Arándano, Bleuet, Bleuet des Champs, Bleuet des Montagnes, Bleuets, Blueberries, Highbush Blueberry, Hillside Blueberry, Lowbush Blueberry, Myrtille, Rabbiteye Blueberry, Vaccinium altomontanum, Vaccinium amoenum, Vaccinium angustifolium, Vaccinium ashei, Vaccinium brittonii, Vaccinium constablaei, Vaccinium corymbosum, Vaccinium lamarckii, Vaccinium pallidum, Vaccinium pensylvanicum, Vaccinium vacillans, Vaccinium virgatum.
Blueberry is a plant. People use the fruit and leaves to make medicine.
Be careful not to confuse blueberry with bilberry. Outside of the United States, the name “blueberry” may be used for a plant called “bilberry” in the U.S.
Blueberry is used for preventing cataracts and glaucoma and for treating ulcers, urinary tract infections (UTIs), multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), colic, fever, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids. Blueberry is also used for improving circulation, and as a laxative.
Some women use blueberry for labor pains and as a tonic after miscarriage.
The dried fruit and leaves are used for diarrhea.
Tea made from the dried leaves is used for sore throat and swelling (inflammation) of the mouth or the skin lining the throat.
Health providers have used blueberry juice as a contrast agent in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Contrast agents make it possible for radiologists to see and interpret the images.
Some people inhale the fumes of burning dried blueberry flowers for treatment of insanity.
How does it work?
Blueberry, like its relative the cranberry, might help prevent bladder infections by stopping bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder. Blueberry fruit is high in fiber which could help normal digestive function. It also contains vitamin C and other antioxidants.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Diabetes. Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing blueberry leaf extract (Blueberin) three times daily for 4 weeks can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Also, taking a combination of blueberry and sea buckthorn appears to lower levels of hemoglobin A1c, a measurement of average blood sugar levels, in children with type 1 diabetes.
- Preventing cataracts and glaucoma.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Multiple sclerosis (MS).
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Sore throat.
- Varicose veins.
- Bad circulation.
- Labor pains.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Diabetes: Blueberry might lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use blueberry products. The dose of your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Surgery: Blueberry might affect blood glucose levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using blueberry at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Blueberry leaves might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking blueberry leaves along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
The appropriate dose of blueberry depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for blueberry. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Abidov, M., Ramazanov, A., Jimenez Del, Rio M., and Chkhikvishvili, I. Effect of Blueberin on fasting glucose, C-reactive protein and plasma aminotransferases, in female volunteers with diabetes type 2: double-blind, placebo controlled clinical study. Georgian.Med News 2006;(141):66-72. View abstract.
Andres-Lacueva, C., Shukitt-Hale, B., Galli, R. L., Jauregui, O., Lamuela-Raventos, R. M., and Joseph, J. A. Anthocyanins in aged blueberry-fed rats are found centrally and may enhance memory. Nutr Neurosci. 2005;8(2):111-120. View abstract.
Aziz, R. M., Nines, R., Rodrigo, K., Harris, K., and Stoner, G. D. The effect of freeze-dried blueberries on N-nitrosomethylbenzylamine tumorigenesis in the rat esophagus. Pharmaceutical Biology 2002;40:43-49.
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Beck, J. A., Matulaitis, R. M., and Sapers, G. M. Detection of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase in the skin of blueberry and cranberry fruits. Journal of Food Science 1987;52(1):155.
Blomhoff, R. [Antioxidants and oxidative stress]. Tidsskr.Nor Laegeforen. 6-17-2004;124(12):1643-1645. View abstract.
Casadesus, G., Shukitt-Hale, B., Stellwagen, H. M., Zhu, X., Lee, H. G., Smith, M. A., and Joseph, J. A. Modulation of hippocampal plasticity and cognitive behavior by short-term blueberry supplementation in aged rats. Nutr Neurosci. 2004;7(5-6):309-316. View abstract.
Cloutier, N. R., Dave, N. K., and Lim, T. P. Ra-226 concentrations in blueberries Vaccinium angustifolium Ait. near an inactive uranium tailings site in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada. Environmental Pollution Series B: Chemical & Physical 1985;10(4):301.
Devareddy, L., Hooshmand, S., Collins, J. K., Lucas, E. A., Chai, S. C., and Arjmandi, B. H. Blueberry prevents bone loss in ovariectomized rat model of postmenopausal osteoporosis. J Nutr Biochem 2008;19(10):694-699. View abstract.
Dhanaraj, A. L., Alkharouf, N. W., Beard, H. S., Chouikha, I. B., Matthews, B. F., Wei, H., Arora, R., and Rowland, L. J. Major differences observed in transcript profiles of blueberry during cold acclimation under field and cold room conditions. Planta 2007;225(3):735-751. View abstract.
Goyarzu, P., Malin, D. H., Lau, F. C., Taglialatela, G., Moon, W. D., Jennings, R., Moy, E., Moy, D., Lippold, S., Shukitt-Hale, B., and Joseph, J. A. Blueberry supplemented diet: effects on object recognition memory and nuclear factor-kappa B levels in aged rats. Nutr Neurosci. 2004;7(2):75-83. View abstract.
Harris, C. S., Burt, A. J., Saleem, A., Le, P. M., Martineau, L. C., Haddad, P. S., Bennett, S. A., and Arnason, J. T. A single HPLC-PAD-APCI/MS method for the quantitative comparison of phenolic compounds found in leaf, stem, root and fruit extracts of Vaccinium angustifolium. Phytochem.Anal 2007;18(2):161-169. View abstract.
Huang, C., Zhang, D., Li, J., Tong, Q., and Stoner, G. D. Differential inhibition of UV-induced activation of NF kappa B and AP-1 by extracts from black raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. Nutr Cancer 2007;58(2):205-212. View abstract.
Joseph, J. A., Denisova, N. A., Arendash, G., Gordon, M., Diamond, D., Shukitt-Hale, B., and Morgan, D. Blueberry supplementation enhances signaling and prevents behavioral deficits in an Alzheimer disease model. Nutr Neurosci. 2003;6(3):153-162. View abstract.
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Kalt, W., Blumberg, J. B., McDonald, J. E., Vinqvist-Tymchuk, M. R., Fillmore, S. A., Graf, B. A., O'Leary, J. M., and Milbury, P. E. Identification of anthocyanins in the liver, eye, and brain of blueberry-fed pigs. J Agric.Food Chem 2-13-2008;56(3):705-712. View abstract.
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Martineau, L. C., Couture, A., Spoor, D., Benhaddou-Andaloussi, A., Harris, C., Meddah, B., Leduc, C., Burt, A., Vuong, T., Mai, Le P., Prentki, M., Bennett, S. A., Arnason, J. T., and Haddad, P. S. Anti-diabetic properties of the Canadian lowbush blueberry Vaccinium angustifolium Ait. Phytomedicine. 2006;13(9-10):612-623. View abstract.
Matchett, M. D., MacKinnon, S. L., Sweeney, M. I., Gottschall-Pass, K. T., and Hurta, R. A. Inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase activity in DU145 human prostate cancer cells by flavonoids from lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium): possible roles for protein kinase C and mitogen-activated protein-kinase-mediated events. J Nutr Biochem 2006;17(2):117-125. View abstract.
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McGuire, S. O., Sortwell, C. E., Shukitt-Hale, B., Joseph, J. A., Hejna, M. J., and Collier, T. J. Dietary supplementation with blueberry extract improves survival of transplanted dopamine neurons. Nutr Neurosci. 2006;9(5-6):251-258. View abstract.
McIntyre, K. L., Harris, C. S., Saleem, A., Beaulieu, L. P., Ta, C. A., Haddad, P. S., and Arnason, J. T. Seasonal phytochemical variation of anti-glycation principles in lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium). Planta Med 2009;75(3):286-292. View abstract.
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Seeram, N. P., Adams, L. S., Zhang, Y., Lee, R., Sand, D., Scheuller, H. S., and Heber, D. Blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, and strawberry extracts inhibit growth and stimulate apoptosis of human cancer cells in vitro. J Agric.Food Chem 12-13-2006;54(25):9329-9339. View abstract.
Shukitt-Hale, B., Lau, F. C., Carey, A. N., Galli, R. L., Spangler, E. L., Ingram, D. K., and Joseph, J. A. Blueberry polyphenols attenuate kainic acid-induced decrements in cognition and alter inflammatory gene expression in rat hippocampus. Nutr Neurosci. 2008;11(4):172-182. View abstract.
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