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Common Names – Uva Ursi , Bearberry
Botanical Name – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Family – ERICACEAE
Uva Ursi, is a small groundcover shrub distributed throughout northern latitudes and in high altitudes further south. The plant produces small; stiff evergreen leaves that last 1-3 years before falling. In late spring, white to pink flowers bloom, eventually producing ¼- to ½-inch red berry fruit that survives until early winter. Bears eat the fruit berries, leading to the plant’s Latin name uva ursi, which means “grape’s of the bear.”
Native Americans have used uva ursi for hundreds of years, often combining the leaves with tobacco and other herbs for smoking.Uva Ursi, also known as Bearberry, has beenwidely used for several hundred years as a diuretic, astringent, and antiseptic.
Uva ursi contains a considerable amount of tannins making it one of natures most powerful astringents.
Uva ursi is used primarily for urinary tract disorders, including infections of the kidney, bladder, and inflammation and pain of the urinary tract that contains excess uric acid.
Uva ursi is also used for constipation and bronchitis.
How To Use
Uva ursi’s tough leather leaves need to be boiled vigoursly for 15 minutes or soaked overnight in cold water. Uva ursi can also be taken as a tincture, or in capsules. Frequently combined with other herbs to fight urinary infections.
Uva Ursi contains as assortment of chemical compounds, especially arbutin. So you sould not take Uva Ursi if you’re taking arbutin already. Always check with your physician before taking any herbs.
May cause nausea and vomiting due to the high tannin content. Use Uva Ursi for a quick intervented, and not if your urine is already acidic. Not to be taken for extended period of time. Not for use for those who have kidney disease, or children.
Lisa Ray, Herbalist
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