Author: Edward Kondrot, MD
Source: Healing The Eye The Natural Way, Alternative Medicine And Macular Degeneration
During World War II, British fighter pilots are said to have eaten bilberry preserves in order to improve their night vision. This practice probably grew out of folklore in Europe that considered bilberry to enhance sight. Bilberry is a plant known as Vaccinium myrtillus. The medicinal part is the fruit or berries, and closely resembles American huckleberries. The plant grows in Europe and the Rocky Mountain region.
Bilberry acts as an anti-oxidant in combating free radical damage and stabilizing collagen as well as strengthening capillaries. Although the leaves of the plant are poisonous, the fruit has no adverse reaction, even when taken in large amounts. In several studies, patients with various eye disorders ranging from myopia to macular degeneration, showed improvement in their vision a short time after taking bilberry. In another study, bilberry plus Vitamin E stopped the progression of cataracts in 97% of the patients on the regimen. Daily supplementation with Bilberry as it is included in a total eye formula is highly recommended.
Vitamin E taken with bilberry extract stopped the progression of senile cortical cataracts in 97% of the eyes of human subjects. Ann Ottalmol Clin Ocul, 1989.