Bilberry is a plant that is in the same family as the blueberry. Its berries and leaves have been used to treat eye problems, diabetes, and infections. It can be taken as a pill, juice, syrup, powder, or tea.
500 milligrams once per day
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
- Eye fatigue—may ease fatigue in people who use video screens A3
Not Enough Data to Assess
- Gingival inflammation A4
- Metabolic syndrome A1
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe to take bilberry for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Bilberry can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:
- Bilberry may raise your blood glucose. Talk to your doctor if you have diabetes.
- Bilberry may increase the effect of medicine that slows or prevents blood clots. It may raise the risk of bleeding.
A1. Kolehmainen M, Mykkänen O, et al. Bilberries reduce low-grade inflammation in individuals with features of metabolic syndrome. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 Oct;56(10):1501-1510.
A2. Kamiya K, Kobashi H, Fujiwara K, Ando W, Shimizu K. Effect of fermented bilberry extracts on visual outcomes in eyes with myopia: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Apr;29(3):356-359.
A3. Ozawa Y, Kawashuma M, et al. Bilberry extract supplementation for preventing eye fatigue in video display terminal workers. J Nutr Health Aging. 2015;19(5):548-554.
A4. Widén C, Coleman M, et al. Consumption of bilberries controls gingival inflammation. Int J Mol Sci. 2015 May 11;16(5):10665-10673.
Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 9/9/2019