What is it?
Blueberries are high in fiber, which can help with normal digestion. They also contain vitamin C, other antioxidants, and chemicals that might reduce swelling and destroy cancer cells.
People use blueberry for aging, memory and thinking skills, high blood pressure, athletic performance, diabetes, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Don't confuse blueberry with bilberry. They are related but they are not the same. In countries outside of the US, the name blueberry is used to refer to the plant that is often called bilberry in the US.
How effective is it?
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
The effectiveness ratings for BLUEBERRY are as follows:
Possibly ineffective for...
- High blood pressure. Eating freeze-dried blueberries or taking blueberry powder by mouth doesn't lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure or other heart disease risk factors.
Is it safe?
There isn't enough reliable information to know if taking blueberry leaf is safe or what the side effects might be.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if blueberry is safe or what the side effects might be.
Special precautions & warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Blueberry fruit is commonly consumed in foods. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if blueberry is safe to use in larger amounts as medicine when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency: G6PD is a genetic disorder. People with this disorder have problems breaking down some chemicals in food and drugs. One or more of these chemicals are found in blueberries. If you have G6PD, check with your healthcare provider before eating blueberries.
Surgery: Blueberry fruit and leaf might affect blood glucose levels and could interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery.
Are there interactions with medications?
- Buspirone (BuSpar)
- Blueberry juice might decrease how fast the body gets rid of buspirone. But this is not likely to be a major concern.
- Flurbiprofen (Ansaid, others)
- Blueberry juice might decrease how fast the body gets rid of flurbiprofen. But this is not likely to be a major concern.
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
- Blueberry fruit or leaf might lower blood sugar levels. Taking blueberry along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?
- Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar
- Blueberry fruit or leaf might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.
Are there interactions with foods?
- Drinking milk along with blueberries might lower the potential health benefits of blueberries. Consuming blueberries 1-2 hours before or after drinking milk might prevent this interaction.
How is it typically used?
To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.
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