Bearberry is a plant that tends to grow in the Americas, Asia and Northern Europe, usually forming a series of small, easily identifiable shrubs. It is also known by the curious name of bearberry, and scientifically its correct name is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, belonging to the family of Ericaceae.
It is characterized by having very green and perennial leaves, of small size and a taste certainly unpleasant for people.
Since it is an interesting plant for the purification of the kidneys, it is an ideal remedy to lower the high creatinine levels, thanks to the different properties of bearberry, which we find precisely in this medicinal plant. But first let’s discover a little more about what it is and how it is.
What is bearberry and what is it for?
As we briefly explained at the beginning of this note, under the name of bearberry we are dealing with a perennial plant belonging to the family of Ericaceae, a large family comprising about 200 species of different plants (mostly small trees or shrubs).
From a scientific point of view it is known as Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, and popularly it is also known as bear grape, because of its translation in Greek and Latin.
It usually reaches half a meter high, its leaves are small, hard and oval, with pink flowers with the curious shape of bells. In addition, it has tremendously characteristic red berries in the form of small spheres.
Benefits of Bearberry
Bearberry leaves contain a substance, called an arbutuside, which is able to metabolize hydroquinone and assist in its subsequent elimination through urine.
In fact, it’s one of the richest plants in arbutin. And what is arbutin? It is basically a component to which we owe the fact that this plant has an antiseptic, antibacterial and diuretic effect.
For example, it becomes a very interesting natural option when treating fluid retention, while, as we will see in the following lines, thanks to its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities it is ideal for treating urinary infections.
Bearberry against urinary infections
Interestingly, its properties against bacteria Escherichia coli .This is a pathogen responsible for many urinary tract infections, which is called cystitis.
We should also not forget one of the most important and outstanding benefits of bearberry: its anti-inflammatory and diuretic virtues, which favours the increase of urine volume and the elimination of urea.
As far as natural treatment of urinary infections with bearberry is concerned, it is an excellent natural option in case of Streptococcus spp. and Candida albicans, the most common infections in this respect.
On the other hand, it is capable of destroying bacteria in the urine, thanks precisely to the presence of arbutin in its composition. When consumed, this compound is hydrolyzed, so that hydroquinone is released from the liver. Finally, it reaches the kidney and is eliminated in the urine.
Therefore, bearberry is very useful in case of ureteritis, urethritis and cystitis. And it is also interesting in case of prostate diseases in men and vaginitis or leukorrhea in women.
You can now find it in many herbalists and specialty stores, mainly in capsule form, which contain cryo powder.
How do you take bearberry?
As long as there is no contraindication that prevents its consumption, currently we can find it in capsule or liquid form in herbalists and specialized dietetic shops. Therefore, you should always follow the instructions that you will find on the package you have purchased.
However, the most common is to consume the following dose: 2 to 3 capsules 3 times a day, preferably with meals.
It is also possible to brew an infusion of bearberry directly at home, opting for bearberry leaves. Depending on the disorder to be treated, it is possible to combine it with other herbs and plants to, for example, increase its diuretic and purifying effect (birch leaves or horsetail are ideal).
What are the contraindications of bearberry?
As with any other plant and herbal medicine, we must pay attention to the contraindications of this plant, especially before consumption. Thus, we must know that it is not advisable to consume more than 7 days of bearberry.
On the other hand, here are its main contraindications:
Constipation: As it is a plant with an astringent effect, its consumption is not recommended in case of constipation, since it can aggravate it. This effect is due to its high content of tannins.
Liver diseases: Due to its content in hydroquinone (mentioned above), it is a plant contraindicated in case of liver diseases, especially inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), liver failure and cirrhosis.
Iron deficiency anaemia: Since tannins prevent the correct absorption of the iron we obtain through the food we eat, people with iron deficiency anaemia should avoid its consumption.
This article is published for information purposes only. It cannot and should not substitute for consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.