Bilberry extract is a supplement that is derived from the ripe bilberries. It is available in tablet form. The side effects of this berry are rarely observed. This article provides information on the dosage and side effects of this supplement.
Bilberry is classified under the genus name Vaccinium that has many related species. The plants belonging to this genus are shrubs. They usually bear edible and berry type fruits. However, the shrub that is frequently used for therapeutic purpose is V. myrtillus. The bilberry fruits are similar to blueberries, except that the former is smaller in size and darker in shade. Another point of distinction is that the latter are borne in clusters, while the former develop singly or in pairs. These berries are also named as brimbelle, airelle, black whortles, dwarf bilberry, gueule noire, etc.
These fruits are consumed fresh or dried. They are also prepared as teas, juices, jams, pies, and flavored drinks. The extract/solution is the dietary supplement formulated from the berries. It is available in the form of tablets in different concentrations. The raw fruits as well as the supplements contain useful active ingredients called anthocyanidin (a type of flavonoid) and tannin, which helps in proper blood circulation and improving night vision.
While formulating the supplement for therapeutic uses, the anthocyanidin and tannin content are standardized to a certain concentration. In brief, the supplement contains a higher percentage of the active ingredients than the raw fruit. Similar to any herbal product, there are benefits as well as side effects of this solution. The contraindications develop due to an overdose of the supplement (i.e., when it is taken in a dose that is higher than the recommended concentration).
Dosage and Adverse Effects
Given below is the prescribed dose that helps to maintain healthy blood circulation and a good eyesight:
- Brimbelle solution – Approximately 60-160 milligrams per day
- Raw fruits – Approximately 20-60 grams per day
The factors that determine the appropriate dosage for an individual are age, general health, any underlying medical problem, and the objective of extraction. Also, the recommended dose may differ from one brand to another, based on the concentration of the active ingredients.
The contraindications of black whortles are rare, as long as the prescribed dose is not exceeded. The main reasons for developing unusual symptoms are overdose, the use of contaminated products, and medicine interactions. The reported adverse effects manifested after taking the brimbelle solution are:
- Diarrhea – The most common side effect of the solution is passing stool frequently. Such a condition usually resolves on its own within a few days.
- Skin Rashes – The infusion causes skin problems in a few people. Individuals allergic to berries are at a higher risk of developing this adverse effect than the others.
- Medicine Interaction – The infusion may interact with the anticoagulants, which in turn might lead to blood clotting problems. It is best not to consume the infusion with such medicines.
- Low Blood Sugar – The benefits of the extract include lowering the blood sugar level. Hence, diabetics who are on medication may experience stronger effects of the drugs, which might cause hypoglycemia.
- Weight Loss – If consumed over an longer period of time, the tannin content in the solution may lead to weight loss. Thus, ensure that you analyze the after-effects of taking the infusion.
Even though the side effects are not very serious, it is recommended to discontinue the supplement as soon as the unusual symptoms are observed. Before consumption, it is best to check with a herbalist, to find out if this berry is safe and beneficial for you. Pregnant women and those who are undergoing treatment for other health problems should take the supplement, only after consulting with a doctor.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.