Uva Ursi - Useful Herb for Kidney Disease
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Ericaceae Also called Bearberry
Found in the mountainous parts oj Europe, Asia and America, uva-ursi is a small, low-growing shrub, with woody branching stems that trail along the ground. Its leathery, evergreen leaves are spatula-shaped, and are joined in early summer by clusters oj pretty, waxy-looking flowers - white lightly marked with red. Glossy bright red berries follow them in autumn.
Uva-ursi contains phenolic glycosides, mainly arbutin, which the body are converts into antibacterial hydroquinones. Healing tannins and allantoin, and diuretic flavonoids are a Iso present.
A number of recent research projects have clearly demonstrated that when the phenolic glycosides in uva-ursi, especially arbutin, are converted to hydroquinone inside the body, they act as a powerful antibiotic. Uva-ursi has been shown to be effective for treating urinary tract infections, such as cystitis and urethritis, boils and abscesses infected with the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium, and also food poisoning and diarrhoea.
Uva-ursi is thought to be more effective in fighting the bacteria that cause urinary infections when the patient's urine is more alkaline than acidic. Therefore, during treatment with the plant, it is advisable to follow a strict diet, containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and only a small quantity of meat and dairy products. An alternative would be to take a regular dose of bicarbonate of soda.Animal research into uva-ursi has also demonstrated it ability to reduce inflammation.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO TREAT urinary infections INFUSION Put 3g of dried leaves, crushed to a powder, into a cup of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink 3-4 cups a day.
TINCTURE (1:1 in 25% alcohol) Take 2-4ml a day.
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR
Uva-ursi can be grown from seeds planted in autumn, or cuttings planted in summer. Use moist, peaty to sandy soil. The plant will thrive in a sunny or lightly shaded plot.
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