An herb that has been popular in improving poor night vision is Bilberry extract. The Bilberry plant is commonly described as a low growing shrub with origins in Northern Europe, North America, and Asia. It comes from a family of plants that are related to Blueberries and Cranberries. The Bilberry is available in different forms such as fresh frozen dried whole Berries, powdered products, as well as Jams, Juices, liquids. Additionally, it’s available as vitamin supplements in capsule form sold at your neighborhood health food store. One particularly interesting fact about Bilberry was that in the beginning it was never really regarded as an eye herb until World War 2. Therefore, if you have ever been interested in the history of this popular night vision herb, here are some interesting facts related to its discovery, earlier uses, and modern uses.

The first discovery of Bilberry as an eye herb was that the pilots of the Royal British Air Force noticed that it improved their night vision when they ate it in the form of a Bilberry jam. It improved their night vision to such an extent that they were able to successfully carry out their military missions in World War 2.

Bilberry was used by herbalists from the continent of Europe in the age of the Elizabethan Times. In this era, herbal remedies were created when Bilberries were combined with honey and this was used as a syrup that was a remedy for stomach problems. From a historical point of view, this particular herb was used for medicinal purposes. Some of these purposes included the use of the Bilberries as a remedy for conditions such as infections, kidney stones, and scurvy. Additionally, folk remedies were made with Bilberry as the leaves were used as a treatment for Diabetes. Interestingly, before its use by air force pilots to improve night vision, the herb was never considered a remedy for night vision problems.

Here are some of the modern uses of Bilberry: Today Bilberry is used as a remedy for poor night vision, tired or fatigued eyes in addition to various types of Retinopathy (diseases of the Retina that lead to a loss of vision that is commonly associated with Diabetes).

A study conducted on rats in 2005 showed that Bilberry Extract is beneficial in the prevention of Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. Rats with a senile form of Macular Degeneration and Cataracts were used for this study. For 1.5 to 3 months one group of these rats were given controlled diets alone while another group was supplemented with 25% of Bilberry Extract along with Vitamin E. After the 3 month period the group of rats on the controlled diet with no supplementation with Bilberry showed no improvement in their Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. However, those that were given Bilberry supplementation showed remarkable improvement. They actually showed no signs of damage in their eye lens and Retina. The conclusion of this study revealed that long-term supplementation with Bilberry Extract is an effective preventive measure against Cataracts and Macular Degeneration.

The history of Bilberry spans centuries dating back from the Elizabethan age where it was used for herbal, folklore, and medicinal purposes, to the era of World War 2, when air force pilots noticed it improved their night vision, enabling them to carry out successful military missions. Ultimately, scientific studies show that long – term supplementation, with this popular herb, is not only a nutritional solution for improving night vision but a helpful aid in preventing age-related vision disorders such as Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.




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