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One wonders whether bilberry served as an inspiration to Hippocrates when he proclaimed, “let your food be your medicine.” After all, this wonderful berry not only makes delicious jams, pies and syrups but also is an important member of the herbal pharmacy.

To gain further appreciation of its health benefits, it is possible to study bilberry (as well as other herbs) through the lens of herbal astrology in order to more clearly perceive how this botanical remedy may nurture health and well-being.

Jupiter Rules Bilberry

Bilberry is governed by the planet Jupiter, which rules the sign Sagittarius and co-rules the sign Pisces. The astrological energy of Jupiter is like a shining spotlight that illuminates everything around you. In doing so, it expands your boundaries and inspires adventures of exploration whose goals are learning and understanding.

In medical astrology, Jupiter rules the arterial portion of the circulatory system as well as the liver. It is also related to the processes of growth and expansion occurring in the body. As Jupiter has an affinity for movement, it is thought to play a significant role in enhancing the flow of the vital force throughout the body.

Bilberry and its Components

While both the fruit and leaves of bilberry were traditionally used for their healing properties, the fruit has become more popular in modern day healthcare applications. The bilberry fruit resembles a currant in size, and possesses a gleaming, Jupiterian purplish hue. Its color comes from its anythocyanidin pigments, which confer important wellness-promoting properties. Bilberry’s phytochemical palette also includes flavonoids and tannins.

Bilberry and Vascular Health

Bilberry’s spectrum of flavonoids supports the health of the Jupiter-associated vascular (blood vessel) system. These phytochemicals have been shown to inhibit the aggregation, or clumping together, of blood platelets. The flavonoids also bestow vascular protection by strengthening tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that oftentimes become fragile with aging.

Through its ability to fortify the capillaries, bilberry has been shown to have positive effects in treating symptoms associated with varicose veins. In clinical studies, patients who took bilberry reported a reduction in the feelings of heaviness, pain and burning in their legs. As our legs provide us with the ability to move from place to place, and Jupiter governs locomotive action, we see how Jupiter-ruled bilberry can positively affect the health of body parts associated with this important planet.

Bilberry and Eye Health

There is a growing body of research supporting the positive effect that bilberry can have on eye health. Modern scientific research on bilberry and eye health can be traced back to World War II Royal Air Force pilots. Pilots who consumed bilberry jam during nighttime air raids claimed that it improved their nocturnal vision. The experiences of these pilots, who benefited from Jupiter-ruled bilberry during Jupiter-ruled travel journeys, encouraged twentieth century researchers to investigate its effects on vision health.

Bilberry may benefit the eyes through a variety of different mechanisms. It seems to positively affect nighttime vision through its ability to regenerate rhodopsin (visual purple), a compound that helps the eyes to adapt to light and dark. Bilberry also possesses antioxidant activity thought to be even greater than vitamin C or vitamin E, and therefore may protect the eyes from structural and functional damage caused by free radicals. Bilberry is widely used in Europe to prevent and treat such ocular conditions as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and impaired nighttime vision.

Other Uses of Bilberry

Bilberry is also used to treat acute diarrhea, mild mouth ulcerations and inflamed sore throats. These uses are approved by the German Commission E. It is thought that bilberry exerts these beneficial effects because it is naturally rich in tannins and possesses astringent properties, a traditional hallmark of many Jupiter-ruled plants.

How to Use Bilberry

Bilberry is available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tinctures, tea and fresh berries. If choosing a capsule form, it is recommended to use one that features an extract standardized to contain 25 percent anythocyanoside content; the suggested dosage level is 120-480 milligrams per day, taken in divided doses. If you prefer to use a liquid tincture, the suggested dose is one to two milliliters two times per day. To make a tea, take five to ten grams of crushed ripe fruit and boil it in 150 milliliters of water for ten minutes. You can drink up to six cups per day. For sore throats and mouth ulcers, you can use the tea as a gargle.

In recommended amounts, bilberry fruit seems safe and effective. The German Commission E Monograph on bilberry fruit lists no known contraindication or side effects.

It is important to always consult a licensed healthcare provider if you are thinking of using bilberry or other dietary supplements to treat any health condition. Additionally, you should tell your healthcare provider about all of the dietary supplements that you are taking so that s/he can evaluate any potential drug-supplement interactions.

Editor’s note: The health information given in this article is not meant as a substitute for care from a qualified physician. This information is given for educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe. StarIQ.com is not responsible for any mishaps that occur as a result of using this information.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stephanie Gailing, MS, CN, is a Certified Nutritionist, astrologer and freelance natural health writer. She holds her Masters Degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University, where she currently serves as adjunct faculty. Stephanie has been involved in the natural products industry for more than ten years, with experiences ranging from operating her own natural products retail store to serving as a marketing consultant for dietary supplement companies.

Send an email to the author.

For more information about Stephanie Gailing, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Stephanie Gailing:

  • Herbal Astrology: Cayenne   4/3/2003
  • Herbal Astrology: Valerian   11/6/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Vitex   9/4/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Chamomile   8/7/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Licorice   7/24/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Horse Chestnut   7/10/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Feverfew   6/5/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Hawthorn   5/22/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Milk Thistle   5/8/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: St. John's Wort   4/10/2000
  • Herbal Astrology: Garlic   3/20/2000

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