Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
Main Facts about Bilberry
Similar to blueberries but ripe blueberries are white or light green inside, while bilberries are red or purple. Most often found singularly or in pairs, while blueberries are most often found in clusters .The fruit is smaller than that of the blueberry but with a fuller taste. Bilberries are darker in color, and usually appear near black with a slight shade of purple.
Using BilberryBilberry contains: vitamin C and bioflavonoids which help keep connective tissues healthy and strengthens small blood vessels and capillaries. Also contains resveratrol that keep skin youthful. Lowers blood pressure. Laboratory studies in rats have provided preliminary evidence that bilberry consumption may inhibit or reverse eye disorders such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Also has a strong effect on lowering blood sugar. Very astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory. Dried berry and leaf tea used for diarrhea, diabetes, dysentery, diuretic, scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), mouth inflammations, stop bleeding, arthritis, hardening of arteries, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, rebuilding connective tissue (skin, wrinkles)
Cooking with BilberryThe fruits can be eaten fresh or made into jams, juices or pies. In some countries they are used as a base for liqueurs and a flavouring for sorbets and other desserts. In depth research has proved that regular consumption of Bilberry tea can improve vision by strengthening the retina and blood vessels of the walls in the eyes. Another benefit of Bilberry tea is that it reduces blood sugar levels and cholesterol, which in turn helps diabetics and reduces the risk of a heart attack for those with heart conditions.
How to grow BilberryBilberries, short woody shrubs, prefer to grow in acidic, nutrient poor and subarctic soils throughout the world. Bilberries are extremely difficult to grow, have small fruits, and are thus seldom cultivated. Berries are mostly collected from wild plants.