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Health Benefits of Bilberry Tea

Updated on May 15, 2014
Alison Graham profile image

Alison is a freelance writer on health, nutrition, skincare, and pets, especially cats and dogs.

Find out about the health benefits of Bilberry Tea
Find out about the health benefits of Bilberry Tea | Source

Summary of Bilberry Tea Benefits

Use this herbal tea for:

  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset Stomach
  • Eye health and vision
  • Digestive tract health
  • Mouth sores and ulcers
  • Sore throat and inflammation
  • Cystitis and urinary tract infections

Bilberry tea is made from the fruits and leaves of a shrub native to Europe and Asia. The leaves are very colorful, changing to a vivid red throughout the season. The ripe berries are black but have a downy covering that gives them a blue appearance.

The tea can contain fruits, leaves or a combination of both. Many people take this tea, particularly for eye health and for its effect on reducing blood sugar - although it is not suitable for Diabetics who need to take medication.

It is also very helpful for protecting against upset stomach and urinary tract infections and for these two reasons, the teabags are a very popular addition to 'holiday essentials' packing lists! Bilberry tea contains a substance that naturally inhibits the growth of those bacterial 'nasties', the micro-organisms that grow in the intestinal tract and cause the symptoms of 'holiday tummy' including diarrhea and dysentery.

When Not To Use Bilberry Tea

Do Not Use If:

  • You are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • You have surgery scheduled. Stop taking Bilberry tea at least two weeks before any planned surgery. This is because it could cause a problem with control of your blood sugar during and after your surgery.
  • You take insulin or by mouth medications for the control of Diabetes.
  • You take anticoagulant or anti-platelet drugs to slow blood clotting.
    You should not take the leaf tea for prolonged periods as Bilberry tea side effects may include excessive lowering of blood sugar.

How To Make Bilberry Tea

The simplest and most convenient way is to use teabags.

I recommend Alvita Bilberry Tea bags because they contain only top quality ingredients, they contain no caffeine, the bags are not chlorine bleached and there are no strings or staples in the pack.

To make your tea using these teabags, just place one bag in a porcelain or glass tea cup and pour on up to 6 fluid ounces of boiling water. Leave the teabag to steep in the water for around three minutes and gently press the teabag against the side of the cup with the back of a teaspoon when removing to get maximum flavor.

Bilberry Tea needs a little bit of added sweetener but is delicious served iced.
Bilberry Tea needs a little bit of added sweetener but is delicious served iced. | Source

Making Tea From Whole Dried Bilberries

Frontier Natural Products Whole Bilberry Berry -- 16 oz
Frontier Natural Products Whole Bilberry Berry -- 16 oz

Making your own tea from whole, dried bilberries is easy to do:

Just use about half a teaspoon of the dried berries per cup, pour over boiling water, leave to steep for up to five minutes according to taste, strain and serve.

 

Making Bilberry Leaf Tea

Frontier Bulk Bilberry Leaf, Cut & Sifted, 1 lb. package
Frontier Bulk Bilberry Leaf, Cut & Sifted, 1 lb. package

This tea has a very different taste although it has similar properties to tea made with the dried fruits.

Use one to two teaspoons of the dried leaves for each cup, pour on boiling water and leave to steep for up to ten minutes. Strain and serve.

 

Editor's Note. A tea ball is very useful if you want to make a single cup using either the dried fruit or leaves. It allows the flavors to infuse in the boiling water without the need for straining afterwards - just lift out the tea ball and it is ready to drink.

Directions
To prepare as a tea, pour 8 oz. boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of herb. Cover and steep for 5-10 minutes, strain and serve immediately.

Bilberry tea can be quite bitter so natural honey is the best sweetener if you find the bitterness does not suit your palate. It is also delicious when served chilled from the refrigerator or with ice.

Alternative Names for Bilberry

You may come across Bilberry called by a number of other names.

Airelle, Arándano, Black Whortles, Bleaberry, Brimbelle, Burren Myrtle, Dwarf Bilberry, Dyeberry, European Blueberry, Feuille de Myrtille, Fruit de Myrtille, Gueule Noire, Huckleberry, Hurtleberry, Mauret, Myrtille, Myrtille Européenne, Myrtilli Fructus, Raisin des Bois, Swedish Bilberry, Trackleberry, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium corymbosum, Whortleberry, Wineberry.

The list above is published on the website of the University of Maryland Medical Center

Bilberry tea could help if "holiday tummy" strikes!
Bilberry tea could help if "holiday tummy" strikes! | Source

What Do You Think?

Would you consider using Bilberry tea for the health conditions discussed?

See results

Directions For Treating Different Conditions With Bilberry

  • Diarrhea or Dysentery
    Make double strength tea with two teabags per cup or glass and take two to three times a day until symptoms subside. After this, take one cup once a day until completely recovered.
  • Eye Problems
    If you feel your eyes do not adapt well to darkness, when driving, for example, or if you are suffering from eyestrain after concentrating for long periods at your computer or on craft projects, use Bilberry teabags daily to strengthen your vision. Many people also take the tea to protect their eyes against the degenerative eye problems that can occur with age, such as macular degeneration.
  • Throat Infections, Sore Throat and Mouth, Mouth Ulcers
    Use Bilberry tea as a gargle two to three times a day when you have acute symptoms and during colds or flu. It is very soothing and healing.

Grow Your Own Bilberries

Bilberry is a plant with many beneficial uses. The fruits are similar to blueberries (although smaller) and can be made into jam and used in pies. In WWII, RAF pilots and Bomber crews were said to be particularly fond of Bilberry Jam as they said it improved their night vision!

The plant grows as a small woody shrub, about 18" high and can be successfully grown in gardens.

Plant about 12" apart if you have room for more than one but if not, the plant is self fertile so you will still get fruits.

Leaves and Fruits can be harvested and dried or frozen ready for use in herbal tea.


I hope you have enjoyed this article and that if nothing else, it may encourage you to pack a few Bilberry tea bags when you are off on vacation!

© 2014 Alison Graham

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Entourage_007 profile image

    Stuart 

    3 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

    I knew that bilberry tea or bilberry supplements were great for eye health but I had no idea that bilberry was such a great remedy for so many other ailments. Thanks

  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    3 years ago from UK

    Thanks poetryman - I'm glad you found my hub interesting and hope you will try some Bilberry Tea too!

  • poetryman6969 profile image

    poetryman6969 

    3 years ago

    I did not know there were so many different names for bilberry. Thanks for the interesting information.

  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    3 years ago from UK

    Thank you Kristen, I am really getting into my herbal teas now, the latest is turmeric, ginger and green tea - it's delicious with a tiny bit of honey added!

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 

    3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    I never heard of bilberry tea. I would love to give it a try sometime. Voted up!

  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    4 years ago from UK

    thanks techygran for your input - I had never heard of using bilberry tea as an eyewash, I will be looking into this myself! Great to have some first-hand feedback and thanks also for the vote up and share, so glad you liked my hub, I appreciate it.

  • techygran profile image

    Cynthia 

    4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

    My hubby uses bilberry for his eyes, as a wash, of all things. He often has small shotglasses of the tea in his office. I am interested that the berries made into jam can also help the vision! Great hub! Voted up and shared!

  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    4 years ago from UK

    Thanks KoffeeKlatch Gals, I am glad you found my article interesting, I am researching other herbal teas at the moment and plan to write more!

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Hazelton 

    4 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Interesting look at bilberry tea. I am amazed to see how many things it is good for.

  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    4 years ago from UK

    Than epbooks and jo miller for your encouragement and taking the time to leave me a comment on my article about the benefits of bilberry tea. Remember it is bitter though so you will probably need some sweetener!

  • jo miller profile image

    Jo Miller 

    4 years ago from Tennessee

    I haven't heard about this tea but may need to try it. Very well-done article and great information.

  • epbooks profile image

    Elizabeth Parker 

    4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    This is very good to know. Thanks for sharing!

  • Alison Graham profile imageAUTHOR

    Alison Graham 

    4 years ago from UK

    Thanks peachpurple and thank you prasetio30 for the vote up. I hope that reading about the uses for Bilberry tea might come in useful in the future.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 

    4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    thanks for yr share

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 

    4 years ago from malang-indonesia

    I had never heard about bilberry tea. Thanks for sharing with us. Voted up and take care!

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