Arctostaphylos uva ursi
Also known as Kinnikinnick, Bear’s-grape, Crowberry, Foxberry, Hog Cranberry, Mealberry, and Wild Cranberry
History: The Bearberry plant is a green leafed shrub with bright red berries that grows in the cooler environments of Britain, North America, Europe, and Asia. Although the berries are edible, it is the leaf of the Bearberry that is valued as a medicinal herb. Bearberry Leaf is used extensively by many Native American tribes, such as the Cheyenne who would brew the leaves into a tea.
Modern Uses: soothing tea, astringent, water retention, bladder infections, kidney infections, inflammatory diseases, urethritis, cystisis,
The Commission E approved the use of uva ursi for inflammatory disorders of the efferent urinary tract.
The British Herbal Compendium lists its use for mild infections of the urinary tract (Bradley, 1992). The French marketing authorization for phytomedicines allows its use to promote the renal elimination of water and as an adjuvant to diuresis treatments in benign urinary tract infections. The German Standard License for uva ursi medicinal tea indicates its use as support in the therapy of catarrhs of the bladder and kidney. ESCOP lists uva ursi for uncomplicated infections of the lower urinary tract, such as cystitis
Active Ingredients: glycosides including arbutin and ericolin, Tannins, flavonoids, resin
Actions: Tonic, anti-microbial, anti-lithic, anti-catarrhal, demulcent, astringent, diuretic
Complementary Herbs: Couchgrass, Yarrow
Warning: This dried herb should not be used if you are pregnant, irritated digestive conditions or if acidic urine is present.