Occurrence & cultivation of the blueberryBlueberries also have an anti-inflammatory effect, which is why the juice of the fruit can be used as a gargle in mild inflammation in the mouth or throat.
Even today, the blueberry is still considered an all-rounder of natural medicine: It is used in gastrointestinal diseases, has a preventative effect against civilization diseases such as cancer or diabetes and is considered a natural anti-aging agent that slows the external and internal aging of the human body. The blueberry is also a popular fruit on the diet of dieters, as it is not only absolutely low in calories, but also supported by various ingredients the process of losing weight.
The blueberry, which is also popularly referred to as blueberry, mulberry, wild berry or blackberry, is a species of the heather family. However, commercial blueberry berries are a species native to the American blueberry and not native to Europe. The blueberry is generally distributed in all Nordic and temperate climates in Europe and Asia.
It prefers a base and nutrient-poor soil, which the semi-shade plant preferably finds in deciduous and coniferous forests, especially in pine and mountain spruce forests, as well as in mountain and moor landscapes. The blueberry is a deep root, so it forms roots of up to one meter, and feeds with the help of root fungi of raw humus.
The heather plant is highly susceptible to frost: even in late frost, it can be significantly damaged, in heavy frost, the plant usually freezes completely. In this case, the rhizome remains intact and can drive out again in the spring.
Effect & application
The use of blueberry as a medicinal plant is varied: its dried, fresh or frozen fruits are used to treat all symptoms and complaints, the type of intake ranges from the natural raw berry to the pharmaceutical preparation. The blueberry contains a variety of different ingredients that have a positive effect on the human organism or can promote healing in specific diseases.
Thus, the fruit of the bilberry mainly contains phytochemicals such as anthocyanidins, catechols, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, fruit acids, pectins and invert sugars. Phenolecarboxylic acids, arbutin, hydroquinone, tannins, quinolizidine alkaloids and chromium and manganese are found in the leaves of the plant. The field of application of the individual active ingredients is wide-ranging and already begins with digestion.
Dried bilberries are an effective means of preventing diarrhea due to their high tannin content and their high concentration of pectins, while the consumption of larger amounts of fresh fruits has a laxative effect and is therefore often used as a natural remedy for constipation. Blueberries also have an anti-inflammatory effect, which is why the juice of the fruit can be used as a gargle in mild inflammation in the mouth or throat.
The anthocyanidins contained in the berries also have a regenerating effect on disease-induced brittleness of the capillary systems - they stabilize them and counteract the concomitant symptoms of various diseases such as diabetes. But also in gastrointestinal ulcers, diseases of the retina or vision disorders at dusk or at night find blueberries, here mostly in the form of finished preparations, their application.
Controversial, however, is the preparation and use of blueberry leaves. Although these are considered to lower blood sugar due to their high chromium content, however, they cause signs of intoxication after prolonged consumption, which is why the possible medical usability of the bilberry leaves is still unclear.
Importance for Health, Treatment & Prevention
However, the blueberry can not only be used to treat acute ailments, but also has a strong preventive effect. In most cases, the regular consumption of fruits helps to prevent diseases effectively and also supports the adequate nutrition of the human body. In addition to secondary, the blueberry also contains a variety of vital primary plant substances, which must be supplied to the human organism through the daily food intake. In particular, their high content of iron, folic acid and zinc has a positive effect on the blood sugar level and strengthens the immune system.
Thanks to its vitamin C and a variety of fiber, the blueberry also helps with weight loss; their high potassium content also boosts fat metabolism. In addition, the berry with a calorific value of about 43 kcal per 100 g is extremely low in calories and thus one of the most figure-friendly types of fruit. Similar to the related strawberry, blackberry and raspberry, it contains many carotenoids, which - in particular beta-carotene - support human vision and prevent age-related visual impairment.
The pterostilben that are present in the blueberry also have a very positive effect - they lower the cholesterol level. Moreover, the blueberry is considered preventive against one of the most common civilization diseases: cancer. Cancer is caused by a preponderance of free radicals, which damage the cells and in the worst case can lead to the formation of tumors that metastasise in the body.
Free radicals are also responsible for the visible aging of our skin and can also promote inflammatory processes. The polyphenols contained in the blueberry in high concentration trap the free radicals, the tannins of the fruit, especially the Hydroxyzimtsäure, have an additional anti-inflammatory effect. Blueberries not only prevent cancer, they also slow down the aging process, protect the blood vessels and prevent diseases of the cardiovascular system.