Uva ursi leaf comes from a small shrub also known as bearberry and whortleberry. The fruits are a popular food for bears, but it is the leaves of the shrub that are used in herbal medicines and steeped to make tea.
Uva ursi has many health benefits and has been used as far back as the 2nd century in alternative medicine.
Health Benefits of Uva Ursi
- Uva ursi can be made into a tea and has diuretic properties. It can help reduce water retention and also aid against urinary tract infections such as cystitis.
- Uva ursi tea helps to flush the body of toxins and can even ease the pain of bladder stones and reduce the risk of bedwetting.
- Any supplement with diuretic properties can increase the risk of dehydration, so increasing fluid intake while using the uva ursi as a health supplement is vital.
- Astringent tannins contained in the uva ursi tea can help reduce the frequency and severity of bouts of diarrhea, bringing relief to those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
- Uva ursi has muscle relaxant properties making it beneficial for those who suffer from digestive problems and menstrual cramps.
- The uva ursi herb when used as a tonic can boost the function of ailing liver and kidneys. It is also good for the pancreas.
- Its anti-inflammatory properties and the benefits for the muscles mean it can be beneficial for those who suffer with arthritis.
- The herb has antibacterial properties which can help to fight infections of the digestive tract and may be beneficial for yeast infections.
- The diuretic properties of uva ursi leaf help to rid the body of toxins, which is beneficial for those who suffer from frequent headaches.
- Uva ursi has antiseptic and antibiotic properties. It can be used on the skin as a wash to help heal cuts and scrapes. It can also help with other ailments such as herpes and vaginal infections.
- Using uva ursi as a tea can help to lower blood pressure, but be cautious as it can deplete the body’s potassium due to its diuretic benefits. It should not be used in place of prescription medication, as it is not suitable for long term use.
- The herb’s astringent properties and high allantoin mean it is beneficial for cuts and other wounds. It can also be applied to cold sores and other infections.
Uva ursi leaf is not suitable for children or pregnant women, and those who have had a urinary tract infection for longer than 24 hours should consult a doctor, as complications could arise.
Those who have kidney problems should not use uva ursi tea. Those who have blood pressure problems should consult a doctor about the problem before choosing to treat themselves with herbs.
The herb may react with acidic foods, so diet should be monitored while on a course of uva ursi. Prolonged and regular use of the herb is not advised, as it increases the risk of side effects.