Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is one of the species of Bearberry, in the genus Arctostaphylos, belonging to the family Ericaceae, native to the northern North America, Asia and Europe. The herb has been used in traditional medicine as diuretic agent and to treat urinary problems, including bladder infections, kidney infection, kidney stone, pelvic pain, etc.
1. Diuretic effect
In the investigation of the diuretic effect of aqueous extracts of Sambucus nigra and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and hydroalcohol extracts of Orthosiphon stamineus and Hieracium pilosella, found that pharmacological evaluation revealed that they led to an increase in urine flow. Urinary sodium excretion in rats was increased with O. stamineus and S. nigra, according to “Effect of extracts of Orthosiphon stamineus Benth, Hieracium pilosella L., Sambucus nigra L. and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. in rat” by Beaux D, Fleurentin J, Mortier F.(1)
2. Bladder cancer
In the investigation of Arbutin is a glycosylated hydroquinone extracted from the bearberry plant (Arctostaphylos species) and its effects on TCCSUP human bladder carcinoma cell proliferation, found that arbutin significantly decreased TCCSUP cell proliferation in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, cell cycle analysis revealed that arbutin strongly disrupted the cell cycle in a time-dependent manner, according to “Arbutin inhibits TCCSUP human bladder cancer cell proliferation via up-regulation of p21″ by Li H, Jeong YM, Kim SY, Kim MK, Kim DS.(2)
3. Anti microbial effects
In the determination of anti microbial effects of standard ATCC microbial strains used for drug control: S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa and C. albicans, found that Uversan 50 mg tabl. (arbutine from Arctostaphylos uva ursi). S. aureus strain was susceptible to the most of the drugs listed above. The lowest inhibitory concentration was found for sertraline and hipericine (0.16 and 0.075 mg/mL, respectively), according to “Examination of antimicrobial activity of selected non-antibiotic drugs” by Kruszewska H, Zareba T, Tyski S.(3)
4. Urinary excretion
In the study on 3 volunteers the time-dependent renal excretion of arbutin metabolites 2, 5 and 6 after ingestion of an aqueous bearberry leaf extract, found that More than half of the administered dose of arbutin was excreted within 4 hours mainly in form of the metabolites 2 and 6 and more than 75 % of the total applied arbutin was excreted within 24 h. The elimination of 5 was negligible in 2 out of 3 volunteers. The excretion of this metabolite in the third test person reached 5.6 % of the total administered arbutin dose. The preliminary pharmacokinetic results confirm that renal elimination of toxicologically critical concentrations of the metabolite 5 will not be expected, according to “Urinary excretion of arbutin metabolites after oral administration of bearberry leaf extracts” by Quintus J, Kovar KA, Link P, Hamacher H.(4)
5. Antiseptic properties
In comparison to incubation with glusulase the E. coli-suspension resulted in a 2.3 fold higher increase in free hydroquinone, found that when separating bacteria from the urine, the hydroquinone concentration in bacteria was 20 fold higher than in the supernatant, according to “Bacterial deconjugation of arbutin by Escherichia coli” by Siegers C, Bodinet C, Ali SS, Siegers CP.(5)
6. Antioxidant effects
In the determination of the antioxidant properties of some plants, including Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, found that The antioxidant effect was evaluated with regard to single dose of plant extracts and their concentration in human organism. The effect decreases in the following consequence: Hypericum perforatum > Potentilla erectra > Ledum palustre > Plantago major > Salvia officinalis > Chamomilla recutita > Arctostaphylos uva, according to “[Antioxidant properties of plant extracts].[Article in Russian]” by Bol’shakova IV, Lozovskaia EL, Sapezhinskiĭ II.(6)
7. Antiallergic and antiinflammatory activities
In the identification of the effects of water extract (UW-ext) from the leaf of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng (Bearberry leaf) on the antiallergic and antiinflammatory activities, found that One or 2% UW-ext ointment did not inhibit the ear swelling by picryl chloride-induced contact dermatitis (PC-CD) and carrageenin-induced paw edema. UW-ext augmented the inhibitory effect of dexamethasone ointment (0.005 or 0.025%) on these allergic and inflammatory models, but not the side effect of it. These results suggest that Bearberry leaf increases the inhibitory effect of dexamethasone on the allergic and inflammatory models, accoridng to “[Pharmacological studies on leaf of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. V. Effect of water extract from Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. (bearberry leaf) on the antiallergic and antiinflammatory activities of dexamethasone ointment].[Article in Japanese]” by Matsuda H, Nakamura S, Tanaka T, Kubo M(7)
8. Edema and Arthritis
In the examination of the combined effect of arbutin isolated from the leaves of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. (Bearberry leaf) and indomethacin on Type IV allergic reaction-induced immuno-inflammation, carrageenin-induced edema and adjuvant-induced arthritis, found that
arbutin at dose of 50 mg/kg 24 h after the application rapidly decreased the swelling of PC-CD. Arbutin (p.o.) plus indomethacin (s.c.) showed inhibitory effect on the swelling of PC-CD and SRBC-DTH stronger than that of indomethacin alone. When arbutin (p.o.) and indomethacin (s.c.) in a given portion were simultaneously administered, the inhibitory effect was more potent than that of indomethacin alone in both carrageenin-induced edema and adjuvant-induced arthritis, according to “[Pharmacological studies on leaf of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. III. Combined effect of arbutin and indomethacin on immuno-inflammation].[Article in Japanese] by Matsuda H, Tanaka T, Kubo M.(8)
In the examination of Seven plants and a herbal mixture used for traditional treatment of diabetes in streptozotocin diabetic mice, found that bearberry, mistletoe and tarragon retarded the body weight loss but none of the eight treatments significantly altered plasma glucose or insulin concentrations. These studies suggest that bearberry, golden seal, mistletoe and tarragon may counter some of the symptoms of streptozotocin diabetes without, however, affecting glycemic control, according to “Evaluation of traditional plant treatments for diabetes: studies in streptozotocin diabetic mice” by Swanston-Flatt SK, Day C, Bailey CJ, Flatt PR.(9)
1. Overdoses may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including cause nausea, vomiting, etc. and fever, chills, severe back pain, ringing in the ears, etc.
2. The herb may interact with other medicine, including diuretic
3. Do not use the herb in new born, children or if you are pregnant or breast feeding without approval from the related field specialist.
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