The bearberry or grape or bear cherry, from its scientific name Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Ericaceae) is a bush with dark green evergreen leaves. It has long creeping stems, with pink bell-shaped flowers and red fruits. Originally from Europe, it is found in particular in dry mountain forests, under larches and pines. It acclimatizes in regions with a sunny climate; the cold is also favorable to it. The berries of the bear cherry are edible, but herbal medicine uses its leaves in particular; because its active ingredients are concentrated at this level. The latter contain hydroquinones, tannins, phenolic glycosides and flavonoids.
In which case can it be indicated?
It is especially effective for treat urinary disorders. The leaves contain phenolic glycosides which, metabolized in the kidneys into hydroquinone, are transformed into an antibacterial. The latter is known for its action against infectious agents, such as Protéus mirabilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas æruginosa… In short, the leaves of the latter can prevent and treat urethritis, cystitis, burning sensations during urination…
The tannins it contains act as an astringent and can act on enteritis with diarrhea, uterine bleeding and leucorrhoea.
In cosmetics, its active ingredients present alternatives for removing skin spots. Indeed, it inhibits melamines and therefore allows whiten the skin.
In what form can it be found?
It exists in phytotherapy in the form of powder, infusion, capsule, decoction and mother tincture.
How to use bearberry to enjoy its therapeutic benefits?
One can treat urinary problems with the bearberry by one of these recommendations:
- In decoction: bring 10 to 15 g of its leaves to a boil in 1 liter of water. Leave to simmer for about half an hour. Then drink it lukewarm.
- In powder: use 2 to 8 g of its capsules for 10 days between meals.
- In infusion: measure 20 to 30 g of leaves for 1 l of water. For optimal effectiveness, drink 3 to 4 cups a day.
- In mother tincture: take 50 to 90 drops per day (maximum one week).
What precautions should be taken before using it?
- In high doses, be aware that tannin can cause constipation, even vomiting and nausea.
- The medical use of this plant should not exceed more than 7-10 days in a row and not more than 5 times a year. Among other things, avoid consuming acidifying drugs and foods during its use. This is explained by the fact that the action of the active principles of the plant is effective only in an alkaline medium.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take it.
- It should not be given to children under 12 years of age.
- Before using it, seek the advice of a pharmacist or a sworn herbalist.