Scientific Name/Common Name: Vaccinium corymbosum (and other blueberry species including V. alaskaense, V. angustifolium, etc.) / Blueberry
Part(s) Used: Fruit
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Approximately 0.25% anthocyanins and several dimeric proanthocyanidins that decrease in concentration as the berries ripen. The berries also contain: approximately 30% invert sugar; up to 10% tannins, mostly catechol tannins and other polyphenols; over 1% fruit acids; several phenolic acids such as caffeic and chlorogenic acids; and pectins. One cup (148 g) of raw blueberries has about 14.4 mg of vitamin C (24% RDA).
Overview: Blueberries usually ripen between May and August (in the Northern hemisphere) and can be found nearly all around the globe. The ripe berries provide a variety of antioxidants. In particular, anthocyanins in the berries provide dietary support of eyesight and vascular problems. Commercial preparations of blueberry extract standardized to 25% anthocyanins can be taken for this purpose. European blueberry, or bilberry, is more commonly used in standardized extracts though as they are naturally higher in anthocyanins.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: As a source of antioxidants and vitamin C and to support the eyes and vascular system. Traditionally, blueberries were sometimes consumed to help with diarrhea.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
McAnulty SR, McAnulty LS, Nieman DC, Dumke CL, Morrow JD, Utter AC, Henson DA, Proulx WR, George GL. Consumption of blueberry polyphenols reduces exercise induced oxidative stress compared to vitamin C. Nutrition Research 2004;24:209-221.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.