Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, also known as uva ursi or bear’s grape, is a plant found in North America and Eurasia. It is a fruit-bearing plant, and grows in cooler climates suitable for similar berries bears eat.
The leaves of uva ursi are traditionally brewed into a tea and used to improve urinary health.
Current research suggests that uva ursi may be a useful treatment option for urinary tract infections (UTIs), but there is insufficient evidence to support its use for other urinary issues, like kidney stones or bladder damage.
Uva ursi has antibacterial properties because of its main bioactive, arbutin. Arbutin creates a metabolite called hydroquinone glucuronide. When this metabolite is eliminated through urine, it also prevents bacteria from adhering to tissue in the area. This is why uva ursi may be effective at alleviating UTIs.
Though the mechanisms behind uva ursi’s effects are known, there is a lack of human evidence assessing the effect of supplementation on UTIs, so it cannot be specifically recommend at this time.