The most important health benefits of uva-ursi or bearberry include its ability to prevent urinary tract infection, detoxify the bladder, treat arthritis, protect the immune system, eliminate headaches, aid in pregnancy, speed up healing, reduce inflammation, and protect the gut. It also aids in skin care.
Bearberry is a fruit that belongs to the genus Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. The word uva-ursi means ‘grape of the bear’ owing to the fact that bears are fond of this fruit. It is a low-growing shrub, which can be found in Asia, Europe, and Central and North America.
Indigenous cultures have used the Uva-ursi plant and its berries for traditional healing methods. The plant is unusual in that with its organic compounds and components that give it so many health benefits. There are also slightly narcotic elements as well, which is why the reputation and traditions of use of bearberries have changed and fluctuated over time. Now, you can mainly find bearberries in health food stores, herbalists, and those who still use folk medicine for treatments.
Common Names: kinnikinnick, pinemat manzanita, crowberry, and beargrape.
Put a teaspoon of uva ursi into a 200ml cup of boiled water. Cover it and let it brew for 15 minutes. Strain and drink a cup three times per day.
The tannins in uva-ursi are great for uterine health. The bearberry plant is considered as one of the best antiseptics for treating urinary infections as it helps reduce the bacteria in the urine. It is helpful in treating urinary tract infection (UTI), urolithiasis, and reducing inflammation in that area.
The most powerful chemical compounds, hydroquinones, found in bearberry, act as powerful antibacterial agents that can keep a wide range of diseases away from you. By eliminating harmful agents and foreign substances, bearberries can protect everything from your gut to your skin, acting as a defense against bacteria.
Bearberry is most commonly used as a natural diuretic. Therefore, it helps eliminate excess salts, fats, water, and toxic materials from your body, simultaneously cleansing the bladder and kidneys.
Bearberry has been used for hundreds of years as a headache reliever. To achieve this particular benefit, you need to smoke the dried leaves of the uva-ursi shrub, which produces a similar effect as the widely known cannabis plant. This narcotic use is one of the more controversial health benefits of bearberry and is looked down upon in many circles, but it has been shown to be an effective headache remedy.
The active components of bearberry have been directly connected to prevent miscarriages, ensuring the safety of the mother during pregnancy. Furthermore, after the baby is delivered, there is often a significant amount of pain and inflammation. Eating bearberries has been used to promote a healthy recovery of the mother by eliminating some of the pain and discomfort.
Bearberry helps in reducing inflammation and therefore is very suitable for people suffering from rheumatism arthritis and the pain associated with it.
A salve can be made from the fruits of the bearberry to form a topical application. This can be directly applied to burns, canker sores, wounds, bruises, or areas of inflammation. The acids of this unique fruit help speed the healing process under the skin, while also reducing inflammation and eliminating pain.
Gastrointestinal issues are very critical and they can affect your overall health badly by destroying the natural balance of helpful bacteria in our gut. Bearberries are known to inhibit the activity of harmful bacteria like E. coli, Proteus vulgaris, and a number of Staphylococcus strains of bacteria, helping our systems stave off these common infections.
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