Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bear Berry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

While in the Deer Lodge National Forest a plant called me to it. It grew close to the ground creeping along with dark green mouse-ear leaves and it had little red berries on it. 

What are you little plant, and why do you call me to you? Upon returning home and doing a little researching online, in my Pojar, and talking with my herbal mentor, I have learn this plant to be Arctostaphylos uva-ursi or commonly Uva Ursi which is Latin for Bear Berry. 

I asked my teacher what medicinal properties does this plant have and she informs me that it is a great one for UTIs. Ah ha! This is why this plant calls me, my mother has been suffering from UTIs lately and due to her age becomes confused. Confusion is a common side-effect to be aware of in elderly folks who have a UTI. 

UTI stands for Urinary Tract Infection which includes symptoms of urgency, pain, burning and if not treated properly can move up the ureters to the kidneys causing kidney infections which can become a medical emergency.

See previous blog post to learn more about your kidneys and other kidney herbs!

Another day and I am with a great harvest of Uva Ursi. I choose to tincture most of it and dry the rest for tea.

According to a great book called Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs by Gail Faith Edwards, Uva Ursi's leaves are powerfully astringent and highly regarded for their ability to tone the urinary passage.

Uva Ursi Tincture
  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 
  • Deer Lodge National Forest west of Anaconda, MT 
  • Fresh Leaves in 40% alcohol 
  • Take tincture 10 drops 3-6 times per day until symptoms subside, continue 2 times per day for 7-10 days 
  • Use for UTI, any bladder or kidney related ailment including urethritis and cystitis or to tone and heal the entire urinary system or as a preventative.

Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs by Gail Faith Edwards
Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar & Mackinnon

No comments: