Find Side Effects by Drug Name: A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Bilberry


On this page



Introduction

This fact sheet provides basic information about bilberry—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Bilberry is a relative of the blueberry, and its fruit is commonly used to make pies and jams. It has been used for nearly 1,000 years in traditional European medicine. Bilberry grows in North America, Europe, and northern Asia.

Common Names—bilberry, European blueberry, whortleberry, huckleberry

Latin NamesVaccinium myrtillus

Top

What It Is Used For

  • Historically, bilberry fruit was used to treat diarrhea, scurvy, and other conditions.
  • Today, the fruit is used to treat diarrhea, menstrual cramps, eye problems, varicose veins, venous insufficiency (a condition in which the veins do not efficiently return blood from the legs to the heart), and other circulatory problems.
  • Bilberry leaf is used for entirely different conditions, including diabetes.

Top

How It Is Used

The fruit of the bilberry plant can be eaten or made into extracts. Similarly, the leaves of the bilberry plant can be made into extracts or used to make teas.

Top

What the Science Says

  • Some claim that bilberry fruit improves night vision, but clinical studies have not shown this to be true.
  • There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of bilberry fruit or leaf for any health conditions.

Top

Side Effects and Cautions

  • Bilberry fruit is considered safe. However, high doses of bilberry leaf or leaf extract are considered unsafe due to possible toxic side effects.
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.

Top

Sources

  • Bilberry. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Accessed July 2, 2007.
  • Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). Natural Standard Database Web site. Accessed June 28, 2007.
  • Bilberry fruit. In: Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckman J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000:16–21.

Top

For More Information

NCCAM Clearinghouse

The NCCAM Clearinghouse provides information on CAM and NCCAM, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.

Toll-free in the U.S.: 1-888-644-6226
TTY (for deaf and hard-of-hearing callers): 1-866-464-3615
Web site: nccam.nih.gov
E-mail: info@nccam.nih.gov

CAM on PubMed
Web site: nccam.nih.gov/camonpubmed/

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
Web site: ods.od.nih.gov

NIH National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus
Bilberry Listing: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-bilberry.html



PatientsVille.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information contained on PatientsVille.com site has not been scientifically or otherwise verified as to a cause and effect relationship and cannot be used to estimate the incidence of adverse drug reactions or for establishing or changing of patient treatments. Thank you for visiting Patientsville.com. Hope you enjoyed finding information on medications and found answers to Your Questions about medication side effects