Nature is capable of curing us with its medicines in the form of herbs. Bilberry is one of the nature’s premium gifts to humankind.
It is a shrub and produces berries. Its color ranges from dark purple to black. These berries have been in use for medicinal purposes for over 1000 years. This medicinal plant is known by different names: Huckleberry, European blueberry, Whortleberry, Myrtle Blueberry, Bleaberry, and Brimbelle.
Read on to find out how this magnificent herb can help you achieve a healthy state of the body.
Health and Medicinal Benefits
Until the Second World War, it was known to improve night vision. However, research conducted afterwards negated this theory.
Today, this medicinal plant is popularly used for curing menstrual cramps, lesions in the eye, diarrhea and for controlling blood sugar level in diabetics. It is also known to be of help against hardening of arteries or Atherosclerosis.
Bilberry is used for many other medical conditions. The list is as follows:
- Skin Problems
- Infection of the urinary tract
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Nevertheless, for the above diseases, its effectiveness is still debated.
What Makes Bilberry Work?
It contains chemicals named Tannis, which have been effective in curing diarrhea and inflammation of the throat. Tannis suppresses the level of glucose in the body. Therefore, people, who tend to have a high blood-sugar level, can normalize it by consuming this herb.
How It Is Consumed?
You can use this herb in various ways. The leaves and the fruit of the Bilberry plant are both useful. The fruit can be mashed made into jams and jellies. The leaves are used to make tea.
Quick Recipes: Bilberry Jam And Tea
In a preserving pan put about 3 pounds of properly cleaned and fresh Bilberries. Add I cup water, and 1 and ½ pound of sugar in it. Bring it to boil and keep it boiling for at least 40 minutes. The jam is ready. Store it while it is still hot in a screw-top jar.
Tea from this herb is made by using a dried form of Bilberry. You will need a tea ball for this preparation. Bring 1 cup of water in a saucepan to boil. Turn off the heat when the water is boiling strongly. Put 1 teaspoon of the herb in the tea ball and close it tightly. Soak the tea ball for at least 10 minutes in the hot water.
If you do not prefer strong tea, then soaking for 5 minutes is enough. The tea is ready. Pour it into a teacup and have it hot or cool, according to your liking.
Due to the presence of sugar in the jam, it is advisable that diabetics opt for the tea.
Side Effects Of The Plant
Bilberry has not been found to be causing side effects when it is consumed in food amounts. Its products in the form of powders and extracts have also proven safe for a majority of people. However, no research has been conducted to find out possible side effects for its long-term use.
Many people have suffered toxic reactions as a result of consuming its leaf or its extracts. It is known for its ability to reduce the sugar level in blood. Hence, it is necessary for people, especially who are diabetics, to keep an eye on their blood-sugar level.
When Should You Abstain From Consuming Bilberry?
There are two situations, when a person should absolutely avoid taking it:
- During pregnancy or breastfeeding: There is no evidence confirming that it is safe to consume this herb while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Hence, you should refrain from having it in any form during the entire period of pregnancy as well as breastfeeding.
- Surgery due in the next two weeks: Blood sugar is an important consideration pre and post-surgery. Bilberry causes fluctuation in the blood sugar level. Therefore, stop taking the herb at least two weeks prior to your scheduled surgery.
What Happens When It Is Consumed With Other Drugs?
When another drug, which provides the same benefits as Bilberry, is taken, there could be complications. For instance, anti-diabetes medicines keep blood sugar low. Consuming these medicines along with the herb will cause the blood sugar fall drastically. Similarly, a person might run the risk of excessive bleeding, if it is taken with an anti-coagulant drug.