Close-up wild blueberries

What Is Bilberry? Top 4 Health Benefits & Incredible Bilberry Herbal Remedies


Close-up wild blueberries

If you look at the image above and think those are blueberries, you’d be close but just a little off. Bilberries (wild blueberries) and blueberries look very similar, with bilberries having a slightly darker outer appearance. However, the inner flesh reveals a stark difference. 

When you bite into a blueberry, the inner flesh is usually a pale yellowy-green color, while bilberries have vivid red flesh. This difference impacts taste, with bilberries having a more robust flavor that is fruity, tangy, and mildly sweet. 

While we all know that blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants and other essential nutrients, bilberries have even more antioxidants than blueberries! They also have more potassium, manganese, vitamin E, and vitamin C — all of which can greatly benefit our health! 

Unfortunately, it’s challenging to find fresh bilberries in the United States (at least in your local grocery store). But bilberry supplements can help support your body with their many incredible health benefits!

1. Supports Better Eye Health

One of bilberries’ most praised health benefits is its support for eye health, whether dry eyes, eyes strained from too much screen time or more serious eye conditions. Science has made some amazing discoveries about the effect of bilberries on the eyes in recent years! Here are just a few of the studies we found. 

A 12-week randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled trial studied the effect of bilberries on the ciliary muscle in the eyes (which essentially helps your eye focus on close objects). The researchers found that oral consumption of bilberry extract supported these muscles for near-vision tasks! 

According to Mount Sinai, bilberries were used by British fighter pilots in World War II to help them improve nighttime vision, and they may even be a helpful treatment for retinopathy (damaged retinas). 

Another study monitored patients with dry eye disease over three months. It concluded that those taking the bilberry extract and fish oil supplement once a day experienced improvements in the symptoms of severe dry eyes. 

To encourage healthier eyesight and vision, try these: 

  • Eye Formula Capsules: This herbal blend contains bilberry, carrot, eyebright, rosehip, and other supportive herbs to promote healthy vision and eye function. This formula may help with tired eyes, poor eyesight, reduced night vision, glaucoma, and even the prevention of eye-related problems. Some also find it helpful for allergies or sinus infections! 
  • Eye Formula Extract: Created from the same fantastic herbs as our Eye Formula Capsules, but in a potent extract. Simply take 30 to 40 drops in a small glass of water several times a day or as directed by your doctor to support improved eye health. 
  • Bright Eyes Snack Mix: Love keeping snacks on hand? You’ll adore this supportive snack mix made with bilberries, goji berries, crystallized ginger chips, and dried blueberries to pack an antioxidant punch throughout the day. 
  • Eye See You Tea: This scrumptious tea has an orange-blueberry flavor and all the best antioxidant-rich herbs and berries to support your eye health. 

2. May Reduce Inflammation

We’ve already touched on bilberries’ incredible antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content, so it should come as no surprise that this superfood may reduce inflammation in the body.

It’s believed that bilberries may reduce inflammation due to their strong anthocyanin content (a type of antioxidant). 

Bilberries are one of the richest natural sources of this type of antioxidant and have been reported to promote antioxidant defense and reduce oxidative stress. This means they may help with treating or preventing inflammation in the body due to many health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hyperglycemia, and more. 

A 2022 research review shared that bilberry supplementation in the form of fruits (whether frozen, processed, or whole), juices, and anthocyanins lowered inflammatory marker levels in most clinical studies of metabolic disorders. This research demonstrates that bilberry may support the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders. 

3. Supports Heart Health

Mount Sinai shares that many studies show that anthocyanosides (one of the main ingredients in bilberries) may strengthen blood vessels, prevent the oxidation of LDL, aka “bad” cholesterol, and improve circulation in the body. While more research is needed, these are remarkable findings! 

Cholesterol levels can become a risk factor for plaque build-up in the blood vessels, which may lead to blockages, increasing an individual’s risk for stroke and heart attack. 

For example, hypercholesterolemia is one of the biggest risks for cardiovascular disease, which bilberries have been shown to impact. Bilberries significantly upregulated the transporters for cholesterol and had other effects on the participants’ bodies that suggested they may help prevent hypercholesterolemia, improving and supporting the participant’s heart health. 

4. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Last but certainly not least, one of bilberry’s most purported health benefits is its impact on blood sugar levels. 

An 8-week study reported that a diet with bilberries increased overall insulin secretion in adults with metabolic syndrome, a type of condition that can increase your chances of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. 

These same participants also experienced better glycemic control when sticking to a diet rich in bilberries. 

Bilberry Herbal Remedies

If you’re interested in incorporating bilberries into your diet after learning all about its many wonderful, supportive benefits, here are a few of our favorite options: 

  • Bilberry Berry Capsules: These capsules make it super easy to encourage your health. Bilberries have traditionally been used to support the vascular system, a healthy venous tone, anemia, eyesight, and so much more! 
  • Vitamin C Facelift Tea: If you’ve been feeling worn down, try our delightful Vitamin C Facelift Tea. Vitamin-C-rich herbs, like elderberry, bilberry, and dandelion leaf, encourage a boost in energy and even toning of the facial muscles. Vitamin C is a known anti-inflammatory, so this is an excellent choice for anyone looking to promote better energy levels and reduce inflammation. 
  • Bilberry Berry Extract: A concentrated extract that provides a burst of bilberry to your diet. Ideal for supporting healthy eyesight function, inflammation levels, blood sugar, and more. 
  • Fuel Source Power Shake: If you’re interested in giving yourself an AMAZING boost first thing in the morning, try this antioxidant-rich shake mix crafted with acai berry, blueberry juice, bilberry juice, apple, cranberry, and so many other energy-boosting ingredients! Perfect for a strong morning start or drinking before a workout. 


Interested in learning more about bilberries’ “sister,” the blueberry? Read our previous article on this superfood here. 

Thanks for reading! 

Herbalist Natalie & Herbalist Leilah


Natalie Hajdu-Voakes is a consulting Herbalist with over 27 years of hands-on experience and the owner of The Herb Stop. 
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