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What does Vaccinium myrtillus mean?

Vaccinium myrtillus L. is a deciduous small shrublet growing on  hilly heaths and underbrush mainly throughout central and northern Europe (1-5). The origin of the name “Vaccinium” is uncertain:  it could derive from the Latin words “vacca” = cow or “bacca” = berry.  The name “myrtillus”, instead, derives from the likeness of fruits and leaves to those of the myrtle (3,4,6).  In the past, the fruits of V. myrtillus have been used as a food for their high nutritive value, while today represent a precious wild delicacy.

Vaccinium (bilberry) forest
Picture taken by Mario De Biasi - © 2013 Indena S.p.A.

The genus Vaccinium includes, worldwide, 450 species (7).
Mirtoselect® is obtained exclusively from Vaccinium myrtillus L. fresh fruits that are harvested when ripe, between July and September.

Bilberry harvesting in Finland © 2013 Indena S.p.A.

Vaccinium (bilberry) fruits
Picture taken by Mario De Biasi - © 2013 Indena S.p.A.

Please note that this web site is not aimed at consumers as the information herein contained does not make reference to finished products. Please note this website is accessible from various countries all over the world and hence it may contain statements or product classification not applicable to your country. The claims made are in reference to ingredients only, hence they do not refer to finished products and they may not comply with Regulation 1924/2006/CE. The marketer of any finished product containing any ingredient is responsible for assuring that the destination of the product and the claims made for the finished product are lawful and comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the country or countries in which the product is to be sold.

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1. Tutin T.G., Heywood V.H., Burges N.A., Moore D.M., Valentine D.H, Walters S.M., Webb D.A. (Eds.), "Flora Europaea", Vol. 3, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1972, pp 12-13.
2. J. Hutchinson, "British Wild Flowers", Vol. 1, David and Charles, Newton Abbot, 1972, p 226.
3. Benigni R., Capra C., Cattorini P.E., "Piante Medicinali – Chimica, farmacologia e terapia", Vol. II, Inverni della Beffa, Milano, 1962, pp 951-958.
4. Hegi G., "Illustrierte Flora von Mittel Europa", Band 5/3 Teil, C. Hanser Verlag, Munchen, 1927 (Reprint 1966), pp 1667-1681.
5. Upton R., “American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium – Bilberry Fruit”, 2001.
6. Grieve M., “A Modern Herbal”, Vol.I, Hafner Publishing Co., New York and London, 1967, pp 99-100.
7. “The Plant-Book”, D.J. Mabberly, II ed., Cambridge University Press, 1997



Mirtoselect - The original bilberry extract


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