Uva Ursi

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Biological Name: Arctostaphylos uva-ursiUva Ursi

Family: Ericaceae, Heath

Other Names: Mountain Cranberry, arberry, bearberry, bear’s grape, universe vine, Crowberry, wild cranberry, Foxberry, uva ursi, Hog cranberry, upland cranberry, Kinnikinnick, sandberry, Mealberry, sagackhomi, Arberry, Red bearberry, Mountain Box

Elements Applied: Leaves are commonly used in herbal medicine

Active Components: Arbutin, included in bearberry, takes responsibility for its antibacterial and astringent characteristics. Leaves also contain tannins in abundance. Arbutin glycoside is considered to be the main active component of uva ursi. Its concentration in the plant is rather high (nearly 10 percent). The active substance has revealed its antiseptic characteristics in urine tests. Still, to be effective on bacteria, arbutin molecule should be separated from its sugar part. In order for this chemical reaction to occur, the urine should become alkaline. Hydroquinone, left after molecule division, will act as a potent microorganism killer, accounting for the plant’s ability to fight urinary organ infections. Additionally, arbutin is known to enhance the effect imposed by synthetic cortisone on inflammations.

History: Conventionally, bearberry has been applied by homeopathists around the globe as a tea, which is meant to boost urination and energize the body. Indians consumed the remedy to reduce back pains; other tribes applied it to treat venereal infections.

Plant leaves serve effectively for curing kidney and bladder infections. Due to its antiseptic capacity the herb is applied to prevent extreme concentrations of uric acid and soothe the pains associated with bladder stones. Additionally applied to relieve recurrent cystitis. Kidney stones, nephritis, and bronchitis are successfully addressed by tincture or tea application.

Additional Info: An evergreen bush of low height, 5 inches on average. Stem bark is of brownish or red color. Leaves are green, oval-shaped. The plant blossoms in spring to summer, when white or pink-colored flowers appear. Fruits – red berries – appear in autumn and stay all winter long.

Preparation and Intake: Put 1 teaspoon of leaves into alcohol, then cover them with 1 cup of water brought to boiling. The dose is 2-3 cups daily.

In form of a tincture the plant is applied in a dose of 15 drops on average, thrice a day. If infused on alcohol, the tincture is used in a dose of 5 ml thrice a day.

Capsules or pills based on uva ursi extract which includes 20% arbutin, are used in a quantity of 250 mg on average thrice a day. Uva ursi should be taken for a maximal period of two weeks. In order to make urine alkaline, drop 7 grams of baking soda in a cup of water, and drink it, when using the remedy. However, where hypertension is possible or diagnosed, baking soda is not recommended.

Safety: An overdose may cause stomach indigestion, and if abused the plant can cause recurrent poisoning effect.

In some cases minor sickness is possible when using the plant. Acidic drinks or foods are not recommended if using uva ursi. The plant should be avoided in course of pregnancy or breastfeeding.