This is known as bearberry because bears are fond of the plant’s red or pink berries, infact the name “Uvae Ursi” means “Bear’s Grape” in Latin. Humans have also long been fond of this plant, the leaves have medicinal benefits which have been known about for centuries. It has been used by Native Americans and other cultures who used it for detoxification.
It has been used in traditional medicine for all sorts of issues relating to the urinary tract and kidneys. It is a diuretic and can help with kidney stones, cystitis, and urinary tract infections. Research has uncovered that these benefits may be down to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (it can both soothe the urinary tract and kill the bacteria causing infections).
Scientists have found a number of interesting compounds in Uvae Ursi leaf. One that has received a lot of interest is arbutin, which the body converts to hydroquinone (a very powerful anti-bacterial agent). It releases antibacterial metabolites in urine which act In the urinary tract to kill bacteria.
In Germany, Uvae Ursi has been officially approved as a treatment for urinary tract infections, which is a great example of a herb achieving mainstream recognition.
- URINARY TRACT HEALTH