Uses: Native to North America (v. corymbosum = Blueberry) and
Eurasia (v. myrtilli = Bilberry). Found
in the acidic soils of tundras and bogs.
Folk medicine has used
this herb for treatment of poor eyesight and night blindness, sores,
wounds, and external ulcers. This is supported by current research
which finds that these plants produce powerful antioxidants which
help to improve the blood flow to the various body systems, including
the eyes, the nerves, and the skin.
Also used in tonics and
to treat nausea. The leaf tea has been used for vomiting, stomach
cramps, and coughs.
A decoction of the leaves
has been a traditional treatment for diarrhea.
These members of the
heather family share a trait with their cousin, the Cranberry. They
improve the health of the urinary tract, combating urinary infections
Externally, the tea is
effective as a gargle and mouthwash as well as the treatment of
various skin burns and irritations.