Get exclusive member benefits & effect social change. Join Today
Arberry, arbusier (French), arbutin, Arbutus uva ursi, arctostaphylos, Arctostaphylos adenotricha, Arctostaphylos coactilis, Arctostaphylos coactylis, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, arctuvan, barentraube (German), bearberry, bear grape, bear's grape, bearsgrape, beerendruif (Holland), bousserole (French), common bearberry, common beargrape, coralillo (Spanish), creeping manzanita, crowberry, Cystinol akut®, Dunih'tan (Carrier people), Ericaceae (family), foxberry, gayuba (Spanish), hog berry, hydroquinone, kanya'ni, kwica (American Indian), kinnikinnick (American Indian), macnicy (Polish), manzanita, mealberry, mehlberre (German), melbaerblad (Norweigan), melbarrisblade (Danish), methyl arbutin, mjolonrisblad (Swedish), mossberre (German), mountain box, mountain cranberry, phenolic glycoside, ptarmigan berry, raisin d'ours (French), redberry, red bearberry, rock berry, rockberry, sagsckhomi (American Indian), sand berry, sandberry, Solvefort, s'qaya'dats, tannin, toloknianka (Russian), upland cranberry, Uroflux, uva d'orso (Italian), UVA-E, Uvae ursi folium, Uvalyst, uva-ursi, uva ursi leaf, whortle berry, wilder Buchsbaum (German), Wolfstraube (German).
Uva ursi (bearberry) is described as a small evergreen shrub with clusters of small white or pink bell-shaped flowers and dull orange berries. Although the berries do not seem to possess any medicinal benefits, the leaves have been used traditionally as an herbal remedy for mild, uncomplicated cystitis (inflammation of the bladder).
Grown throughout Asia, North America and Europe, uva ursi has a long history of medicinal use dating back to the 13th century. The leaves have been used worldwide as a diuretic, astringent, antiseptic and a treatment for urinary tract infections (UTIs). A tea brewed with the leaves has also been used as a laxative.
Arbutin, the main chemical constituent of uva ursi, is a phenolic glycoside that becomes hydrolyzed to hydroquinone. Both chemicals contribute to the antiseptic effects in the urinary tract. Arbutin alone has been reported to relieve pain from kidney stones, cystitis (bladder infection) and nephritis (kidney inflammation). However, due to its high tannin content, uva ursi may cause acute nausea and intestinal irritation.
Uva ursi leaf was listed on the U.S. National Formulary as a urinary antiseptic from 1820 to 1950 but it is no longer listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia. The European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) lists uva ursi as a treatment for uncomplicated cystitis where antibiotics are not warranted. The German Commission E Monographs recommend it for inflammatory conditions of the lower urinary tract.
The chemical constituents of the herbal product uva ursi have been used for a variety of conditions such as chloasma, a skin condition that appears as a blotchy, brownish discoloration on the skin, especially the face. Females are usually targeted for the condition because it occurs as a result of oral contraception use, or during pregnancy or menopause. The clinical usefulness of uva ursi has not been well established in the current literature.
Urinary tract infection (UTI):
Uva ursi has long been used as a folk remedy to treat urinary tract infection. The active ingredients in the herb are believed to be ursolic acid and isoquercitrin. Additional study is needed to make a strong recommendation.
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.
Members save from top retailers online at the Everyday Savings Center powered by NextJump.
Members get $13.50 off oil changes Tues-Thurs at Sears Auto Center.
Go Mobile with RealPad. Connect, play and share plus free 24/7 live customer support.
Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.
Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.
Register at a location near you to keep your driving skills sharp.
Find opportunities to volunteer in your neighborhood.
NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon teams up with AARP Foundation.
AARP Foundation Prepaid MasterCard brought to you by Green Dot.