Bilberry is a name given to several species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium that bear tasty fruits. The species most often referred to is Vaccinium myrtillus L., also known as European blueberry, blaeberry, whortleberry, whinberry myrtle blueberry, fraughan, and probably other names regionally.
Bilberry has been used for centuries, both medicinally and as a food in jams and pies. It is related to the blueberry and is native to Northern Europe. Bilberry fruit contains chemicals known as anthocyanosides, plant pigments that have excellent antioxidant properties. They scavenge damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, helping to prevent or reverse damage to cells.
This herb is becoming more important to the aging populations of the world. This fruit and its extracts have marvelous anti-aging properties. Bilberry was first studied for its effects on poor night vision. Indeed, regular use of the fruit results in quicker adjustment to darkness and glare and improved visual acuity both at night and in bright light during the day. Bilberry may be useful in the prevention and treatment of glaucoma since it strengthens connective tissue and prevents free radical damage.