Help on accessing alternative formats, such as Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (PPT) files, can be obtained in the alternate format help section.

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(s)

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

Oral (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 oral use are indicated in the dosage form drop-down list of the web-based Product Licence Application form for Compendial applications.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)


Claims for traditional use must include the term "Herbal Medicine", "Traditional Chinese Medicine", or "Ayurveda".



Adults 18 years and older


Slowing the progression of disorders of the eye and relieving symptoms related to non-complicated CVI

Methods of preparation: Standardized extracts (Dry extract)

160-480 milligrams of dried extract standardized to 36% anthocyanins, per day; Not to exceed 160 milligrams per single dose (USP 32 2009; Blumenthal 2003; ESCOP 2003; Upton 2001)

All other uses

Methods of preparation: Dry, Dry standardized, Powder, Powder standardized, Standardized and Non-Standardised Extracts (Dry extract, Tincture, Fluid extract, Decoction, Infusion)

1.8-75 grams of dried fruit, per day (USP 32 2009; Barnes 2007; ESCOP 2003; Blumenthal et al. 2000; Grieve 1971)

Standardized preparations only: not to exceed 36% anthocyanidins

Direction(s) for use

No statement required.

Duration(s) of Use

No statement required.

Risk Information

Caution(s) and warning(s)

Relief of diarrhoea

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

Slowing the progression of disorders of the eye and to relieve symptoms related to non-complicated CVI

Consult a health care practitioner/health care provider/health care professional/doctor/physician if symptoms 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

Must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHPR).


References Cited

Barnes J, Anderson LA, Philipson JD. 2007. Herbal Medicines, 3rd edition. London (GB): The Pharmaceutical Press.

Blumenthal M. 2003. ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. New York (NY): Thieme.

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.

Felter HW, Lloyd JU. 1983. King's American Dispensatory, Volume 2, 18th edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications [Reprint of 1898 original].

Grieve M. 1971. A Modern Herbal, Volume 1. New York (NY): Dover Publications [Reprint of 1931 Harcourt, Brace & Company publication].

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

Mills S, Bone K. 2005. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): Churchill Livingstone.

Mills S, Bone K. 2000. Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Toronto (ON): Churchill Livingstone.

Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E. 1996. Vaccinium myrtillus L. Fitoterapia 67(1):3-29.

Upton R, editor. 2001. American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium: Bilberry Fruit Vaccinium mysrtillus L.: Standards of Analysis, Quality Control and Therapeutics. Santa Cruz (CA): American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.

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:

USP 32 2009: United States Pharmacopeial Convention. 2009. United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary (USP 32 - NF 27). Rockville (MD): The United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc.

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.