Bilberry for Diabetes
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is a member of the blueberry family of herbs. Bilberry, Blueberry and huckleberry are a member of 100 species of the Vaccinium genus of plants. They are found throughout United States in woodlands, and forests.
Bilberries and blueberries are popular food in the summer months. They are a great source for Vitamin C, anti-oxidants, and they taste wonderful. Bilberries make very tasty jellies. Bilberry is used in herbal remedies as a tea, tincture, or syrup. You may also make it as a tea. Pick the berries in summer and freeze them for year round enjoyment.
Uses of Bilberry for Diabetes
The leaves and the ripe fruit of the bilberry species has long been used a folk remedy for treating diabetes. Traditionally, people used the leaves to control blood sugar. The leaves do lower blood sugar, but they do so by impairing the normal process of the liver. For this reason, use of the leaves is not recommended.
The berry is wonderful for people with diabetes. The berries herbal components may help improve the strength and integrity of blood vessels. Bilberry may help to reduce damage to these vessels associated with diabetes and other diseases, such as atherosclerosis.
Bilberries contain potent antioxidant activity. The antioxidants protect body tissues, particularly blood vessels, from oxidizing agents circulating in the blood. Bilberries actually contain the highest antioxidant level of any berry. Antioxidants allow these harmful oxidizing agents to bind to them instead of to body cells, preventing the agents from causing permanent damage to the lining of blood vessels.
Several studies have shown that bilberry extracts stimulate blood vessels to release a substance that helps dilate arteries and veins. This action will help with tingling sensations in the hands and feet. Bilberries help keep platelets from clumping together, which, in turn, thins the blood, prevents clotting, and improves circulation.
Bilberry preparations seem particularly useful in treating eye conditions. They also are used to treat cataracts, night blindness, and macular degeneration.
Bilberry Preparations and Dosage
By adding bilberries, blueberries, and huckleberries to your diet, you have done a great thing for your body. Bilberry is taken as raw fruit, teas, tinctures, syrups and extracts. Follow package directions.
Bilberry Precautions and Warnings
Bilberry leaves should not be taken internally.
Use of the berries is appropriate because they do not interfere with diabetes medications, and they can help prevent some complications of diabetes.
Check with your doctor before taking Bilberry if you are taking blood thinning medications.
Possible Side Effects of Bilberry
There are no side effects to the fruit of Bilberry.
The leaves contain chemicals that irritate the liver and should not be taken.