Other Common Names: Hogberry, manzanita, bearberry, rockberry, beargrape.
Plant Description: Uva ursi is a short woody plant that grows to height of around 20 cm. It has a leathery oval leaves that are about 1.5 cm in length. The bark is usually covered in fine, silky hairs. The flowers are either pink or white, and it has a red fruit that is often confused with a relative, the American cranberry.
Parts Used: Only the leaves (not the berries) are used in medicinal preparations. The leaves taste rather bitter and astringent.
Available Forms: Uva ursi is commercially available as crushed leaf or powder preparations.
Health Benefits of Uva Ursi:
- Uva ursi tea can help prevent miscarriage, and aid a woman’s recovery after child birth.
- Uva-ursi tea is a natural diuretic, therefore reducing bloating and water retention, making it beneficial for weight loss. It can also help reduce accumulations of uric acid and relieve the pain of bladder stones and other urinary tract infection.
- Uva Ursi’s astringent properties may also assist in the treatment of some bed wetting problems.
- Uva Ursi tea is helpful for chronic diarrhea.
- Uva Ursi also contains allantoin which is well known for its soothing and tissue-repairing properties; it is therefore used externally as a wash for cuts and scrapes and applied as salve to canker sores, sore gums, burns and minor cuts.
Recommended Adult Dosage:
- Dried herb (available in capsules): 2 – 4 g per day, standardized to 400 – 800 mg of arbutin. Do not exceed recommended doses.
- Tea: Soak 3 g of dried leaves in 5 oz. of water for 12 hours. Strain and drink hot or cold 3 – 4 times per day.
Note: Uva ursi should be taken with meals to minimize gastrointestinal upset. Some herbal experts recommend taking it along with calcium citrate to alkalinize the urine.
Caution: Uva ursi should only be taken for short periods (no longer than 5 days) under a doctor’s supervision, and should not be repeated more than 5 times in 1 year.
“This post was originally published on January 3, 2012 @06:52”