Uva Ursi Ext

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is the plant known as uva ursi. It is also commonly referenced as bearberry, upland cranberry, or kinnikinnick. It is a member of the Ericaceae or Heath family of plants. [1] Uva ursi is a decumbent plant growing up to 1.5 meters long, as a creeping espalier with elastic, red-brown branches. The plant produces flowers, which are white or reddish with a unique red border. Its fruit is a globose, pea-sized, scarlet, floury drupe. [2]

Uva ursi spread from the Iberian Peninsula across Central Europe to Scandinavia and Siberia. It is also found in the Altai Mountains, the Himalayas, and in parts of Northern America. [2] The leaves of this plant are the parts of the plant used medicinally. Interestingly, its modern preparations do not deviate much from its traditional applications, as the usage of the uva ursi leaf was first employed approximately eight-hundred years ago.

The main constituents in uva ursi are hydroquinone glycosides, accounting for some 4 - 15% of the chemical content; the most important of which are arbutin and methylarbutin. Uva ursi also contains polyphenols, tannins (increased in older leaves), flavonoids (quercetin), resin, acids (ursolic, gallic, ellagic), allantoin, and volatile oils (triterpene alkaloids). [3-5]

The glycoside arbutin appears to be very important to the pharmacologic activity of uva ursi. Arbutin is ‘split' into a small sugar molecule and a hydroquinone in the intestine. In fact, hydroquinone is the compound that exerts effect upon the urinary tract. Once it is made water-soluble in the liver, it can be carried to the kidneys where, if the urine is alkaline, hydroquinone will be released from its carrier. [6] In the urine, hydroquinone can act as a powerful anti-microbial agent, explaining its ability to address urinary tract infections. [7]

Arbutin has also been shown to increase the anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic action of some pharmaceuticals, such as dexamethasone. [8, 9] Another isolated compound, corilagin, has been shown to potentiate the activity of beta-lactam anti-biotics against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. [10] Aqueous extracts of A. uva ursi have also demonstrated diuretic effects in animal studies and show the ability to inhibit melanin synthesis by blocking tyrosinase, which is responsible for the conversion of dopamine to melanin. [11-12]

Medicinal actions ascribed to uva ursi include;

  • antibacterial
  • astringent
  • anti-inflammatory
  • diuretic
  • tonic
  • oxytocic

Traditionally, it was used as a as a diuretic and a sedative for the genitourinary system, exerting an astringent and tonifying effect. Uva ursi was also used for the treatment of diabetes-related disorders. [13]

Products Containing Uva Ursi Ext
Name Price Rating Serving Price # of Servings Manufacturer Health Condition
Capisette $27.95
$0.93 30 Progressive Health Edema


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