Blueberry can be found practically everywhere in the world. In Asia, blueberry is known to improve poor eyesight, in Europe it was used to treat throat infection and childhood illnesses. The eskimos added dried and smoked blueberry to their meals all year round, while Native Americans used it to cook thick sauce.
What’s special about blueberry?
Blueberry’s dark black-blue colour is actually pretty rare. American blueberry is a lighter shade of blue compared to European, which has a reddish tint, but the traditional name anywhere in the world will be a variation on blue or black berry.
Blueberry’s pulp and skin contain natural blue pigments, anthocyanins. These pigments give the berries all shades of blue, from delicate light blue to indigo and rich purple colour, and they also possess a very powerful antioxidant action.
Blueberry is an unsurpassed natural conqueror of free radicals.
It is even more effective than cranberry! If you freeze a blueberry and then cut it in half you will see that the berry got brighter in the centre while its skin and a thin layer of pulp underneath have become purple. This is because when the berry is frozen anthocyanins rush outwards strengthening the cell membranes of the pericarp (the outermost layer of the berry) and the skin. It happens so fast that frozen blueberry retains all its beneficial properties and the berries are very rarely crushed or damaged during freezing. This is precisely what anthocyanins do when some cells near them are about to be damaged: the fearless blue special ops rush to the defence of the civilians and save them from harm. Anthocyanins can, for example, restore the retina’s capillaries and numerous eye medicines are based on blueberry extract.
Blueberry anthocyanins can restore the tiniest skin capillaries.
The blue antioxidants enhance the capillaries’ elasticity while reducing their permeability and fragility. Blueberry extract is used in sensitive skin solutions with spider veins and visible capillaries, prone to couperosis and constant redness.
Anthocyanins can increase the level of glutathione in the skin.
Glutathione is produced by the human body to fight persistent inflammation and it acts like a perfect antibiotic reducing inflammation and destroying harmful bacteria. Unfortunately the amount of glutathione in the skin decreases with age, but blueberry extract can bring it back up quickly reducing inflammation and making the skin smooth and healthy again.
Blueberry contains a whole collection of vitamins and microelements.
It has vitamins C, B1 and B6, vitamin B3 oxygenating the skin, vitamin PP restoring the skin’s moisture levels, vitamin K preventing bruising, manganese and cobalt accelerating the healing of injuries, potassium, magnesium soothing the skin, phosphorus restoring nerve endings, iron, calcium, and zinc eliminating acne. Vitamin A is found in blueberry in 3 forms at ones: retinol with its rejuvenating and brightening effect, beta-carotin restoring the skin after sun burn and enhancing its natural protection against the sun, and lutein which is especially beneficial for the skin’s capillaries.
Who would be in most need of cosmetic solutions with blueberry extract?
First of all, people whose skin reddens easily and is prone to couperosis and spider veins. Blueberry would be very beneficial during preparation for a beach holiday and after it for skin restoration. People suffering from badly healing inflammation, including men with razor bumps and inflamed skin after shaving, will find skincare with blueberry extract soothing. Blueberry will also be beneficial for acne treatment and problem skin, while also improving the complexion.
Excerpt from “The Science of Beauty” by Dr Tiina Meder
© Dr Tiina Meder
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