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Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

What is Bearberry?

Bearberry is native to the Nothern regions of North America and Europe. It’s a low-growing evergreen shrub that can be found growing in dry alpine meadows.

Bearberry has had a long history of use among the native Americans of Canada and the United States, but modern uses are much more narrow due to concerns over toxicity with long-term use.

Bearberry is almost exclusively used for treating urinary tract infections in controlled doses. The herb is often used as an antibacterial powerhouse for the digestive tract due to its high concentrations of arbutin — which remains active after being transferred into the urine.

Bearberry can only be used for up to 5 days in a row. Long-term use of the herb may result in kidney damage. This herb should only be used under the supervision of an experienced herbal medicine practitioner.

Common Names for Bearberry

  • Bearberry
  • Crowberry
  • Foxberry
  • Green manzanita
  • Kinnikinnick
  • Mealberry
  • Mountain cranberry
  • Mountain tobacco
  • Raisin d’ours
  • Uva-ursi

Herbal Actions of Bearberry

  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Astringent
  • Demulcent
  • Diuretic
  • Urinary Antiseptic

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