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BEARBERRY – Arctostaphyllos Uvaursi

Usable part of the herb - the leaves of bearberry - Folia Uvae-ursi.

Family Ericaceae – Ericaceae

Description. Bearberry is a small evergreen bush. It reaches a height of 20 cm. The leaves are evergreen, back-ovate, narrow wedge at the base, leather and entire, slightly filamentous edge. The flowers are small, white or red, bell-shaped cumulus, with 10 stamens. Fruits are round, red, not juicy strawberries, with 6 pyrenes. Bearberry bloons in July – July.

Distribution. Herb bearberry occurs through rocky meadows and coniferous forests in Western and Central Balkan, Rhodope, Rila, Pirin and others.

Drugs. Bearberry leaves - Folia Uvae-ursi.

Leaves were collected at the time of flowering (August-September). Picking takes place in dry and sunny weather. Cut leafy top branches of the herb and immediately cleaned of dark leaves and other impurities. Not allowed plants to extort goals roots. The top branches are cut with a sharp knife. Cut twigs are dried in ventilated areas. After drying, the leaves of bearberry is separated from the twigs, cleaned and dried to a shade or in a drying oven at temperatures up to 40 ° C. Dried leaves are dark green on top, glittering and bottom - gray-green, leathery, entire. At its base are wedge narrowed, with short stalk, 10-20 mm long, 8-10 mm wide, hard and brittle. Veins are net. Veins on the upper side are sunken, and bottom are slightly convex. Young leaves have minor cilia along the edge, which can only be seen with a magnifying glass. The drug is odorless, with a pungent and slightly bitter taste. Store in a shady, well-ventilated place.

Chemical composition. Bearberry leaves contain phenolic glycosides arbutin and metilarbutin (average 10%). Arbutinat hydrolysis breaks down into glucose and hydroquinone, and metilarbutinat - glucose and methylhydroquinone. The action of the herb due to hydroquinone. In the herb also contains small amounts of free hydroquinone and methylhydroquinone, tannins (galotannins - about 20%), essential oil Uvaol, flavonoid substances (hiperozid, kvertsitrin, miritsitrin, gallic and ellagic acid), quinic and formic acid. Interesting ingredient is urzolovata acid which constitutes triterpene saponin.

Depending on the origin of bearberry there is defferent between the ratio of arbutina and metilarbutina. Hydrolytic degradation of arbutin, respectively. metilarbutin of uranium is carried out under the effect of the herb contained in enzyme arbutaza (fenolglikozidaza).

Action and use. Bearberry leaves and their preparations acting diuretic and urinary tract antiseptic and prescribed for inflammation of the kidneys (pyelitis) and bladder (cystitis cystopyelitis) in sand and kidney stones and gallstones. Hydrolytic degradation of arbutina to hydroquinone occurs only in an alkaline environment (alkaline urine), so it is recommended when using preparations of bearberry a cup of tea to be taken and one teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). Due to the significant amount of tannins herb acts astringent too.

When is taken large doses of decoction of bearberry can be observed exacerbation of inflammatory changes in the tubular system of the kidneys accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. To avoid these undesirable phenomena is well bearberry be administered in combination with other herbs. Its application in the acute stage of the disease is undesirable. Bearberry irritating the uterine muscles and not be prescribed during pregnancy.

Folk medicine recommends the leaves of bearberry and at blood-pissing, congestive phenomena of renal origin, diabetes, whites, renal tuberculosis.

Usage. Bearberry is applied in the form of cold extract or decoction of previously well cut and crushed leaves. A decoction is made of 1 tablespoon of drugs and 700 ml of boiling water. Boil for 30 minutes on low heat. By case decoction is taken as 100 ml 4 times daily. The cold extract is made of 1 tablespoon of herb and 200 ml cold water. Allow to stand for 8 hours. From strained extract of bearberry be taken 1-2 tablespoons 4-5 times a day.