Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) fr. raisin d’ours, ger. Echte barentraube, it. Uva ursina, sp. gayuba del pays) – species of plants from the heather family (Ericaceae).
Action: diuretic, astringent and antiseptic. Decoctions are used for mild urinary tract infections, as well as for kidney stones, prostatic hyperplasia, nocturnal enuresis, pyuria, proteinuria and anuria. It is often used for this purpose in a mix with field horsetail. An alkaline reaction of urine is necessary for effective action, which is obtained by drinking mineral water or soda solution during treatment. Due to various contraindications and possible side effects, the treatment can only be carried out under the supervision of a physician.
Herbal raw material: Bearberry leaf – Folium Uvae-ursi. They contain up to 20% tannins, glycosides (arbutine and methyl carbutin), flavonoids – isocverticine, free hydroquinone, organic acids (ellagic, gallic and quinic) and sluices.
Shrub not exceeding 10 cm in height with deciduous shoots up to 100 cm long, easily rooting. Young shoots are slightly hairy, older ones are covered with brown, flaky bark.
Folded foliage. Evergreen leaves with reticular veins, 1.5-3 cm long, whole edge, leathery, shiny, dark on the top, paler on the bottom. Orbid or obovate. They are hairy on the edges and have a base coinciding in the petiole.
Small, shorter, collected at 4-5 in a small, dense bunch growing on the ends of twigs. Chalice of lavender flowers, white-crowned plots, petals of pale pink or white blossoms, fused in a cup-shaped, extended at the base of a crown with 5 small cloves and a diameter of 3-4 mm. Inside the crown is delicate hair. 10 stamens with long, pinkish appendices at the top, directed towards the flower bed.
Red, shimmering berry, with floury flesh.
The native area of occurrence is the arctic zone and the temperate northern hemisphere and Guatemala, but as a species it has also spread here and there in other parts of the world. In Poland it is common in the vast areas of the northern part of the lowlands, it is rare in the mountains. Further in the south of Europe it appears on dispersed positions, mainly in the mountains.
Chamefit. Blooms from April to June. In Poland, its highest positions are in the Tatras at an altitude of approximately 1220 m above sea level. It grows here in rock grass. A light-loving plant inhabiting bright, pine forests and dry heaths. It is also found on the dunes. Occurs singly or in clusters, sometimes forms dense fields with an area of several hectares (eg in Tuchola Forest). In the classification of plant communities, the species characteristic for the association of bands (All.) Calluno-Arctostaphylion . The number of chromosomes 2n = 52.