The Bilberry plant is closely related to blueberries and currants, all of which belong to the genus Vaccinium. The whole fruits from these plants contain important tannins as well as vitamins A and C. The specific activity of Bilberry comes from concentrated fruit pigments called anthocyanins which have a specific strengthening effect on the walls of the vascular system.
Collagen protein in the vascular wall becomes stronger in the presence of Bilberry and the fine capillaries become less susceptible to leakage. Hemorrhoids and varicose veins are both examples of the weakened vascular tissues that can manifest during pregnancy and under stress.
The Bilberry fruit extract also possesses strong antibacterial and antiviral activity, mainly from the tannin compounds.
The usual application of Bilberry is for reducing eyestrain and improving night vision. In addition to helping the capillaries supply blood to the eyes, Bilberry pigment helps produce visual purple, an important chemical that helps convert light into electrical signals for the brain. Bilberry enhances vision in low light conditions often encountered by truck drivers, pilots, law enforcement and military personnel. Bilberry also reduces general eye strain which makes it particularly beneficial for students, computer operators, and anyone who must use their eyes for long periods without rest.