Uva ursi

Last Updated: September 28 2022

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, also known as uva ursi or bear’s grape, is a plant that grows in cool climates. The leaves of the plant are used in the treatment of urinary tract infections, but more human studies are needed before it can be recommended for supplementation.

Uva ursi is most often used for

Summary

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.

What else is Uva ursi known as?
Note that Uva ursi is also known as:
  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
  • bearberry
  • bear's grape
  • foxberry
  • crowberry
  • kinnikinnick
  • tinnick
Dosage information

The standard uva ursi dose for the treatment of urinary ailments is determined by the arbutin content of the supplement. The recommended dose is between 420-600mg, taken once a day in three doses throughout the day (140-220mg, three times).

Uva ursi tea and capsules are both effective for delivering arbutin to the urinary tract.

Uva ursi supplementation is usually recommended in response to a specific ailment, rather than as a daily preventative. The leaf does not need to be taken with a meal. Supplementation should not last longer than one to two weeks.

References
2.^Yarnell EBotanical medicines for the urinary tractWorld J Urol.(2002 Nov)
6.^Alam P1, Alqasoumi SI, Shakeel F, Abdel-Kader MSHPTLC densitometric analysis of arbutin in bulk drug and methanolic extracts of Arctostaphylos uva-ursiNat Prod Res.(2011 Oct)
8.^Lamien-Meda A1, Lukas B, Schmiderer C, Franz C, Novak JValidation of a quantitative assay of arbutin using gas chromatography in Origanum majorana and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi extractsPhytochem Anal.(2009 Sep-Oct)
9.^Shimizu M1, Shiota S, Mizushima T, Ito H, Hatano T, Yoshida T, Tsuchiya TMarked potentiation of activity of beta-lactams against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus by corilaginAntimicrob Agents Chemother.(2001 Nov)
10.^Karikas GA1, Euerby MR, Waigh RDIsolation of Piceoside from Arctostaphylos uva-ursiPlanta Med.(1987 Jun)
11.^Chauhan B1, Yu C, Krantis A, Scott I, Arnason JT, Marles RJ, Foster BCIn vitro activity of uva-ursi against cytochrome P450 isoenzymes and P-glycoproteinCan J Physiol Pharmacol.(2007 Nov)
13.^Konieczyński P1, Wesołowski MWater-extractable magnesium, manganese and copper in leaves and herbs of medicinal plantsActa Pol Pharm.(2012 Jan-Feb)
15.^Lostao MP1, Hirayama BA, Loo DD, Wright EMPhenylglucosides and the Na+/glucose cotransporter (SGLT1): analysis of interactionsJ Membr Biol.(1994 Nov)
16.^Schindler G1, Patzak U, Brinkhaus B, von Niecieck A, Wittig J, Krähmer N, Glöckl I, Veit MUrinary excretion and metabolism of arbutin after oral administration of Arctostaphylos uvae ursi extract as film-coated tablets and aqueous solution in healthy humansJ Clin Pharmacol.(2002 Aug)
18.^Quintus J1, Kovar KA, Link P, Hamacher HUrinary excretion of arbutin metabolites after oral administration of bearberry leaf extractsPlanta Med.(2005 Feb)
19.^Siegers C1, Bodinet C, Ali SS, Siegers CPBacterial deconjugation of arbutin by Escherichia coliPhytomedicine.(2003)
20.^Slanc P1, Doljak B, Kreft S, Lunder M, Janes D, Strukelj BScreening of selected food and medicinal plant extracts for pancreatic lipase inhibitionPhytother Res.(2009 Jun)
22.^Snowden R1, Harrington H, Morrill K, Jeane L, Garrity J, Orian M, Lopez E, Rezaie S, Hassberger K, Familoni D, Moore J, Virdee K, Albornoz-Sanchez L, Walker M, Cavins J, Russell T, Guse E, Reker M, Tschudy O, Wolf J, True T, Ukaegbu O, Ahaghotu E, Jones A, Polanco S, Rochon Y, Waters R, Langland JA comparison of the anti-Staphylococcus aureus activity of extracts from commonly used medicinal plantsJ Altern Complement Med.(2014 May)
29.^Strapková A1, Jahodar L, Nosál'ová GAntitussive effect of arbutinPharmazie.(1991 Aug)
30.^Abascal K, Yarnell EBotanical Medicine for CystitisAlternat Complement Ther.(2008 Apr)
31.^Grases F1, Melero G, Costa-Bauzá A, Prieto R, March JGUrolithiasis and phytotherapyInt Urol Nephrol.(1994)
33.^Larsson B, Jonasson A, Fianu SProphylactic effect of UVA-E in women with recurrent cystitis: A preliminary reportCurr Ther Res.(1993 Apr)
35.^Nawarak J1, Huang-Liu R, Kao SH, Liao HH, Sinchaikul S, Chen ST, Cheng SLProteomics analysis of A375 human malignant melanoma cells in response to arbutin treatmentBiochim Biophys Acta.(2009 Feb)
36.^Cheng SL1, Liu RH, Sheu JN, Chen ST, Sinchaikul S, Tsay GJToxicogenomics of A375 human malignant melanoma cells treated with arbutinJ Biomed Sci.(2007 Jan)
37.^Funayama M1, Arakawa H, Yamamoto R, Nishino T, Shin T, Murao SEffects of alpha- and beta-arbutin on activity of tyrosinases from mushroom and mouse melanomaBiosci Biotechnol Biochem.(1995 Jan)
39.^Hori I1, Nihei K, Kubo IStructural criteria for depigmenting mechanism of arbutinPhytother Res.(2004 Jun)
40.^Matsuda H1, Higashino M, Nakai Y, Iinuma M, Kubo M, Lang FAStudies of cuticle drugs from natural sources. IV. Inhibitory effects of some Arctostaphylos plants on melanin biosynthesisBiol Pharm Bull.(1996 Jan)
43.^Deisinger PJ1, Hill TS, English JCHuman exposure to naturally occurring hydroquinoneJ Toxicol Environ Health.(1996 Jan)
44.^Wang L1, Del Priore LVBull's-eye maculopathy secondary to herbal toxicity from uva ursiAm J Ophthalmol.(2004 Jun)