Information on bilberries has increased as they have grown in popularity. The benefits of this dark fruit have been researched extensively for their possible role in treating inflammation, urinary tract issues and vision problems, among others.
It is the small dark fruit of a deciduous shrub native to Europe, akin to the North American blueberry. They contain powerful antioxidants that neutralize potentially dangerous free radicals in the body.
They have been used in the treatment of menstrual cramps and alleviating ulcers.
They have also been utilized as an anti-inflammatory for the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat.
In order to get the maximum bilberry benefits, you have to make sure you are taking a supplement with standardized herbal extract of the pure fruit. Many products on the market do not use standardized extract, because it is much cheaper to produce. But beware, because these products do not contain enough active ingredient to offer you the benefits of bilberry.
Also, you must make sure that the product is manufactured at a facility that follows strict GMP compliance. These are the strictest manufacturing standards in the world - the same standards that pharmaceutical drugs have to follow - so you know that they are the highest quality products you can buy.
It's important to note that under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, herbal products are considered dietary supplements, so manufacturers do not have to guarantee the content or effectiveness of their products.
As a result many of these products contain very little or none of the ingredients they claim to (therefore, no benefits) or too much ingredient (dangerous!). Still others contain harmful contaminants that could cause serious damage to your body!
That's why you have to find a high quality bilberry supplement, one with standardized herbal extract, manufactured under GMP compliance by a well highly trained, highly credentialed product formulator.
You can purchase an individual bilberry supplement, or you can buy a more comprehensive product that includes the extract along with other herbs, vitamins and minerals. In our opinion, you are better off with the latter for many reasons.
Maximize the bilberry benefits
Many herbalists and scientists feel that you can achieve better results with a blend of herbs, vitamins and minerals in one formula. Here's why:
A) Many herbs, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients work together synergistically - often a blend of nutrients can work better together than one nutrient on its own. The therapeutic effect is enhanced by the nutrients working together.
For example: Bilberry can work together with other herbs such as gingko biloba and mahonia grape to help improve your vision. Vitamin E works in conjunction with Vitamin C in a similar fashion.
B) You can help several body systems at one time - For example, you can treat a condition with one herb, protect your body with another and make sure the condition does not return with yet another herb.
For example: Bilberry can prevent blood vessel constriction, while CoQ10 can protect your heart and ginger can lower your cholesterol.
C) Herbs can offset the possible side effects of each other - an herb that helps alleviate a problem in one area can help treat a slight side effect that may be caused by another.
For example: Bilberry could cause a mild side effect that is easily offset by green tea present in the formula.
Another fact to consider is that many bilberry products on the market don't even contain bilberry extract! It's hard to believe but it's true! This is the case with many different single and multi-herb products.
In a recent study, a test of 54 ginseng products found that 25% of them did not even contain ginseng! It's amazing what marketers will do when they don't have to account for the ingredients in their products!
So you can see how important it is to find a high quality product, and how a blend of herbs, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients may be more beneficial to your health than a single herb products, not to mention safer!
We have found an herbal supplement that meets all of the requirements we mentioned above:
The product is called Total Balance and it contains a synergistic balance of bilberry extract and other therapeutic herbs as well as essential nutrients for general health and well-being.
Many of our editors as well as our visitors have experienced success with Total Balance. They have used Total Balance for its bilberry extract as well as its many other therapeutic ingredients.
As with all heath supplements, please be sure to consult your physician or qualified herbal professional before taking any bilberry or herbal supplements.