Bilberry tea is made from a fruit that many associate with pie or jelly. The bilberry comes from a shrub that grows wild in Europe. It has small blue-colored berries that may be made into a tea.
It is a cousin to the blueberry, which is widely used in the United States in yogurts and pies. It is also related to the huckleberry and cranberry. The fruit of the bilberry is dark and smaller than the American blueberry. The bilberry plant grows in acidic and poor soil in mountainous regions of Europe.
Health food stores and online venues carry bilberry tea. You may also purchase dried bilberry and make the tea yourself.
To make this tea, you will need 1 to 3 teaspoons of bilberry and one cup of water. Place the bilberry in a cup. Boil the water. Add the hot water to the cup of bilberry. Allow the mixture to steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Then your fruity brew is ready to drink.
The bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) has been traditionally been used by healers to treat a number of illnesses, including scurvy, urinary tract infections, and kidney stones. It has also historically been used to treat diarrhea.
Modern healers use bilberry to improve night vision. This came about after British pilots during World War II noticed that they could see better at night after eating bilberry jam.
Bilberry tea is thought to help with atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries), bruises, cataracts, chest pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, circulation, diabetes, gout, macular degeneration, night blindness, retinopathy, and varicose veins.
It is sometimes used for sore throats and mouth ulcers. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as anti-aging and anticarcinogenic properties. Testing has shown that bilberry helps to lower blood sugar levels.
The bilberry has anthocyanosies, which is a bioflavonoid complex, that is a strong antioxidant. It is thought to increase the blood supply to the nervous system.
Women who are pregnant and those taking medications should consult with a physician prior to drinking or taking bilberry. Reports indicate that bilberry can cause dry eyes, upset stomach, and, in rare cases, an allergic reaction resulting in hives or difficulty breathing.
Additionally, bilberry can interact with NSAID drugs,
particularly aspirin. Be carefull drinking the tea in large amounts, as it may be poisonous at high doses. As with any
herb, too much can cause problems, so drink appropriately. Always check with your doctor before drinking herbal teas for medicinal purposes.