Called by some Worts, or the Wortle Berries. Vaccinium Myrtillus. Two sorts are common in England, viz, the black and red berries.

And first of the black. The small bush lies upon the ground, nearly a foot high, with small dark green leaves a little dented above the edges; at the foot of the leaves come forth small, hollow, bluish coloured flowers, the brims ending with five points, with reddish threads in the middle, which pass into small round berries, about the size of juniper berries, but purple colour, and of a sweetish sharp taste; the juice gives a purplish colour to the hands and lips of those who eat and handle them.

The Red Bilberry or Wortle-bush, rises up like the former, having sundry hard leaves, like the Box-tree leaves, green and round pointed, standing on the several branches, at the top of which, and not from the sides as in the former, come forth round, reddish, sappy berries, when they are ripe, of a sharp taste.

The first grows in forests, on moors, and in woods. They flower in March and April, and the fruit of the black is ripe in July and August.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Bilberries:

It is a pity they are used no more in physic than they are. The Black Bilberries are good in hot agues, and to cool the heat of the liver and stomach; they are astringent, and stay purgings, vomitings, and loathings. The juice of the berries made into syrup, or the pulp made into a conserve with sugar, is good for the purposes aforesaid, as also for an old cough, or for an ulcer, or other diseases in the lungs. The red Worts are more binding, and stop women's courses, spitting of blood, or any other flux of blood or humours, being used as well outwardly as inwardly.
Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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