Uva ursina (Arctostaphylos uva ursi L.) is a plant belonging to the Ericaceae family. It is a shrub with small, spatula-shaped, evergreen and leathery leaves. It is native to Northern Europe, Asia and North America.
The name comes from “arktos” = bear “staphulé” = bunch of grapes; in fact, bears are fond of these floury fruits. The use of the plant in the Great Lakes area dates back at least to prehistoric times.
The galenic forms of popular use were in fact four: decoction, infusion, tincture and smoking mixtures (both as a remedy for diseases and as spiritual medicine).
The bearberry contains numerous chemical compounds: Hydroquinone glucosides (arbutoside or arbutin, methylbutin); Hydrolyzable tannins, Flavonoids such as myricetin, Terpenoids (alpha- and beta-amirina, uveol, ursolic acid). Thanks to the combination of these active ingredients, it is used as a diuretic and urinary disinfectant , as well as an astringent .
The antibacterial effect is due to arbutin . This property has been confirmed by several studies and it is precisely for this reason that the use of the plant has obtained official approval for the treatment of urinary tract infections . Useful as a natural remedy in case of cystitis and urethritis . Furthermore, the presence of tannins makes it an excellent astringent, to promote intestinal well-being.
From the leaves of this plant macerated in a solution of water and alcohol it is possible to obtain an extraction that is able to maintain all the active ingredients. The properties of the hydroalcoholic extract of the plant are mainly carried out using the phytocomplex , as arbutin requires synergy with gallic acid which prevents its splitting by enzymes. Arbutin is an effective urinary tract antibiotic, but should be taken in large doses and in the presence of alkaline urine. In fact, only with alkalized soil, this substance is able to determine an antimicrobial action.
It is therefore necessary and important to drink a lot of water , to enhance the beneficial washing effect of the urinary tract, and to take a lot of alkalizing fruit and vegetables, or to supplement the diet with a little bicarbonate .
We recommend taking 50 drops of Uva Ursi officinal tincture two or three times a day in water, tea or juice to take advantage of all its benefits.