Small red berries similar to cranberries are popular among bears. In some places this shrub is called bear ears because of the shape of the leaves. It is his leaves that are valuable in terms of medicinal properties. Studies have proven the effectiveness of plants in inflammation of the urinary tract. So, bearberry: medicinal properties and contraindications.
What is this miracle plant?
Bearberry is an evergreen and short (from 15 to 30 cm in height) shrub with long stems, creeping along the ground. It grows in cold climates, but loves sunny places, is not picky about the type of soil. The leaves are oval, medium-sized, dark green. The fruits are represented by red berries, which ripen from July to October.
Chemical composition of the plant
Despite the attractive berries, bearberry leaves are used for medicinal purposes. They contain arbutin in large quantities - it is a bitter substance, a powerful natural antiseptic. The leaves are harvested at the end of summer and dried.
In addition to arbutin, which contains up to 17%, the plant includes other active elements:
- phenolic glycosides;
- gall tannins;
- a pyrogallic tannin group;
- flavonoids like quercetin;
- pentacyclic triterpenes;
A bit of history
The first written mention of the healing properties and contraindications of the leaves of bearberry dates from the thirteenth century. From the sixteenth century, this plant was used by Europeans for dissolving small stones, for kidney and bladder diseases. The Indians used it to fight against urinary disorders, venereal diseases. The Chinese used as a diuretic and for the treatment of urination problems. American colonists used bearberry to treat jade.
Bearberry: therapeutic indications and contraindications
Let us consider in more detail the beneficial properties and contraindications of bearberry. This plant is recognized by many for its effectiveness in treating various problems of the urogenital sphere. Bearberry is an effective antiseptic and bacteriostatic agent. Its diuretic and antiseptic effect on the urinary tract is known.
Arbutin has an antibacterial effect on the microflora of urine. In combination with heather, bearberry brings a real release of the urinary tract, and also effectively relieves cystitis.
When to use bearberry leaves?
Bearberry leaf as an astringent works as a sedative. It is used to disinfect urinary tract in acute and chronic cystitis, urethritis, nephritis or pyelitis. Reduces burning sensation while urinating and symptoms of incontinence or urinary retention. Can be used for the treatment and prevention of kidney stones and renal colitis.
Bearberry is used in the treatment of diarrhea and vaginal discharge. A distinctive feature of arbutin is that it is not metabolized in the urinary tract, that is, it does not decompose into glucose and hydroquinone. Thus, it works where it is needed.
The herb of bearberry, besides medicinal properties, has contraindications and side effects that must be considered before its use. Thus, the consumption of bearberry is not recommended for breastfeeding and pregnant women, since there is a risk of premature birth. In addition, its use in renal failure should be avoided. Bearberry is absolutely contraindicated in children under twelve years of age. The treatment of bearberry is not recommended for more than ten days and should be limited to five procedures per year.
Bearberry tannins can irritate the stomach, so you need to add mint leaves to the decoction. Some side effects can be an upset stomach, nausea or vomiting, and urine sometimes turns green-brown.
For greater effect, bearberry should be used with alkaline urine. That is why it is not recommended to be taken along with fruit juice or sour food. Healing properties are more active in a diet low in meat, citrus, and also without food rich in sodium bicarbonate. During treatment, you need to drink a lot - more than two liters of water per day. In all cases, it is advisable to consult a doctor or pharmacist and observe the indicated doses.
The use of bearberry in traditional medicine
Traditionally, bearberry is used in the form of a decoction or tea. However, due to its tannins, an infusion with cold water is recommended. In addition, the plant is widely used in various herbal collections and as an alcohol tincture.
- boiled water - 250 ml;
- dry leaves of bearberry - 1 tbsp. l
Preparation and use:
- Fill the leaves with cool water.
- Insist broth need for 12 hours at room temperature.
- Strain and take 1 tbsp. l three times a day.
- Infusion store no more than 2 days.
Tincture on alcohol
- dried bearberry leaves - 2 tbsp. l .;
- Ethyl alcohol 40% - 100 ml.
Preparation and use:
- In a container, preferably of dark glass, lay the leaves and pour alcohol.
- Shake well and leave to infuse for 15 days in heat.
- Then the tincture needs to be filtered, discarding the leaves.
- Drink daily three times after meals. Dosage - 15-20 drops.
Herbal collection for cystitis
- bearberry (leaves) - 20 g;
- Gryzhnik - 20 g;
- parsley (root) - 5 g;
- celandine (grass) - 5 g;
- boiling water - 250 ml.
Preparation and use:
- Pour boiling water into a small saucepan.
- Cover the pot with a lid and leave for one hour.
- Strain the infusion and take ⅓ Art. in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening.
What do users say about the tool?
In order not to be unfounded, we will listen to people's feedback on the therapeutic properties and contraindications of bearberry:
- Katya: "Everyone knows that bearberry reduces lactation. I used this property to solve the problem of excess milk. Very convenient: you need to reduce lactation - you drink bearberry infusion. You need to increase the flow of milk - you stop drinking."
- Margot: "I was on a camping trip and had a cold urinary bladder. I didn’t take anything except bearberry. After a month, my condition returned to normal, the inflammation disappeared, the pain stopped."
Recent studies have confirmed the antiseptic properties of bearberry. And the infusion based on it has a lightening effect on the skin of the face. When mixed with hemp oil, it penetrates the skin and acts on an excessive amount of melanin.