Bilberries - wonder fruits. Benefits and uses

Bilberry is a small shrub, common in Europe, in the western United States and Canada, as well as in northern Asia.
Under its modest appearance hides a true wonder plant.

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Bilberries - wonder fruits. Benefits and uses

The leaves contain tannins, quinic acid, flavonoid derivatives, ericolin.
The fruits contain organic acids (lactic, citric, quinic, malic), beta-carotene, pectin, vitamin C, anthocyanins, vitamin B complex, vitamin E, vitamin K, minerals.
Fruit and its leaves are used in herbal medicine since ancient times European:
- Slow down the aging of the body - due to antioxidants, especially anthocyanin and a large amount of vitamin C.
- Enhance immunity - thanks to vitamin C and mineral content (copper, selenium, zinc, iron) increases the concentration of oxygen and hemoglobin in the blood and tannins has an antibacterial role. Also, bilberries strengthen cell membranes, prevent viral infections and increase resistance to fever.
- Maintaining the health of nervous system - the content of vitamins and minerals prevents or ameliorates neurotic disorders, prevent degeneration of neurons and helps improve memory.
- Slows vision degradation - protects eye from cataract, glaucoma and retinal disorders.
- Reduces risk of heart disease and circulatory system diseases - rich content in powerful antioxidants and fiber helps to strengthen the heart muscle. Resveratrol prevents deposition of cholesterol and triglycerides in the arteries, helping to prevent arteriosclerosis and heart attack.
- Prevents and helps to cure digestive diseases - fibers, enzymes and organic acids in blueberries regulates intestinal transit and cleans the colon of debris. Vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.
- Reduce the risk of kidney disease and urinary tract infections - bacterial growth is reduced or stopped by the antibiotic properties of bilberries. Bilberries have diuretic action and healing for renourinare epithelia affected by the infection.
- Help in the fight against cancer - inhibits proliferation of colon cancer and slows the progression of ovarian cancer.
- Also, bilberries are used as an adjuvant in the treatment of diabetes, rheumatism, gout, and due to the large amount of vitamin C helps alleviate or eliminate unpleasant effects caused by viruses, fever, allergies, asthma or periodontal disease.

Both fruits and leaves are used in the pharmaceutical industry and homeopathic treatments, in the form of powder. From leaves can be prepared infusions or decoctions. From fruit can be prepared decoctions or natural juices.
Bilberries can be used as a natural dye, replacing artificial blue pigment.
Fresh fruit can be frozen.
In addition to medical uses, bilberries are very popular and gastronomy. From them are prepared ice cream, candy, cake, jam, pies, sauces, purees, juices, syrups, shakes, wines and other alcoholic beverages.

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