Uva ursi is an herb which has vital medicinal value. It has antibacterial properties. Its scientific name is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi but it is commonly called Uva ursi or Bearberry. Uva ursi has many health benefits related to it. The leaves of the plant Uva ursi have high medicinal value and are used in making medicines. The most important health benefits of Uva ursi are listed below.
7 Amazing Health Benefits of Uva Ursi
Remedy for UTI
Urinary Tract Infections are quite common and quite painful to deal with. They can be treated with prescribed antibiotics. But that comes with its own set of problems in the form of side effects. Uva ursi is the best remedy for treating Urinary Tract Infections, considering that it is a natural medicine. It fights UTI by reducing inflammation and swelling in the urinary tract. It also fights infections. Uva ursi contains two important chemicals called hydroquinone and arbutin.
When consumed, arbutin is absorbed by the stomach and further gets converted to hydroquinone and sugar. The hydroquinone again combines with another compound, glucuronic acid and creates another compound. The astringent anti-microbial properties of all these compounds help in easing the process of urination. These substances act directly on the urinary tract’s mucous membranes to soothe irritation. The side effects related with this are minimal. Uva ursi tincture can be consumed to treat UTIs. 10 to 20 drops of the tincture must be mixed with water and consumed three or four times a day in order to treat Uva ursi.
Uva ursi is a great remedy to treat hair fall. An extract of Uva ursi must be applied to the hair to see results. It helps to tighten and strengthen the roots. The extract contains nutrients which help to strengthen the hair and prevent hair fall. The extract can also act as natural conditioner, especially for a dry scalp. It acts as a natural moisturizer for the scalp. Apart from this, Uva ursi can also be used as a hair tonic for graying hair. It contains antioxidants which prevent discoloration of hair. Premature graying of hair can be prevented this way.
Helps in healing wounds
Toxins and crystallized minerals can cause tiny cuts to mucous membranes that are already irritated and inflamed. Uva ursi contains a compound called Allantoin. This helps to heal wounds in the affected tissues. It also contains diuretic chemicals and powerful astringents which help in forming healthy new cells. It also reduces inflammation in the affected tissue. This in turn helps in passing urine as well. The healthy tissue makes it easier for urine to take away wastes and other buildup from the body. Uva ursi can also act as an astringent topically to treat cuts and scrapes in general, helping them to heal faster.
Uva ursi has a beneficial effect on the kidneys. It contains a compound called Arbutin. When the herb is consumed, this natural compound passes through the blood and creates a diuretic effect which induces an urge to urinate. Further, it passes through the kidneys. Here, it clears away all harmful toxins and organisms, thus creating an antiseptic effect. It helps to clear the kidneys of unnecessary deposit. High acidity of urine results in the formation of stones in the kidney. The leaves of Uva ursi contain tannins which help to lower the acidity of urine, thus preventing the formation of kidney stones. Uva ursi also has anti-lithic properties that help to dissolve crystals in the kidneys, again preventing the formation of kidney stones. Essentially, it cleanses the kidneys. It assists the body to detoxify the lymphatic system.
Lowering urine acidity and increasing urine flow has a positive side effect. The fringe benefit of this is that it reduces bloating and water retention in the body. Consuming supplements containing Uva ursi can help with reducing water weight that doesn’t easily come off. But this mechanism of weight loss must be monitored. Weight loss through losing just water weight is not a standalone measure of weight loss. For overall weight loss, Uva ursi can be combined with other specific herbs and then consumed.
Performs diuretic actions
Ursolic acid is another compound that Uva ursi contains. This performs diuretic actions which helps to increase the quantity and frequency of urine passed. This helps to flush bacteria out of the body. It cleanses the bladder. It helps to treat gout and also eliminate bladder stones by relieving the buildup of uric acid. Its diuretic actions can also reduce bloating in women during menstruation.
Uva ursi can be used as a natural ingredient to keep the skin healthy. A topical application can keep skin smooth and blemish-free. It can also help in getting rid of acne scars, dark spots and age spots. To reduce wrinkles and fine lines, an extract of this herb can be used. Hydroquinone also acts as a natural sunscreen. It prevents tanning and sunburn and additionally acts as skin color lightener as well if already tanned. It is also recommended for skin diseases like Melasma and Ochronosis. Melasma is a skin condition which involves the occurrence of dark patches. In Ochronosis, bluish-black patches occur all over the body. Both these conditions can be improved by application of Uva ursi.
Side effects of Uva Ursi
It is commonly said that nothing should be overdone. This applies to our current topic too. Consumption of Uva ursi in large doses or for a long term can lead to more serious side effects like passing out or even death. Additionally, it can cause liver problems, eye problems, problem during breathing, cyanosis and convulsions. Uva ursi is not recommended to people with pre-existing kidney or liver diseases.
A word of caution
Uva ursi is not recommended to children and pregnant women. It must be consumed with prior consultation from your doctor.