Bilberry/Huckleberry (Vaccinium spp)
The Bilberry/blueberry is predominantly found in acid soils and barren places. They are prevalent in the cooler parts of North America, Europe and Asia; places with moist, acid soils, and are particularly prominent under canopies of old trees. They are not just medicinal to humans; the Bilberry is one of the most nourishing sources of rich forage for many wildlife species, the likes of bears, small animals as well as various species of birds all find them particularly tasty. Their food value coupled with their beautiful appearance; the reddish-green spring leaves, the multi-stemmed shrubs, the breathtaking white flowers-all make it an excellent choice for naturalized landscaping.
The berries and leaves of this herbal remedy are known to have a variety of applications. Bilberry jam has had the age old quality of improving vision. Air force pilots, during World War II confessed of substantially improved night vision. Decades of research have also established that Bilberry has the powerful effect of improving retinal activity in minutes, resulting in a better and more acute visual capacity. This is a result of the berry’s ability to improve ocular blood circulation, and that’s not all. The bilberry has also been known to correct near-sightedness after a few months of regular use, as well as the improvement of visual acuity in as little as two weeks!
Bilberry also ranks as one of the most powerful antioxidants to date. It’s activity rate ranks higher than many vitamin blends, and has been known to prevent, rather effectively, damage to collagenous tissue, making it an effective remedy for gout, osteoarthritis and many periodontal diseases. It is also very effective in the enhancement of heart muscle activity, resulting in better circulation, leveling out blood pressure, resulting in the overall effect of better overall health. The vaccinium myrtillus is also very useful as a gastro-intestinal tract remedy; it is known to have the rare ability to inhibit ulcers in just over half of its test subjects, with its digestive system cleansing capabilities making it a priceless long term investment.
The Vaccinium is also an age old remedy in the battle against diabetes. Its circulation enhancement qualities, coupled with the fact that it positively modifies blood sugar levels make it one of the most potent herbal remedy for modern day diseases. The berries are a useful source of relief for a predominantly feverish liver, while the leaves are also quite effective when battling a winding list of digestion complications. As a circulatory enhancer, the bilberry protects the vascular system by strengthening the capillary walls, which, as a trickle down effect, lessens the risk of blood clots, improving blood supply and blood pressure.
Dosage and Administration
The berries can be eaten freely, which is a very effective way of getting the benefits first hand. They have no known adverse effects and can be consumed every so often. Most of the qualities of the blueberry are actually derived from these dried berries, with the contribution from the leaves being rather slight. The leaves can be used as fresh liquid extract; this is mainly by squeezing them into a cup and extracting the liquid content. This may work for the berries as well, so it all depends on what takes your fancy. You can also level out a tablespoon of leaves per cup of water. The fresh plant liquid can be used in a ratio of 20-40 drops per cup of water, on a frequency of anything from 1-4 times a day.
The huckleberry/blueberry/bilberry does, as well, have other beneficial medicinal applications; as a circulatory enhancer, it is also quite useful in the inhibition of platelet aggression, and is used in surgery to reduce the chances of excessive bleeding and hemorrhaging. They also prevent other visual impairments such as macular degeneration, cataracts, retinopathy, as well as a winding list of other conditions.
It is very important to ensure that you stick to a schedule. Small doses may not be entirely effective, while overdosing may have certain adverse effects. The berries can be consumed without any concern; this is because they don’t have any known side effects. The leaves on the other hand, are known to be toxic if taken in large quantities. This toxicity is attributed to the gastric irritation that results from taking large doses.
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