phytochemicals Phytochemicals

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Vaccinium corymbosum

What is blueberry?

There are many varieties of blueberries, but the high bush blueberry is mostly cultivated. The highbush blueberry is a perennial shrub reaching a height of up to 3 meter. The plant has deciduous elongated glossy leaves. During the latter part of spring an abundance of bell-shaped white flowers are formed. The blueberry fruits are larger than those of the bilberry (European blueberry) and the colour of the pulp is a lot lighter (almost white), whereas the pulp of the bilberry is dark purple.

Parts used

Mainly the ripe berries are used, either fresh or dried. Also the leaves are used, mainly to produce a blueberry leave extract.


These are typical phytochemicals found in blueberry: blueberries are a rich source of phytochemicals such as anthocyanidins, flavonoids, resveratrol, anthocyanins, ellagic acid.

Benefits of blueberry

The antioxidants in blueberries neutralize free radical damage and help to prevent diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, heart disease and cancer. Animal studies showed that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Blueberries reduces the adherence of bacteria to mucosal lining of the urethra and bladder, in a similar way as cranberries, thereby reducing the risk of urinary tract infections. Tea made from the dried leaves is used to treat sore throat and other inflammations of the mouth or the throat.

Other facts

The blueberry is native to North America where they grow in the woods and mountainous regions in the United States and Canada.

Other names

American blueberry, highbush blueberry

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