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This monograph is intended to serve as a guide to industry for the preparation of Product Licence Applications (PLAs) and labels for natural health product market authorization. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the medicinal ingredient.



October 30, 2018

Proper name(s), Common name(s), Source information

Table 1. Proper name(s), Common name(s), Source information
Proper name(s) Common name(s) Source information
Source material(s) Part(s) Preparation

Vaccinium myrtillus

  • Bilberry
  • European blueberry
  • Huckleberry
  • Whortleberry

Vaccinium myrtillus



References: Proper name: USDA 2018; Common names: McGuffin et al. 2000; Source information: Blumenthal et al. 2000.

Route of Administration

Buccal (Blumenthal et al. 2000)

Dosage Form(s)

This monograph excludes foods or food-like dosage forms as indicated in the Compendium of Monographs Guidance Document.

Acceptable dosage forms for the age category listed in this monograph and specified route of administration are indicated in the Compendium of Monographs Guidance Document.


Dosage forms must be suited for buccal administration which allow for direct contact between the affected tissue and the medicinal ingredient (i.e. liquid preparations, gargles and mouthwashes).

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve mild inflammations of the mucous membranes of the mouth and/or throat (ESCOP 2003; Blumenthal et al. 2000).



Adults 18 years and older


Method of preparation: Dry, Decoction

5-10 grams of dried fruits (Blumenthal et al. 2000)

Note: Dried fruits should be prepared as a decoction (see direction for use).

Direction(s) for use

Dried fruits

Place crushed dried fruits in 150 ml cold water. Bring to a boil for approximately 10 minutes. Strain while hot. Dilute one part decoction with 10 parts water (ESCOP 2003, Blumenthal et al. 2000).

All products

Rinse and/or gargle as needed.

Duration(s) of Use

No statement required.

Risk Information

Caution(s) and warning(s)

Consult a health care practitioner/health care provider/health care professional/doctor/physician if symptoms persist or worsen.


No statement required.

Known adverse reaction(s)

No statement required.

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database (NHPID) and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.

Storage conditions

No statement required.


References Cited

Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinkmann J, editors. 2000. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications.

ESCOP 2003: European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy Scientific Committee. 2003.

ESCOP Monographs: The Scientific Foundation for Herbal Medicinal Products, 2nd edition. Exeter (GB): European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy and Thieme.

McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. 2000. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Silver Spring (MD): American Herbal Products Association.

USDA 2018: United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Vaccinium myrtillus L. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville (MD). [Accessed 2018 August 7]. Available from:

References Reviewed

Brinker F. 2001. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications.

Canter PH, Ernst E. 2004. Anthocyanosides of Vaccinium myritillus (bilberry) for night vision - a systematic review of placebo-controlled trials. Survey of Opthalmology 49(1):38-50.

Jang YP, Zhou J, Nakanishi K, Sparrow JR. 2005. Anthocyanins protect against A2E photooxidation and membrane permeabilization in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Photochemistry and Photobiology 81(3):529-536.

Lee J, Lee HK, Kim CY, Hong YJ, Choe CM, You TW, Seong GJ. 2005. Purified high-dose anthocyanoside oligomer administration improves nocturnal vision and clinical symptoms in myopia subjects. British Journal of Nutrition 93:895-899.

Levy Y, Glovinski Y. 1998. The effect of anthocyanosides on night vision. Eye 12:967-969.

McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, editors. 1997. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press.

Muth ER, Laurent JM, Jasper P. 2000. The effect of bilberry nutritional supplementation on night vision acuity and contrast sensitivity. Alternative Medicine Review 5(2):164-173.

Sparrow JR, Vollmer-Snarr HR, Zhou J, Jang PY, Jockusch. 2003. A2E-epoxides damage DNA in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry 278(20):18207-18213.

Steigwalt RD Jr, Gianni B, Paolo M, Bombardelli E, Burki C, Schönlau F. 2008. Effects of Mirtogenol® on ocular blood flow and intraocular hypertension in asymptomatic subjects. Molecular Vision 14:1288-1292.

Zadok D, Levy Y, Glovinski Y. 1999. The effect of anthocyanosides in multiple oral dose on night vision. Eye 13:734-736.