|See Also||Botanical Monographs|
Bilberry (Vaccinum myrtillus) is best known as a herb for eye health. To explore the characteristics, medicinal uses and prescribing considerations of this herb in more detail, check out the references indicated. , 
- Common Names: Bilberry (Europe), Huckleberry (western North America), Blueberry (North America), Whortleberry
- Family: Ericaceae
- Habitat: Native to England, Europe, Asia in mountainous areas; a circumpolar genus meaning that it is found in the vicinity of the polar regions.
- Parts Used: Berry, leaf
- Constituents: Leaf: Flavonoids (flavones), hydroquinine, tannic acid; Berry: Ascorbic acid, tannic acid, quinic acid, flavonoids, anthocyanidin pigments (found mostly in the skin)
- Medicinal Actions: antidiarrheal, laxative, nutrient, alterative, astringent, anti-inflammatory gastrointestinal, antioedematous, antioxidant, cardiac tonic,
- Eye Health
- Other Uses
- Acute or chronic dysentery/summer diarrhea due to ingestion of contaminated water
- Mouth or throat ulcers, aphthous ulcers (gargle, take internally)
- Cystitis with urgency and anuria or oliguria (better efficacy in alkaline pH)
- Diabetes mellitus, glucose in the urine, hyperglycemia (as tea three times daily or a tincture)
- Diarrhea in infants and adults (dried or made into a decoction, Sig. 1 Tbsp every 1-3 hours); also take for acute emesis (vomiting)
- Stomatitis, gingivitis, chronic pharyngitis, glossitis, periodontitis, smoker's cough (infusion form the dried better, gargle, or consume internally)
- Degenerative retinal disease, atherosclerosis
The information provided is intended to augment the treatment from a naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional. Although most herbs are generally safe, it is recommended that you avoid self-prescribing especially when there is an underlying ongoing medical condition, if you are on any prescription medications or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Formulations and Preparation
- Tincture - Leaf 30 drops three times daily
- Dried berry - 20-60g once daily (~1/4 cup)
- Berry - 15g, boil 3 Tbsp in 500mL of water for 10 minutes, drink 1 glass daily; also beneficial to buy and freeze blueberries, can consume juice from berries
- Decoction - Leaf, 1-3 Tbsp/0.5L of water, boil for 10 minutes, let leaves steep for a few minutes as they are quite leathery, strain, drink three times daily
- Standardized extract - 25% anthocyanidin content, 160-250mg daily
- Topical - 10% decoction of berry
- Generally regarded as safe.
- Side-effects are generally not seen.
- Drug-Herb Interactions. 
- Antiplatelet Thromboprophylactics (e.g., Aspirin) - Potential or theoretical adverse interaction of uncertain severity, improbable interaction; Vaccinum potentially interacts with antiplatelets causing an additive pharmacodynamic increase in antiplatelet activity. This may theoretically increase the likelihood of bleeding disorders related to disturbances in primary hemostasis.
- Boon Heather, Smith Michael (2009) 55 Most Common Medicinal Herbs: The Complete Natural Medicine Guide Second Edition Institute of Naturopathic Education and Research, CCNM Toronto.
- Godfrey Anthony, Saunders Paul, Barlow Kerry, Gowan Matt (2011) Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine, Advanced Botanical Medicine. V3 CCNM Press, Toronto.
- Stargrove Mitchell Bebell, Treasure Jonathan, McKee Dwight L (2008) Herb, Nutrient and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies.
- Brinker Francis (2010) Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions: Plus Herbal Adjuncts With Medicines, 4th Edition Eclectic Medical Publications.