Bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi) plant medicinal uses

Bearberry plant medicinal uses and images

Bearberry is an evergreen shrub. It blooms anywhere between March and June and is a long-term re-vegetative species. Their flowers are pale pink and have five petals, and they are long and curled around the narrow centre. The name, itself has been derived from the Greek and the Latin words, UvaUrsi, meaning grapes of the Bear. It is called so because bears like eating this fruit and relishing its evergreen leathery textured leaves, which are from ½ to 1-inch-long, and being rounded at the tip and tapered progressively towards the base, the leaves seem like a spatula. Songbirds, Game Birds, Deer, Elk and other small mammals also eat this fruit and Hummingbird eating the fruit helps in the pollination.

Bearberry plant



If we consider the structure and colour of the leaves, then the leaf’s upper surface is shining green, dark, with deeply impressed veins whereas, you can find the lower side to be paler green.Also, the lower side has prominent veins forming a coarse structure.

The leaves possess an ordinary smell, but they do have a harsh and bitter taste. The root system of bearberry is strong, and it helps in preventing the erosion of the soil. The development of roots starts from the stem, and then, the plant,having a massive size, spreads throughout the ground. The foliage turns bronze in winter. The berries are of colour red and look like a red cherry.

Common Names

Common names of the shrub are Bearberry, Kinnikinnick, Red Bearberry, Cowberry, Manzanita, Mealberry. These names are given distinctively according to geographical areas they grow in.

Botanical Name and Family

Botanical Name: Arctostaphylosuva-ursi

Family: Ericaceae

Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi flowers


Geographical areas where Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi grows

Bearberry has been widespread in the diversity preferably in the rocky areas, open woodlands, dry, sandy hills and pine forest areas. Some of the places where it is found are Alberta, Alaska, Circumpolar, Newfoundland south to California, Yukon, Southwestern District of Mackenzie to Hudson Bay, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Virginia and Great Lakes.

In North America, it is found in Alaska, Newfoundland South, Canada, Virginia, South Dakota, Illinois, New Mexico and Central California with a variety of other biospheres.

Bearberry fruits


Medical uses of Bearberry

  • Bearberry is a very useful plant medically; it serves with every fraction of its existence as fruit can be eaten and cooked with other foods.
  • Roots that are expanded in the growing area if used as ingredients of tea, then it can treat a constant cough or slow down menstrual bleeding.
  • The concoction or the root as tea can also bring recovery in a woman after a painful pregnancy.
  • The leaves are even used as drugs and can be added to tobacco or used as a substitution.
  • Leaves extract in tea can be drunk to relieve kidney or bladder problems.
  • Fruits are beneficial for common diseases like childhood diarrhoea. A main component of bearberry is Arbutin that behaves as an antibacterial in the genitourinary tract.
  • The tannins in the leaves of Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi are used as an ash-coloured dye that can be used for tanning hides.
  • It has been widely beneficial like diuretic, astringent, and antiseptic, which can bring relief in nephritis, kidney stones, and chronic cystitis.
  • This plant as herb has been used as a remedy for weakened kidneys, liver or pancreas.

Though it is known to be helpful in treating many diseases, yet never eat any supplements/herbs/medicines without the advice of an expert. It is highly advised in this case also.