Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is a shrub with edible fruits of blue color. The berries are preserved frozen, as jams and juices and are traditionally used both fresh and preserved in cooking, soups and desserts.
According to Wikipedia bilberry has been used for nearly thousand years in traditional European medicine. The fruits have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and diabetes. Bilberry leaves are used in traditional medicine for different conditions, including diabetes. The health effect of the leaves is slight decrease of blood sugar and the berries alleviate diarrhea. Dried berries contain plenty of tannins used in medical science. The tannins restrain diarrhea. The anthocyanins in the berries are used to prevent capillary bleedings. It has been perceived that the anthocyanins in the berries decrease the risk of diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer and eye diseases such as macular degeneration. The tannins and flavonoids act as antioxidants which laboratory tests have shown to decrease inflammations.
Bilberry includes many biologically active compounds, among other things the following: