Bilberry is a plant. The dried, ripe fruit and leaves are used to make medicine.

Bilberry is used by mouth to treat poor circulation that can cause the legs to swell. Some people take bilberry for diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and many other conditions. But there is no good scientific research to support these other uses.

Bilberry is also sometimes used by mouth to treat eye conditions such as disorders of the retina, cataracts, nearsightedness, and glaucoma. There is some evidence that bilberry may help retinal disorders, but there is no good scientific evidence that bilberry is effective for treating other eye conditions.

In fact, bilberry was once commonly used for improving night vision. During World War II, British pilots in the Royal Air Force ate bilberry jam to improve their night vision, but later research showed it probably didn't help.

Bilberry is sometimes applied directly to the inside of the mouth for mild mouth and throat soreness.


Is a Form of:


Primary Functions:

Poor circulation that cause legs to swell

Also Known As:

Airelle, Arándano, Bilberry Fruit, Bilberry Leaf, Black Whortles, Bleaberry, Blueberry

How Does It Work?

Bilberry contains chemicals called tannins that can help improve diarrhea, as well as mouth and throat irritation, by reducing swelling (inflammation). There is some evidence that the chemicals found in bilberry leaves can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Some researchers think that chemicals called flavonoids in bilberry leaf might also improve circulation in people with diabetes. Circulation problems can harm the retina of the eye.


  • Poor circulation that can cause the legs to swell (chronic venous insufficiency or CVI).Some research suggests that taking bilberry extract by mouth can improve symptoms of swelling, pain, bruising, and burning in people with a circulation problem called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

Recommended Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • Poor circulation that can cause the legs to swell (chronic venous insufficiency or CVI): A bilberry extract containing 173 mg of anthocyanins has been taken daily for 30 days.

Bilberry Supplements Frequently Asked Questions

What is bilberry supplement good for?

The dried, ripe fruit and leaves are used to make medicine. Bilberry is used for improving eyesight, including night vision. Some people use bilberry for conditions of the heart and blood vessels including hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), varicose veins, decreased blood flow in the veins, and chest pain.

What are the side effects of bilberry?

Common side effects of Bilberry include:

  • Wasting syndrome (cachexia): weight loss, muscle loss, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite.
  • Yellowing skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Excitation at high doses (animal studies)
  • May affect blood sugar levels.

Is bilberry supplement safe?

Bilberries are considered safe for most people when consumed in typical amounts. However, the larger doses found in some supplements may be problematic, especially when taken over long periods ( 29 ). Bilberries may increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders or who take blood-thinning medications.

What is the best bilberry supplement?

Solgar Bilberry Ginkgo Eyebright Complex Plus Lutein

Antioxidant Rich Formula. The bottle contains 60 capsules of a blend of vitamins, minerals, lutein, ginkgo biloba, and carotenoids. This blend addresses overall eye health and contains antioxidants for eye support.

Can bilberry improve vision?

Bilberry is used for improving eyesight, including night vision. Bilberry is also used for treating eye conditions such as cataracts and disorders of the retina. There is some evidence that bilberry may help retinal disorders.

Does Bilberry raise blood pressure?

Eating bilberry fruit containing a high amount of a certain chemical, called anthocyanoside, seems to improve retina problems associated with high blood pressure. A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome).

How much bilberry should I take daily?

The typical dose of the dried, ripe berries: 20-60 grams daily. People also drink a type of tea made from 5-10 grams (1-2 teaspoons) of the mashed berries. A dose of 160 mg of bilberry extract taken twice daily has been used in people with diseased retinas.

Is bilberry good for dry eyes?

Bilberry Extract May Offer Benefits for Dry Eyes. A new study,1 published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, found that bilberry extract may provide some relief for dry eye symptoms. Dry eye symptoms impair visual function and can affect daily life and work productivity.

Can bilberry reverse cataracts?

Bilberry is often touted as a remedy for eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa.

Is bilberry good for kidneys?

Bilberry is also used for treating eye conditions such as cataracts and disorders of the retina. Bilberry is also used for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), hemorrhoids, diabetes, osteoarthritis, gout, skin infections, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

How long can you take Bilberry?

Bilberry fruit extracts are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for medicinal uses for up to one year. Also, a specific combination product containing bilberry and French maritime pine bark  has been used safely for up to 6 months.

Does Bilberry lower eye pressure?

Bilberry Lowers Hypertension in Eye Almost as Effectively as Medicated Drops. Mirtogenol and Latanoprost together also most effectively improved blood flow to the eyes, although they also did so individually as well, furthering normalizing ocular pressure.

Is Bilberry better than lutein?

An antioxidant, bilberry protects the body against free radical damage. It also provides dietary support for enhanced blood circulation and eye health. Lutein is an important carotenoid present in the macula or central area of the retina.

Does bilberry help macular degeneration?

Supplementing with bilberry may help prevent and treat early-stage macular degeneration. Bilberry's active flavonoid compounds, anthocyanosides, act as antioxidants in the retina of the eye. Bilberry has also been shown to strengthen capillaries and to reduce bleeding in the retina.

Does bilberry help glaucoma?

There is some data indicating that bilberry may improve night vision and recovery time from glare, but there is no evidence that it is effective in the treatment or prevention of glaucoma.

Can you overdose on bilberry?

Bilberry is possibly unsafe if you take it in high doses or for a long time. Do not use different forms (tablets, liquid, tincture, teas, etc) of bilberry at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.

What foods contain bilberry?

Bilberries naturally contain substances known as tannins (found in many foods such as coffee, tea, red wine, blueberries, cranberries, chocolate, and some nuts and beans).

Is bilberry a blood thinner?

Anticoagulants (blood-thinning medication): In theory, because the anthocyanosides in bilberry may stop blood from clotting, there may be an increased risk of bleeding if you take bilberry with blood-thinning medication, including aspirin. The whole fruit may be safer in these instances.

What's the difference between blueberries and bilberries?

Differences Between a Bilberry and a Blueberry

The bilberry is a very deep blue—not unlike a blueberry—and has a slight grey bloom to it. The taste is completely different from a blueberry, as the bilberry is very acidic.


Clinical Studies