Uva Ursi Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Interactions

Can Uva Ursi Treat Urinary Tract Infections In Men?

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Uva ursi is claimed to have plenty of health benefits. Now, what does research say about these? Let us find out what science has discovered regarding this plant.

What are the Benefits of Uva Ursi?

  • promoting healing
  • soothing stomach upset
  • boosting the immune system
  • reducing inflammation
  • detoxifying the body
  • swelling of the bladder and urethra
  • swelling of the urinary tract
  • constipation
  • kidney infections
  • bronchitis

One of the benefits attributed to uva ursi is that it is antibacterial. A comparison study confirmed this claim. It revealed that uva ursi extract, which is from its berries and leaves, has the capacity to inhibit the growth of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. It may not have been able to outperform leading antibiotics, like tetracycline and vancomycin, but it came out more effective than other herbal treatments. (1)

Uva ursi could be effective in preventing cystitis, or the inflammation of the bladder. This condition is one of the usual forms of urinary tract infection.

One study involved 57 women who experienced recurrent episodes of bladder inflammation within a year. In the end, those who received uva ursi extract for treatment for a month did not develop bladder infection, while some of those who did not receive any treatment did. (1)

This herbal plant is also reported to be highly antioxidant. Meaning, it has the capacity to fight the effects of free radicals. These free radicals are associated with cell damage, resulting in various conditions including aging.

In 2013, a report was published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry stating that a 100 mg/ml concentration of uva ursi extract could result in 91.85% antioxidant activity. Based on their laboratory studies, Pakistani researchers reported that this could be the result of the methanol content of the uva ursi.

Uva ursi may help prevent or treat cancer as well. The researchers of Chung-Ang University of Medicine in South Korea conducted a study that examined the effects of arbutin on the carcinoma cells in the human bladder.

According to their investigation, more than 500 microg/ml arbutin concentration could reduce the proliferation of cancer cells within a certain period. It also interrupted the cell cycle. Furthermore, it is said that arbutin could be a melanoma cure as well. (1)

Uva ursi may also be an effective treatment for cough. A study involving cats showed that its arbutin content can act as codeine, which helps relieve coughs. Arbutin may also inactivate extracellular signal-regulated kinase. As a result, it may help in controlling cell proliferation. (1, 2)

In addition, the extract of uva ursi’s leaves is popularly used in cosmetics to brighten the skin. Urva ursi contains hydroquinone, which is among its active ingredients in skin lightening. Also, arbutin is known to have the ability to inhibit melanin-production. For this reason, the topical application of uva ursi extract may have a whitening effect on the skin. (1)

More research is needed to support the potential health benefits of urva ursi. Therefore, it is not advisable to be used as an alternative treatment for diseases.

What is Uva Ursi?

Urva ursi, more commonly known as bearberry, sandberry, and beargrape, is a plant species belonging to the genus Arctostaphylos. Urva ursi is the Latin for “bear’s grape”, and it is derived from the fact that berries of this plant are eaten by bears. It thrives in different parts of the world, but it prefers the cold climate of the North. It is common in the Himalayas, Alaska, and the Iberian Peninsula.

This plant is an evergreen shrub that is low-growing. Urva ursi is known for its red berries that replace the shrub’s white and pink flowers in the summer. It also has reddish-brown branches. This plant can grow in many kinds of terrains, including rocky soils, sandy beaches, and open woodlands. This shrub is also used to cover grounds.

How Does Uva Ursi Work?

The infection-fighting ability of uva ursi is attributed to its natural chemicals. What makes urva ursi effective in fighting off bladder infection is because it contains glycosides. These chemicals are turned into hydroquinone in the body—and it has antibacterial effects.

Urva ursi also contains tannins, which is known for its astringent effect that can reduce inflammation and combat infection.

This plant is also rich in arbutin. As mentioned above, this chemical has numerous effects on the body, and one of them is skin lightening.

However, more studies should be done to verify the anti-inflammatory properties of uva ursi.

How Do I Take Uva Ursi?

For medicinal purposes, only the leaves of uva ursi are used. Commercially, uva ursi is available in different forms, like capsules, tinctures, and teas. You can also buy crushed leaves of it. You can also find it in a topical ointment form.

If you would consume uva ursi as a dried herb, the standard dose is only 2 to 4 grams daily. If you want to make a tea out of its dried leaves, do it by soaking 3 grams in 5 ounces of water. Then, leave it soaking for 12 hours before straining the tea. It can be consumed 3 to 4 times a day.

However, taking too much uva ursi is not recommended because it is potentially toxic. Experts recommend limiting the consumption of uva ursi to not more than 5 days, and not more than 5 times within a year. It is also important to consult a doctor first before taking this as a supplement.

Can I Take It Along with Vitamins or Medicines?

Uva ursi may interact with lithium drugs since it could have an effect like a diuretic or water pill. For this reason, it may increase the body’s absorption of lithium, which could bring severe side effects. That is why, if you are taking lithium, make sure to let your doctor know before taking uva ursi supplement.

Is Uva Ursi Safe?

There are some safety concerns regarding the usage of uva ursi. Long term usage of uva ursi, especially high dosage of it, is strongly discouraged. Some of the serious side effects associated with it are eye problems and liver damage.

Short-term usage may be safe for adults. Nevertheless, it may have some minor side effects like urine discolouration, nausea, and vomiting.

Pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and people with kidney or liver disease are advised to avoid taking uva ursi.

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30 SCIENTIFICALLY-BACKED INGREDIENTS COMBINED IN OPTIMUM DOSE FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT FORMULATED FOR:

  • HEALTHY PROSTATE*
    Formulated with premium natural ingredients to promote prostate health and function.*
  • BLADDER DISCOMFORT*
    Helps reduce bladder discomfort.*
  • URINARY TRACT*
    Helps reduce the consistent urge “to go”.*
    Contains Saw Palmetto, Zinc and Pumpkin Seed.
PROSTATE+ ULTIMATE HEALTH FORMULA