Arberry, Arbousier, Arbousier Traînant, Arbutus uva-ursi, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Bearberry, Beargrape, Bearsgrape, Bussserole, Common Bearberry, Faux Buis, Hogberry, Kinnikinnik, Manzanita, Mountain Box, Mountain Cranberry, Petit Buis, Ptarmigan Berry, Raisin de Renard, Raisin d'Ours, Raisin d'Ours Commun, Red Bearberry, Redberry, Rockberry, Sagackhomi, Sandberry, Uva del Oso, Uva Ursi Extract, Uvae Ursi Folium.<br/><br/>
Overview InformationUva ursi is a plant. The leaves are used to make medicine.
Bears are particularly fond of the fruit, which explains its Latin name, "uva ursi," which means "bear's grape." Most authorities refer to Arctostaphylos uva-ursi as uva ursi. However, the related plants, Arctostaphylos adentricha and Arctostaphylos coactylis, have also been termed uva ursi by some experts.
Uva ursi is used primarily for urinary tract disorders, including infections of the kidney, bladder, and urethra; swelling (inflammation) of the urinary tract; increased urination; painful urination; and urine that contains excess uric acid or other acids. Uva ursi is also used for constipation and a lung condition called bronchitis.
Uva ursi, hops, and peppermint are also used in combination to treat people with compulsive bedwetting and painful urination.
How does it work?Uva ursi can reduce bacteria in the urine. It can also reduce swelling (inflammation), and have a drying (astringent) effect on the tissues.
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs). Developing research suggests that taking a combination product containing both uva ursi and dandelion by mouth seems to reduce the recurrence rate of UTIs in women. However, since it is not clear if this kind of extended use is safe, do not use uva ursi for long-term prevention of UTIs.
- Swelling of the bladder and urethra.
- Swelling of the urinary tract.
- Kidney infections.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyUva ursi is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth short-term (for up to one month). It can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, and a greenish-brown discoloration of the urine.
However, uva ursi is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in high doses or long-term. It can cause liver damage, eye problems, breathing problems, convulsions, and death.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Using uva ursi during pregnancy is LIKELY UNSAFE because it might start labor. Not enough is known about the safety of using uva ursi during breast-feeding. Avoid use if you are pregnant or nursing.
Children: Uva ursi is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in children when taken by mouth. Uva ursi contains a chemical that might cause severe liver problems. Do not give uva ursi to children.
Retinal thinning: Uva ursi contains a chemical that can thin the retina in the eye. This could worsen the condition of people whose retinas are already too thin. Avoid use if you have this problem.
Be cautious with this combination
Lithium interacts with UVA URSI
Uva ursi might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking uva ursi might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.
The appropriate dose of uva ursi depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for uva ursi. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
- Arndt KA, Fitzpatrick TB. Topical use of hydroquinone as a depigmenting agent. JAMA 1965;194(9):965-967. View abstract.
- Assaf, M. H., Ali, A. A., Makboul, M. A., Beck, J. P., and Anton, R. Preliminary study of phenolic glycosides from Origanum majorana; quantitative estimation of arbutin; cytotoxic activity of hydroquinone. Planta Med 1987;53(4):343-345. View abstract.
- Beaux, D., Fleurentin, J., and Mortier, F. Effect of extracts of Orthosiphon stamineus Benth, Hieracium pilosella L., Sambucus nigra L. and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. in rats. Phytother.Res 1999;13(3):222-225. View abstract.
- Chakraborty AK, Funasaka Y, Komoto M, et al. Effect of arbutin on melanogenic proteins in human melanocytes. Pigment Cell Res 1998;11(4):206-212. View abstract.
- Grases, F., Melero, G., Costa-Bauza, A., Prieto, R., and March, J. G. Urolithiasis and phytotherapy. Int Urol Nephrol 1994;26(5):507-511. View abstract.
- Jin YH, Lee SJ, Chung MH, et al. Aloesin and arbutin inhibit tyrosinase activity in a synergistic manner via a different action mechanism. Arch Pharm Res 1999;22(3):232-236. View abstract.
- Kubo M, Ito M, Nakata H, et al. [Pharmacological studies on leaf of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. I. Combined effect of 50% methanolic extract from Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. (bearberry leaf) and prednisolone on immuno-inflammation]. Yakugaku Zasshi 1990;110(1):59-67. View abstract.
- Larsson B, Jonasson A, Fianu S. Prophylactic effect of UVA-E in women with recurrent cystitis: a preliminary report. Current Therapeutic Research 1993;53(4):441-443.
- Maeda K, Fukuda M. Arbutin: mechanism of its depigmenting action in human melanocyte culture. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1996;276(2):765-769. View abstract.
- Matsuda H, Higashino M, Nakai Y, et al. Studies of cuticle drugs from natural sources. IV. Inhibitory effects of some Arctostaphylos plants on melanin biosynthesis. Biol Pharm Bull 1996;19(1):153-156. View abstract.
- Nowak AK, Shilkin KB, Jeffrey GP. Darkroom hepatitis after exposure to hydroquinone. Lancet 1995;345(8958):1187. View abstract.
- Paper DH, Koehler J, Franz G. Bioavailability of drug preparations containing a leaf extract of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. (Uvae ursi folium). Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Lett 1993;3:63-66.
- Parejo I, Viladomat F, Bastida J, et al. A single extraction step in the quantitative analysis of arbutin in bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) leaves by high-performance liquid chromatography. Phytochem Anal 2001;12(5):336-339. View abstract.
- Pizzorno J, Murry M. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 1999;989-990, 1187.
- Quintus J, Kovar KA, Link P, et al. Urinary excretion of arbutin metabolites after oral administration of bearberry leaf extracts. Planta Med 2005;71(2):147-152. View abstract.
- Schindler G, Patzak U, Brinkhaus B, et al. Urinary excretion and metabolism of arbutin after oral administration of Arctostaphylos uvae ursi extract as film-coated tablets and aqueous solution in healthy humans. J Clin Pharmacol 2002;42(8):920-927. View abstract.
- Shimizu M, Shiota S, Mizushima T, et al. Marked potentiation of activity of beta-lactams against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus by corilagin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2001;45(11):3198-3201. View abstract.
- Sugai T. [Clinical effects of arbutin in patients with chloasma]. Skin Research 1992;34:522-529.
- Turi, M., Turi, E., Koljalg, S., and Mikelsaar, M. Influence of aqueous extracts of medicinal plants on surface hydrophobicity of Escherichia coli strains of different origin. APMIS 1997;105(12):956-962. View abstract.
- Wahner C, Schonert J, Friedrich H. [Knowledge of the tannin contained in leaves of the bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi L)]. Pharmazie 1974;29(9):616-617. View abstract.
- de Arriba SG, Naser B, Nolte KU. Risk assessment of free hydroquinone derived from Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi folium herbal preparations. Int J Toxicol. 2013;32(6):442-453.
- Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
- Larsson B, Jonasson A, Fianu S. Prophylactic effect of UVA-E in women with recurrent cystitis: a preliminary report. Curr Ther Res 1993;53:441-3.
- Wang L, Del Priore LV. Bull's-eye maculopathy secondary to herbal toxicity from uva ursi. Am J Ophthalmol 2004;137:1135-7. View abstract.