Otherwise known as bearberry, mealberry, sandberry, mountain-box, fox-plum, hog-crawberry and barren myrtle, Uva Ursi is a small woody shrub used by First Nation and early American and Canadian colonist populations as a smoking mixture which they called ‘Kinnikinnick.
Uva Ursi is native to the sub-Arctic regions and high-altitude climates of the Northern Hemisphere – Siberia, Canada, Greenland, the Himalaya – but also the mountain regions of warmer countries such as the Sierra Navada Mountains in Spain, the Apennines in central Italy, the Pindus Mountains in Greece, the Appalachian Mountains in northeastern United States and even the High Sierra and Rocky Mountains in Nevada and California.
Historically Uva Ursi has been used as a remedy for urinary tract infections, cystitis and kidney stones. The plant contains the glycoside ‘arbutin’, which is antimicrobial and, according to the consensus in herbal medicine, acts as a diuretic.
In traditional folk medicine Uva Ursi has been used to treat a broad range of conditions, including arthritis, bladder infections, Bright’s disease, bronchitis, diabetes, diarrhoea, fevers, gallstones and haemorrhoids.
This versatile herb has also been used to treat headaches, indigestion, kidney stones, kidney infections, rheumatism and urethritis.
Note: Uva Ursi is recommended for external use only.
For further information on the properties and benefits of Uva Ursi we suggest you consult a qualified herbal or medical practitioner.