Vaccinium myrtillus

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(bill-beh-ree) ,

Vaccinium myrtillus

(trade name)


Therapeutic: ocular agents
Visual acuity improvement, atherosclerosis, venous insufficiency, varicose veins, diabetes mellitus, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcer disease, osteoarthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome.


Anthocyanidins in bilberry have a variety of effects including increased glycosaminoglycans synthesis, decreasing vascular permeability, reducing membrane thickness, redistribution of microvascular blood flow and formation of interstitial fluid.

Therapeutic effects

Decreased inflammation.
Decreased edema.
Decreased blood glucose.
Improved circulation.


Absorption: Unknown.
Distribution: Unknown.
Metabolism and Excretion: Eliminated by the kidneys.
Half-life: Unknown.

Time/action profile



Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity or allergy to bilberry; Leaves are potentially toxic with chronic use of 1.5 g/kg/day.
Use Cautiously in: Diabetic patients; Patients at risk for bleeding; Obstetric: Avoid use in pregnancy due to lack of safety data.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


  • low blood sugar


  • diarrhea
  • upset stomach


  • bleeding
  • bruising


May ↑ effects of anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs and ↓ platelet activity.May ↑ effects of antidiabetic agents and cause hypoglycemia.Avoid use with chromium-containing herbs and supplements (bilberry contains chromium).Avoid use with herbs with hypoglycemic properties.
Oral (Adults) 80-480 mg of bilberry extract daily in 2-3 divided doses.


Liquid extract:
Softgel capsules:

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Monitor BP periodically during therapy, coagulation panel, blood glucose.
  • Lab Test Considerations: Monitor coagulation studies in patients on anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents.
    • Monitor blood glucose periodically during therapy. May cause hypoglycemia.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Activity intolerance (Indications)
Diarrhea (Indications)


  • Administer without regard to food.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take bilberry as directed.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Improvement in vascular insufficiency.
  • Decrease in diarrhea.


Herbal medicine
A shrub, the berries of which contain anthocyanosides; bilberry is said to prevent atherosclerosis, and has been used internally for eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, myopia, night blindness, diabetes) and GI complaints (colic, constipation, diarrhoea, hypertension), and externally for burns, haemorrhoids, dermatitis, spider nevi and varicose veins.

Vaccinium myrtillus,

n See bilberry.
References in periodicals archive ?
Woody plants were less responsive to fluctuations in the NAO: flowering by Calluna vulgaris and Vaccinium myrtillus, and leaf emergence by Betula odorata, covaried with the NAO on less than half of the sites (Table 2).
Despite the existence of the black alder in these facies of the ash woodlands, they differ from the latter by the presence of many plants that are absent or are very rare in them, such as Ajuga reptans, Cardamine impatiens, Castanea sativa, Erica arborea, Heracleum sphondylium, Holcus mollis, Hyacinthoides nonscripta, Ilex aquifolium, Mercurialis perennis, Oxalis acetosella, Polypodium vulgare, Primula acaulis, Quercus robur, Ranunculus tuberosus, Ruscus aculeatus, Sorbus aucuparia, Ulmus glabra, Vaccinium myrtillus, Valeriana montana and Woodwardia radicans, but are very common in the ash tree woodlands as a whole (Table 7).
del Brocuso, 30TYN1241, Calluna y Vaccinium myrtillus, rocas acidas, 1700 m, 6-IX-1991, T.
In a human study, 14 diabetic or/and hypertensive outpatients with vascular retinopathy underwent therapy with Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) anthocyanosides (160 mg b.
For the rhizomatous species Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, and Deschampsia flexuosa, we calculated the mean depth for emerging shoots.
henriquesii, Polygonatum verticillatum, Quercus pyrenaica, Saxifraga spathularis, Vaccinium myrtillus o Viola riviniana); cuando estas aparecen, lo hacen en hayedos situados en la proximidad de comunidades vegetales de caracter silicicola.
Wavy-hair grass Deschampsia flexuosa dominated the herbaceous layer in the young forest plantations, whereas bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus was the most common understory plant in older forest.
Effect of Vaccinium myrtillus anthocyanosides on ischaemia reperfusion injury in hamster cheek pouch microcirculation.
Various parameters of renal toxicity were analysed before and after the administration of Mirtoselect (extract of Vaccinium myrtillus L).
cinerea, siendo algo mas escasas Lithodora prostrata, Erica vagans, Cytisus cantabricus, Vaccinium myrtillus, Hedera helix, Teucrium scorodonia, Lonicera periclymenum y Pterospartum tridentatum subsp.
Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) increases the strength of capillaries to help microcirculation.