Bearberry | Arctostaphylos Viscida

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Other Names

Arberry, Arbousier, Arbousier Traînant, Arbutus uva-ursi, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Bearberry, Beargrape, Bearsgrape, Bussserole, Common Bearberry, Faux Buis, Hogberry, Kinnikinnik, Manzanita, Mountain Box, Mountain Cranberry, Petit Buis, Ptarmigan Berry, Raisin de Renard, Raisin d’Ours, Raisin d’Ours Commun, Red Bearberry, Redberry, Rockberry, Sagackhomi, Sandberry, Uva del Oso, Uva Ursi Extract, Uvae Ursi Folium. Foxberry, and Kinnikinic, Bear-grape, Kinnikinik, Mealberry, Bralins, Creashak

Description

Bearberry is a low growing evergreen, its stem rises 2-8 inches off the ground and it is covered in thick bark and hairs that are fine and silky. The leaves are leathery and the flowers are pale pink, sometimes white with only five petals. It is named bearberry because bears like to feast on them. The plant thrives on dry, non-nutrient sandy soil. It is plentiful in the wild.

Ingredients

Arbutin, ursolic acid, tannic acid, gallic acid, some essential oil, resin, hydroquinones (mainly arbutin, up to 17%), tannins (up to 15%), phenolic glycosides and flavonoids.




Collection period

March to June

Used Parts

Fruit, root, leaves

Uses

  • Antibacterial,

  • Antioxidant ,

  • Cough,

  • Kidney and bladder problems,

  • Prevent miscarriage and bleeding,

  • Recovery after childbirth,

  • Tea

Application

The fruit can be eaten when cooked. The roots and leaves of the bearberry can be used as a tea that can slow down menstrual bleeding. The leaves can be made into tobacco substitute.

Liquid extracts, medicinal tea bags, and infusions have been made using parts of the bearberry. The extracts are also used as astringent in cosmetic preparations and skin care products. It is especially effective against skin discoloration caused by sun damage.

Summary

A favorite of bears, the bearberry can grow in the wilderness. It is used against menstrual bleeding, cough, and recovery after childbirth. Its extracts are used in formulating cosmetics.

Side Effects

Bearberry appears to be relatively safe, although large doses may cause nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, severe back pain and tinnitus. It should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or in children or patients with kidney disease.

References

  • Blue Planet Biomes, Bearberry: http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/bear_berry.htm-

  • Voyageur Country, Bearberry – (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi): http://www.voyageurcountry.com/htmls/floweringplants/plants/bearberry.html

  • Formulator Sample Shop, FSS Berry Extract: http://www.formulatorsampleshop.com/FSS-Bearberry-Extract-G-p/fss10492.htm

 

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