What is bilberry?

What is bilberry ()? The use of bilberry in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.Bilberry is also known as Vaccinium myrtillus, bog bilberries, blueberries (variety of), and whortleberries.Bilberry has been used most commonly for diarrhea and mild inflammation of the mouth and throat. Other uses of bilberry have included kidney and urinary tract problems, arthritis, gout, skin problems, and declining vision.Bilberry has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity. All potential risks and/or advantages of bilberry may not be known. Additionally, there are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for these compounds. There have been instances where herbal/health supplements have been sold which were contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.Bilberry may also have uses other than those listed in this medication guide.