Bearberry plant medicinal uses, benefits and side effects

Bearberry plant or uva ursi is an evergreen shrub that grows to a height of 0.5 – 1 foot. In this article, we will talk about Bearberry plant medicinal uses and benefits.

Bearberry plant medicinal uses, benefits and side effects

It grows in acidic, sandy or gritty soil that is well drained. The bearberry grows well in infertile soils in hot, humid conditions. It has the name bearberry because bears like and eat this fruit.

The leaf has a shiny-green upper surface and paler green lower surface. The glassy, obovate leaves are 1 inch long. It flowers in March – June period. The flowers are white with a pink touch and lantern shaped. The berries are glossy and smooth and mature to bright red in the fall season. The bush is densely branched.

Common names of Bearberry plant

The common name for this plant is common bearberry. Other common names include bearberry, kinnikinnick, Manzanita, Cowberry, and Mealberry.

Bearberry scientific name and family

The botanical name of the plant is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. It belongs to the Ericaceae family.

Also Read: Health benefits of mulberries

Geological places where bearberry grows

It is a native of Italy or Spain. You can find it growing in North America in Alaska, South Dakota, Central California, New Mexico, Illinois, Virginia, Canada, and Newfoundland South. It also grows in some places in Asia and Europe.

Bearberry medicinal uses and health benefits

Bearberry comes directly from the word “bear” and “berry” because these fruits are often consumed by these massive mammals. American Indians used the leaves along with their pipe tobacco for smoking. It also found use in making culinary items, medicines, and cosmetics.

Bearberry fruit and flowers

Soothing effect of the bearberry

The bearberry cleared the mind. It helped to soothe the spirits, and so, anyone eating these berries became very calm and peaceful.

Also Read: Bilberry health benefits

Red effect of the berry

The names red Manzanita is a reference to the medical and culinary uses of the berry. It also has the name ravenberry which has a cosmetic significance.

Treat chronic urinary tract infection

You could treat and prevent chronic urinary tract infections where medication using antibiotics was not possible. For this reason, this plant got the name of urinary antiseptic. You can use it to treat cystitis.

You may also treat other types of urinary inflammations, a characteristic like the one found in the closely related cranberry. The treatments include the following:

  • Renal pelvis inflammation
  • Urethra inflammation after gonorrhoea
  • Kidney inflammations
  • Colibacillosis
  • Prostatic hyperplasia

Treating incontinence

You can have the bearberry as it cures urinary incontinence. It relaxes the bladder muscle and helps you hold more urine in the bladder.

Also Read: Barberry medicinal uses and side effects

Treating haemoptysis

When a person coughs up blood, we don’t know the exact cause. So, it is important to stop it immediately. You can have the bearberry in two ways. One is to prepare the decoction of the fresh leaves and have it twice a day.

The other method is to eat the fruit. You can cook the fruit with your daily dishes, and this will add a flavor and give you the medicinal value.

Treatment for diarrhea

The bearberry has antibacterial properties that help you control diarrhea. It will help you keep control over your bowel movement.

Diuretic action

Having bearberry will improve your bladder function, and this will remove unwanted toxins. It also has a sedative action, so you feel good relief. All the burning sensation during micturition will become lesser.

Cure for leucorrhoea

This happens due to an infection in most of the cases. The antibacterial and antifungal action improves when you have bearberry. This helps to cure leucorrhoea.

Helps treat haematuria

The prostate, urinary bladder, ureters, part of the kidney, or any other part of the urinary system can leak blood into the urine. Usually, this happens when bacteria enter the bladder and multiply there. Bearberry helps you overcome this and clears the bacteria fast.

Relief for urinary retention

Urinary retention is the inability of the person to pass urine. Usually, this happens due to prostate enlargement. Bearberry helps remove the obstruction in the bladder and gives relief to the person.

Helps treat enterocolitis

This condition occurs when you have inflammation of both the colon and the intestine. Bearberry augments the health of the lining of the intestines and brings down the inflammation.

Controls menorrhagia

Many women face the problem of heavy bleeding during menstruation. Usually, this happens due to fibroids, and the cure is to cut off the blood supply to these fibroids. The use of bearberry helps to overcome this problem and stop the excessive bleeding.

Cure kidney stones

The kidney stones form when the urine becomes concentrated. These stones can lodge in any part of the urinary tract. Prepare the tea from the bearberry leaves and add some crushed fruit.

Have one cup of tea daily in the morning, and you get relief for kidney stones. The efficacy of this urinary antiseptic is because it releases the compounds to treat the infection at the right spot.

Treatment for the venereal disease

Since the olden times, the bearberry has found a use for the treatment of many ailments of the urinary tract including venereal disease.

Beauty treatment with bearberry

The extract of the bearberry fruit shows a tendency to help lose weight. People add the fruit to their meals to become slim. Also, the extract regulates the melanin production. This helps to make the person fairer and more attractive.

How to take Bearberry

The most popular use of bearberry is in the form of a decoction. To make a decoction, take 10-15 grams of the leaves and add it one liter of water. Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes. When the water reduces, cool it and filter it.

For use in the powder form, take 2-6 grams of the powder between meals. Do this for 10 days, and you will see the desired result. To make an infusion, use 20-30 grams of leaves in one liter of water. Drink at least three cups for the best results. When used as mother tincture, have 50 -90 drops each day.

Bearberry Side effects

Bearberry plant medicinal uses and benefits are countless but when eating bearberry, do not continue after 10 days. Beware of eating too much of bearberry. This may lead to vomiting, back pain, and tinnitus. Do not use when you are breastfeeding or pregnant.


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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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