Bilberry leaf (Myrtilli folium)

Published April 23, 1987.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)

Heidelbeerblätter

Name of Drug

Myrtilli folium, bilberry leaf, blueberry leaf.

Composition of Drug

Bilberry leaf consists of the leaf of Vaccinium myrtillus L. [Fam. Ericaceae], as well as preparations thereof.

Uses

Bilberry leaf is used for diabetes mellitus, for the prevention and treatment of diseases and complaints of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney and urinary tract, for arthritis, gout, dermatitis, hemorrhoids, poor circulation, functional heart problems, as well as for "metabolic stimulation and blood purification."

The efficacy of the claimed uses has not been documented.

Risks

With higher dosages or on prolonged use, chronic intoxication may arise. The symptoms of chronic intoxication in animal experiments were initially cachexia, anemia, icterus, acute excitation, and disturbances of tonus, which, after chronic administration of 1.5 g/kg/day, could finally end in death.

Evaluation

Since the efficacy has not been documented, a therapeutic use of bilberry leaf preparation is not justifiable in view of the risks involved.