Herbs [rate]

Uva Ursi

There are various disorders and infections that have been found to be cured effectively using uva ursi. The real botanical name of this plant is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi but it is also known as bearberry. This plant has been used as medicine for many years especially in N.America and Europe. The leaf extracts of this plant have been used for treating variety of urinary tract disorders.
The main active ingredient in uva ursi is arbutin which is converted to hydroquinone within the intestinal tract. The leaf also contains other natural ingredients that are said to have many healthy benefits.

Uva ursi Plant General Description

This plant is basically a shrub that is evergreen and mainly thrives in alpine forests in regions such as Himalayas, Siberia, Iberian Peninsula, Europe and N.America. It produces red shiny berries. These berries tastes sour but are edible. It is a slow growing plant but thrives comfortably in areas where other plants cannot. The plant has short, creeping branches that are reddish brown in color. This plant also produces white, or pink bell shaped flowers during the summer. The plant then produces a cluster of berries after flowering.

The Main Mechanisms of Action of Uva ursi

Studies have shown that uva ursi uses the following mechanisms of action:

  • -It has anti- microbial activity.
  • -Diuretic activity.
  • -Astringent and antiseptic activity.
  • -Anti-inflammatory activity.

Main Healthy Benefits of Using Uva Ursi

The main part that is used in treating various infections is the leaf. The major infections treated using this plant include the following:

(a) Diarrhea – The leaves of this plant has astringent tannins that have been found to be very effective in relieving diarrhea.

(b)Wounds and other infections – The urva ursi plant contain an active natural ingredient known as allantoin that is effective in treating vaginal infections, herpes and cold sores.

(c)High blood pressure – The plant has diuretic activity and is therefore ideal for treating high blood pressure. It is advisable to consult a doctor prior to using this plant for treating high blood pressure.

(b)Eliminating E.coli – The plant has been found to have anti- microbial activity against E.coli. The plant has a natural ingredient known as arbutin which releases aglycone hydroquinone which then produces the anti- microbial activity. Other Vitro tests have shown that it is effective against Candida albicans, Streptococcus strains, Enrterococcus aureus, Mycoplasma hominis, Ureaplasma urealyticum and Proteus vulgaris.

(c) Urinary tract infections – The main active ingredient in this plant is a hydroquinone derivative known as arbutin. This chemical has been found to be very effective in treating urinary infections such as nephritis, urethritis and cystitis. This compound is converted to hydroquinone within the intestinal tract. Hydroquinone produces antiseptic, astringent and antimicrobial activity. This compound is also effective in reducing inflammation.

Solaray: Uva ursi 100ct 500mgThe plant has particularly been found to be very effective in treating lower tract infections. Arbutin compound has also been found effective in reducing accumulation of urate and is therefore very effective in relieving pain caused by bladder stones. This chemical is also very effective in relieving bloating feeling associated with menstruation. This plant has also been found to be very effective in treating digestive tract infections such as candida albicans infections and gastroenteritis.

The Dosage Range Of Uva ursi

The uva ursi plant extracts are mainly recommended for adults. They are contraindicated in pediatric use. The plant can be toxic and therefore should be used under the doctor’s instructions

The recommended adult dosage is as follows:

  • -Tea: 3gms of dried leaves are soaked in five oz. of water for twelve hours. They are then strained and taken when cold or hot three to four times per day.
  • -Dried herb (capsules): The recommended dose is 2-4 gms per day. These capsules are standardized to 400-800 mg of arbutin.
  • Contraindications And Side Effects of Using Uva ursi
  • -Acidic foods such as acidic fruits and fruit juices should be avoided when using urva ursi. This is because the plant is only effective in alkaline media.
  • -The derivatives of this plant are contraindicated in individuals with benign prostate hyperplasia, impaired cerebral circulation, glaucoma, hypertension and anxiety.
  • -This herb should not be used for prolonged period unless under the doctor’s instructions.
  • -Excessive dosage may result to liver toxicity, irritable condition within the urinary tract and inflammation of the bladder.
  • -This herb is not recommended during breastfeeding or pregnancy.
  • -It is contraindicated for children under the age of 12 years.

In summary, they are various healthy benefits associated with using uva ursi.This plant can also be toxic when used excessively and it is therefore important to consult a doctor prior to using it. It is mainly for treating urinary tract infections.