The Benefits of Uva Ursi, aka Bearberry

Commonly known as Bearberry, Uva Ursi is a short evergreen shrub with small leathery leaves.

The Europeans, Chinese and American Indians used the leaves and fresh berries of the Uva Ursi to treat bladder infections, kidney stones and incontinence. Marco Polo also recorded in the 13th century that the Chinese physicians were using this herb as a diuretic, for kidney and bladder problems. In other parts of the world, some North American Indians used an infusion of Uva Ursi to heal sore gums, canker sores and as a mouthwash.

Medical herbalists report that the diuretic action comes from arbutin, which is absorbed, remains unchanged and then is excreted by the kidneys producing an antiseptic effect on the urinary mucus membranes.

Uva Ursi strengthens the urinary passages and is good for inflammation of every part of the urinary system. It also increases the flow of urine and cleanses the spleen.  In his book, “The Little Herb Encyclopedia,” Jack Ritchason writes, “Uva ursi is an astringent herb with strong affinity for the urinary system. It has been used to help correct bedwetting, bladder diseases, cystitis, kidney congestion and infections of the kidneys and urinary tract (234).”

This herb also helps urine that is high in acid maintain a healthy pH balance.

In “Heal Your Life with Home Remedies,” Hanna Kroeger recommends the “trace minerals from Uva ursi” along with “vitamins A, B6, C and E” as a remedy for bladder infection (133).

Urva Ursi should not be taken by pregnant women because it stimulates the uterine contractions.

References:
Kroeger, Hanna, “Heal Your Life with Home Remedies and Herbs,” Hay House Publications; 1998.
Ritchason, Jack, N.D., “The Little Herb Encyclopedia,” Woodland Publishing, 1994.



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