Scientific Name:Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
About this Herb:Found in the Arctic, in northern United States, Europe and Mexico, Bearberry is a small woody groundcover bush with evergreen leaves that fall after 1 to 3 years. The small shiny thick leaves are alternately arranged on the stems. Young stems appear red in bright sun or green in shady areas, and mature stems are brown. In spring, tiny white or pink urn shaped flowers appear. Dry berries that contain several one seeded nutlets can be red or pink.
Common Names:Arberry, Bear's Grape, Common Bearberry, Kinnikinnick, Mealberry, Mountain Box, Mountain Cranberry, Pinemat Manzanita, Red Bearberry, Sagackhomi, Sandberry, Upland Cranberry, Uva Ursi
Uses:Poultice of ground leaves and stems applied to sores. Infusion of stems, leaves and berries taken for back pain and sprained backs. Pulverized, dried leaves compounded and smoked for headache. Leaves smoked as a narcotic. Raw berries eaten as a laxative. Decoction of leaves and stems taken as a diuretic. Decoction of leaves and stems taken as a tonic for kidneys and bladder. Bearberry tea made from the leaves is an effective treatment for bladder, kidney, urinary tract, and menstrual complaints. Pick leaves in summer months
Applications:Infusion: Use stems, leaves and berries to make infusion. Drink ¼ cup as needed for back pain. Not to exceed 1 cup in a 24 hour period.
Poultice: Use leaves and stems to make poultice and place on afflicted area 3 to 4 times a day as long as needed.
Inhalation: Smoke dried leaves for pain relief. This smoke has the effects of a narcotic and should be treated as such.
Decoction: Use stems and leaves to make a decoction, drink 1 cup a day until symptoms subside.