Uva Ursi Leaf - (tea)
Uva Ursi contains several chemicals. The main chemicals are hydroquinone and hydroquinones that make it useful for urinary problems. Uva Ursi is used to treat infections such as cystitis, urethritis and nephritis as well. The hydroquinone derivative, arbutin, is the chief active compound in uva ursi. This compound is absorbed in the stomach and then is converted into a substance that contains antimicrobial, astringent, and disinfectant properties. During the urination process, as it leaves the body it works on the mucus membranes of the urinary tract and soothes irritation, reduces inflammation, and fights infection. Reasearch has found that arbutin taken alone is not as effective as the whole Uva Ursi plant in controlling urinary tract infections. The reason for this is because intestinal bacteria breaks down arbutin, but they are not always able to do so in the presence of other Uva Ursi compounds.
Uva Ursi contains diuretic chemicals, including ursolic acid, powerful astringents, and a chemical that helps promote the growth of healthy new cells called allatoin. In addition to its antiseptic and *astringent actions, uva ursi may also help to flush out bacteria by promoting urination. (*An astringent shrinks and tightens the top layers of mucous membranes, thereby reducing secretions, relieving irritation, and improving tissue firmness.) Uva Ursi is also used to reduce the accumulation of uric acid and relieve pain of bladder stones. The diuretic action may relieve the bloating feeling associated with menstruation as well.
Uva Ursi has been approved for treating inflammation of the lower urinary tract by Commission E of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, which is the German governmental agency that evaluates the safety and effectiveness of herbal products.