The bearberry plant
It is a woody shrub with small and velvety leaves. The fruits are bright red berries. They are not edible due to the acid taste and the powdery pulp. This plant is part of the Ericaceae family. The plant reaches a height of up to 30 centimeters. The stems are long and creeping, the leaves are fleshy dark green, the flowers are roundish, white or pink. It is native to northern Europe and Asia. Today it is widespread throughout Europe and North America. It survives in stony lands, on the slopes of mountains and wooded areas. It is effective in treating urinary infections, but in order to exercise its beneficial action it is advisable to follow a vegetarian diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
Properties of bearberry
The active ingredients of this type of plant are contained in the leaves, rich in tannins, glucosides and flavonoids that exert a diuretic effect on the body. The most important substance is Arbutin, which has an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory action on the urinary tract, and is eliminated with urine. The germs responsible for urinary infections often develop resistance to antibiotics and habitual antiseptics, therefore it is a valid alternative in the treatment of these diseases. However in case of urinary infections it is always necessary to undergo a specialist medical examination. This plant taken alone or with other treatments is indicated in the following cases: cystitis, pyelonephritis (infection of the renal pelvis), urethritis, prostatitis, kidney stones and gravel.
Preparation and use of bearberry
Bearberry should be used for internal use. The decoction is obtained by boiling 1 liter of water with 50-60 grams of dried and chopped leaves for 15 minutes. A cup should be drunk every 3 or 4 hours. It is advisable not to allow longer intervals, because the active ingredients are quickly eliminated with urine. For maceration, 50-60 grams of leaves are left to rest for 24 hours in 1 liter of water, then they are filtered, the liquid is cooled and 3 cups a day are taken. It is a good alternative for those who want to take care of this type of plant by avoiding the astringent effects of tannin. On the market there are pharmaceutical preparations based on bearberry extract. Do-it-yourself method is not recommended. Before resorting to treatment, consult a doctor's advice.
We must not think, just because it is a natural product, that the bearberry has no contraindications. Prolonged use is not recommended, which must not exceed 10 days, more than enough time to understand if the treatment method is effective for the disturbance that is felt. Naturally the use of the plant in pregnancy must be avoided, when breastfeeding and in pediatric age. For those suffering from hepatic and renal insufficiency must avoid the use of acidifying drugs associated with this type of preparation. The purifying and antiseptic effect of the plant is reduced if foods containing vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and peppers, are ingested. If the urinary tract problem occurs several times a year, it is necessary to know that this type of treatment should not be repeated for more than 5 cycles.