The bearberry is a plant that tends to grow in America, Asia and northern Europe, generally forming a series of small thickets easy to identify. It is also known by the curious name of bear grape, and scientifically its correct name is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, belonging to the Ericaceae family.
It is characterized by having very green and evergreen leaves, of small size and a certainly unpleasant taste for people.
Since it is an interesting plant for the purification of the kidneys, it is an ideal remedy to lower high creatinine levels, thanks to the different properties of bearberry, which we find precisely in this medicinal plant. But first we are going to find out a little more about what it is and what it is like.
What is bearberry and what is it for?
As we briefly explained at the beginning of this note, with the name bearberry we are dealing with a perennial plant belonging to the Ericaceae family, a large family that includes around 200 species of different plants (especially small trees or shrubs.).
From a scientific point of view it is known by the name of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, and popularly it is also known by the name of bear grape, due to its translation in Greek and Latin.
It usually reaches half a meter in height, its leaves are small, hard and oval, with pink flowers with the curious shape of bells. In addition, it has extremely characteristic berries, red in the form of small spheres.
Bearberry leaves contain a substance, which is called arbutoside, which is capable of metabolizing hydroquinone and helping its subsequent elimination through the urine.
In fact, it is one of the richest plants in arbutin. And what is arbutin? It basically consists of a component to which we owe that, precisely, this plant has an antiseptic, antibacterial and diuretic effect.
For example, it becomes a very interesting natural option when it comes to treating fluid retention, while, as we will see in the following lines, thanks to its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities it is ideal for treating urinary infections.
Bearberry against urinary infections
Its properties against the bacterium Escherichia coli, a pathogen responsible for numerous urinary tract infections, which is called cystitis, are interesting.
Nor should we forget one of the most important and outstanding benefits of bearberry: its anti-inflammatory and diuretic virtues, which is why it favors the increase in the volume of urine and the elimination of urea.
When it comes to the natural treatment of UTIs with bearberry, it is an excellent natural option for Streptococcus spp infections. And Candida albicans, the most common infections in this regard.
On the other hand, it is capable of destroying bacteria in the urine, thanks precisely to the presence of arbutin in its composition. When consumed, this compound is hydrolyzed, so that hydroquinone is released from the liver. Finally, it reaches the kidney and is eliminated in the urine.
For this reason, bearberry is very useful in case of urethritis, urethritis and cystitis. And, in addition, it is also interesting in case of prostate affections in men and vaginitis or leucorrhoea in women.
Currently you can find it in many herbalists and specialized stores, mainly in the form of capsules, which contain cryomolide powder.
How can bearberry be taken?
As long as there is no contraindication that prevents its consumption, currently in herbalists and specialized diet stores we can find it in capsule or liquid form. Therefore, the indications that we will find in the container that we have acquired should always be followed.
However, the most common is to consume the following dose: between 2 to 3 capsules 3 times a day, preferably with meals.
It is also possible to make a bearberry infusion directly at home, opting for bearberry leaves. Depending on the disorder to be treated, it is possible to combine it with other herbs and plants to, for example, increase its diuretic and purifying effect (birch leaves or horsetail are ideal).
What are the contraindications of bearberry?
As with any other medicinal plant and herb, we must pay attention to the contraindications presented by this plant, especially before consumption. Thus, we must know that a consumption of bearberry for more than 7 days is not recommended.
On the other hand, below we indicate what its main contraindications are:
- Constipation: Being a plant with an astringent effect, its consumption is not recommended in case of constipation, as it can aggravate it. This effect is due to its high tannin content.
- Liver diseases: Due to its hydroquinone content (which we mentioned above), it is a contraindicated plant in case of liver diseases, especially liver inflammation (hepatitis), liver failure and cirrhosis.
- Iron deficiency anemia: Since tannins prevent the correct absorption of the iron that we obtain through the food we eat, people with anemia due to lack of iron should avoid its consumption.