Arctostaphylos uva ursi
Uva ursi - Arctostaphylos uva ursi (in the Ericaceae or Heath family)
Part used: Leaves.
Taste/smell: Astringent, slightly sweet.
Tendencies: Cooling, drying.
Dosage: Decoction: 1-2 teaspoons per cup of water; or 1:3.5 dry strength liquid extract: 10-60 drops 1-4 times per day.
Mental picture and specific indications: Uva ursi is indicated for atonic, chronic conditions and infectious conditions of the urinary tract.
Use: (a) Urinary tract antiseptic, (b) Diuretic, (c) Increases renal circulation, (d) Stimulates tubular function.
Research claims uva ursi works best in an alkaline pH for treatment of urinary tract infections. The leaves contain arbutin, an antiseptic that is hydrolyzed in gastric fluid to hydroquinone. In alkaline urine, hydroquinone is an effective antimicrobial agent and uva ursi itself tends to alkalinize the urine. Arbutin also contributes to the antiseptic activity in the urinary tract. Consumption of this herb may cause a green tinge in the urine.
Contraindications: It should not be used in pregnancy because of the oxytocic properties. Ingestion of this herb in individuals with sensitive stomachs may cause nausea and vomiting. Toxic doses can cause nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, difficult breathing, and really excessive doses can cause convulsions and loss of consciousness. Arbutin inhibits the degradation of insulin and may be problematic for those with hypoglycemia.