Bearberry is an evergreen small shrub that belongs to the Heather family (Ericaceae). Other names: bear ears, bear berry


Evergreen, small, strong branched shrub with branches spread along the ground, covered with dark brown bark. Leaves on short petioles, leathery, shiny, wrinkled from strongly depressed veins, obovate, entire, not falling in the winter. Flowers on short stalks, pink, collected at the ends of branches in short drooping brushes. Corolla pitcher, 5-toothed, stamens 10 with ciliated filaments, ovary superior. The fruit is a round, red, mealy drupe inside. In appearance, bearberry is similar to lingonberry, which differs from it in an upright stem, oval leaves with curled edges, blackish dots below and a juicy, non-painy berry inside. Blossoms in May-June, the fruits ripen in September. Bearberry grows in pine forests – white moss pine forests, lingonberries.

Harvesting, description of raw materials:

In medicine, bearberry leaves are used – Folium Uvae-ursi. They are harvested before or at the beginning of flowering, in May – in the first half of June. Branches are cut off and browned leaves are removed before drying. Dry in the open air. After drying, the leaves are cut off or the branches are threshed and sifted through a fine sieve with a hole diameter of 3-4 mm to remove crushed remains of leaves and stems. The raw material consists of leaves of the described structure up to 25 mm long and 0.5-1.2 cm wide. There is no smell, the taste is strongly astringent, bitter.

Contains active substances:

Bearberry leaves contain up to 8% arbutin glycoside, methylarbutin, flavone glycoside – hyperoside, up to 35% pyrogallic tannins, ellagic and other organic acids.

Medicinal use:

The therapeutic effect is due to the presence of arbutin, which is hydrolyzed in the body to form the phenol hydroquinone. Bearberry leaves in the form of a decoction and preparations are used as a diuretic and disinfectant for inflammatory diseases of the bladder and urinary tract (pyelitis, cystitis, urethritis). In folk medicine, a decoction of the leaves is drunk for diseases of the kidneys and bladder, for uterine bleeding caused by hard work for colds, asthma, venereal diseases, rheumatism, liver diseases, female diseases, stomach diseases, as a blood purifier, for bloody urine in cattle.

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