reduce Cataract Formation
Help with Night Blindness
Antioxidant / Ophthalmicum / Hemostatic
Constituents-Chemicals & Nutrients: Tannins, sugars, glucoquinone. The fruits contain pigments (anthocyanidin), flavonoids, glycoside (arbutin, myrtillin, ericolin), pectin, carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin C and iron.
For visual problems, Huckleberries increase circulation to the eyes and help in a wide range of eye diseases. The berries have also been known to aid in the reduction of cataract formation. Several studies have shown Huckleberry to improve eyesight and increase ocular blood supply in 75% of patients. One study indicated that an extract of huckleberries improved nearsightedness after 5 months of regular use while an 83% improvement in visual acuity, recorded after only 15 days.
Huckleberry is used in Europe as a preparation before surgery to prevent excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging. A recent German medical journal reports Huckleberry effective in reducing excessive bleeding by 71%. The fruit contains anthocyanosides, a type of bioflavonoid, which cause the deep blue-red color of the berries. These anthocyanosides protect the vascular system by strengthening the capillary walls. This produces many of the secondary benefits such as lowering blood pressure, reducing clots, reducing varicosities and bruising, reversing poor blood supply and improving blood supply to the nervous system.
Huckleberries have been ranked higher in activity than vitamins E and C by Dr. Pierre Braquet, a well-known phytochemical researcher. This is due to the anthocyanosides of Huckleberry, which may vary in amounts from one variety to another. Anthocyanosides have been proven to be one of the more powerful antioxidants, preventing free radical damage to collagen and collagenous tissue, making it one of the most important agents to treat diseases such as osteoarthristis, gout, and periodontal diseases.
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Known Dosages (for Adults)
Ocular Circulation : 1 teaspoon twice a day
Antioxidant (Gout, Osteoarthritis, Periodontal Diseases): 2 teaspoons daily
Although moderate amounts of Huckleberries are sometimes used to treat diarrhea, large amounts of the berries are laxative.
Huckleberry may cause eyes to be bloodshot due to its increased circulation action.
Anthocyanins (a type of flavonoid in a class of compounds with antioxidant effects) in this herb may inhibit drugs such as anticancer medications, antibiotics, beta blockers, an arthritis medication. High flavonoid intake from bilberry supplements could theoretically increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood-thinning drugs like warfarin, NSAIDs, and aspirin, or when taken by people with bleeding disorders.
Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Chu W, Cheung SCM, Lau RAW, et al. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 4.
photo credit: University of Idaho, Ag Dept
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