Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Urinary Herbs: Uva-Ursi for Good Bladder Health & Relief

devon No Comments

This post contains affiliate links meaning that I may make a small commission based off of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

Uva-ursi Bladder Health Tea

Urinary Herbs: Uva-Ursi for Good Bladder Health & Relief

Devon No Comments

Uva-ursi, sometimes called bearberry, is an outstanding tonifying and antiseptic herb with benefits for urinary and renal health.

Uva-ursi: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Herbal Energetics: cool/dry. Bitter

Therapeutic Actions: anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic

Folks, it is time we get familiar with our kidneys and the rest of the urinary system.  These organs serve us well with astonishing regularity.  And yet we frequently abuse them (alcohol, poor diet, too much/not enough sodium and other minerals, “holding it”) and chronically ignore them until something goes terribly, painfully, even embarrassingly wrong.

Kidney stones.

Bladder Infection.

Bladder, ahem, weakness…

Just to name a few.

Thankfully nature offers an abundance of botanical allies to assist with kidney and urinary tract health.  Uva-ursi is popular herb within a nearly universal application for urinary health.

Uva-ursi Bladder Health Tea

Uva-ursi Medicinal Benefits

Perhaps one of the most well-known herbs in the holistic war chest for addressing complaints of the kidneys and urinary tract is uva-ursi.  Due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, this herb has long been considered effective for relieving bladder/urinary tract infections and cystitis (bladder inflammation) and was even the preferred treatment method prior to the popularity of sulfa drugs.

At a sub-acute concern level, uva-ursi can decrease heavy, weighty, and toneless sensations surrounding the lower abdomen, as well as pelvic inflammation known as pyelitis.  It helps to tone and dry urinary and vaginal tissues prone to excess mucus.  It may also be supportive for complaints of an irritable bladder, urinary incontinence, and nocturnal leakage.  Herbalist Matthew Wood indicates its use (in conjunction with nettle) for those with permanent catheterization to promote good kidney health.  While conventional antibiotics are the most appropriate for kidney infections, uva-ursi can be a supportive adjunct therapy.

Although there is not an abundance of scientific evidence to promote its use for kidney stones, many traditional herbalists (myself included) have observed a marked reduction in pain complaint in clients using uva-ursi.  This herb may also help to promote healing of renal, bladder, or vaginal ulceration.

uva-ursi
Original photo credit Jan Eckstein via wikimediacommons.org

Uva-Ursi Identification

Sometimes referred to as kinnikinnick or bearberry, uva-ursi tends to grow in dry, sandy, nutrient-poor soils with a relatively low pH – such as those near coastal areas and mountainous regions.  It is very cold hardy and is well suited to “alpine” conditions.  It is a fairly low growing shrub, forming a dense mat that spreads via rhizomes.  The common monikers and the Latin name refer to the “bear” and “grape”, as it is the bright red, winter borne berries that serve as a food source for bears.  However, it is the shiny green, rounded oval shaped leaves that are the most medicinally valuable.

Uva-Ursi Safety & Dosage

Uva-ursi is largely considered a safe herb, keeping in mind that it is both cooling and drying.  As such avoid excessive and unnecessary use.  Please consult a physician or pharmacist before using while taking prescription medication, or while pregnant or nursing.

Uva-ursi can be administered as a tincture, 2-4mls, three times daily, especially for acute complaints.  It can also be prepared as an infusion using 10-12 grams of dried herb in 150mls of water according to the German Commission E.  More simply, a tea can be created using 1-2 teaspoons of the herb in hot water.


FDA Disclosure

I am a trained herbalist with a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, I am not, however, a doctor. Posts in this blog are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before using any herbs, check for appropriate dosage, drug interactions, and contraindications. Information contained herein is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe. Please consult your primary care physician regarding your specific health concerns.


uva-ursi

Uva-Ursi Bladder Relief Tea

I tend to use uva-ursi tincture for acute concerns such as those that would indicate a bacterial bladder infection.  Alcohol is very effective as extracting the glycoside arbutin, the active, antiseptic constituent in uva ursi.  However, for chronic and sub-acute complaints such as inflammation of the pelvic region, bladder leakage, sense of fullness, and lax tissue, I prefer an infusion or tea over a tincture.  Water very effectively extracts tannins, which are astringent, promoting firm healthy tissue and arresting/regulating excessive discharge of fluids.  In short, the tannins strengthen and tone urinary tissues, while relieving inflammation.

For this blend, I selected herbs that strengthen and promote good urinary health, while also soothing irritable, sensitive tissues.  A combination of uva-ursi, nettle leaf, rose, and marshmallow root delivers a good long term herbal option for persistent bladder complaints.  It can be prepared as a tea or a stronger infusion and consumed daily.  It is important to note that sufficient water intake is necessary for good bladder health.

Uva-ursi Bladder Health Tea

Interested in learning more about common medicinal plants?  Check out my new book The Backyard Herbal Apothecary!

Uva-Ursi Bladder Health Tea Recipe

Uva-Ursi Bladder Health Tea

Uva-ursi, sometimes called bearberry, is an outstanding tonifying and antiseptic herb with benefits for urinary and renal health.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz uva ursi leaf dried
  • 1 oz nettle leaf dried
  • .5 oz rose petal dried
  • .5 oz marshmallow root dried

Instructions

  • Mix dried herbs together and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
  • To prepare steep 1-2 teaspoons of the blend into 8-10 oz of just boiled water.  For a tea, steep 5-7 minutes; for a stronger infusion steep for 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten slightly if desired.  Drink up to three times daily for persistent, low-grade bladder complaints.

Uva Ursi Tea RecipeReferences:
Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism the science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Wood, M. (2016). Earthwise herbal repertory: traditional western herbalism. North Atlantic Books.

Devon

Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of NittyGrittyLife.com can be seen at LearningHerbs.com, GrowForageCookFerment.com, AttainableSustainable.net, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

About Me

About Me

Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More

Devon

Connect

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Popular Links

Instagram

  • Pears and apples are the fruits of fall. 
One of my favorite flavors from my youth was my grandmother's spiced apple butter.  I've replicated that flavor and punched up the acidity with a recipe that calls for apple cider vinegar (as opposed to lemon juice) -- giving this fruit butter an amazing depth of flavor.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#apples #pears #applebutter #pearbutter #canning #canningseason #homestead #homesteading #homesteader #homesteadlife #homesteadlifestyle
https://nittygrittylife.com/slow-cooker-spiced-apple-pear-butter/
  • Absolutely amazing weekend with some even more amazing women that I am positively HONORED to call colleagues - and even more importantly friends.
A weekend spent about Salt Lake City, speaking at #gardencomm2019, touring @melonmonologues gardens and being led on a tour of her favorite mountain places, a walking tour of some gorgeous botanical gardens, and a sight see at the temple - cuz when in SLC...
So... @attainablesustainable @melonmonologues @the_happy_herban @tenthacrefarm @homestead_honey and  @brownthumbmama  you are AMAZING LADIES!
#utah #getoutside #garden #mountains #nature
  • With the weather finally cooling, it is great time to think about planting trees and shrubs in your landscape.  The long cool months ahead are great for establishing a healthy root system!
#herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #holisticgardening #medicinegarden #herbgarden #medicinaltrees #medicinalshrubs
https://nittygrittylife.com/10-medicinal-trees-and-shrubs/
  • Sweet pickled figs are an amazingly delicious treat.  Believe me whenI tell you this. 
I crafted this recipe around my father's nostalgic recollections of his Scottish grandmother making the most of the bountiful fruits at her Southern Californian home.  While I never tasted Nana's pickled figs, my father thought this recipe did them great justice!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#figs #pickledfigs #foodpreservation #preservation #canning #canningseason #homestead #homesteader #homesteading
https://nittygrittylife.com/sweet-pickled-figs/
  • My Labor Day weekend was filled with food preservation and work around the homestead...
This amazing peach salsa just got put up for the season!  I couldn't be happier!  Fruity, a little bit sweet, with a kick of heat (totally adjustable to your preference), this peach salsa is great for snacking or topping grilled chicken or fish!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#canning #salsa #peachsalsa #canningseason #foodpreservation #homestead #homesteader #homesteading 
https://nittygrittylife.com/peach-salsa-canning-recipe/
  • If the success of a garden could be measured in tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants (not pictured) alone, I would be sitting pretty high on the proverbial horse.  This lovely harvest will join some other lovely produce for a recipe soon to arrive on my website.
But alas, you do not see the many other garden failures that resulted from a year of weird weather, free ranging birds, irrigation issues, and total work overload.
Seems a fitting summary of this Instagram life, ya know?  Presenting our best self like a perpetual first date or job interview.  Well, I am here to remind you that life is more than pretty pictures and that sometimes there are 10x the failures for every success that you see.
#garden #harvest #homestead #homesteading #homesteader #homesteading #homesteadinglife #homesteadreality #homesteadingreality
  • There is probably something profound and witty to be said about being between a rock and a hard place... but sometimes it’s just oxalis and rocks and a PNW ravine.
I have been a bit quiet on IG lately.  My planned summer of rest and creativity has instead turned into unexpected work, unexpected expenses, unexpected life events, and all the unexpected. 
I am finding myself carving out moments to write, to garden, to bake, to preserve, and, perhaps most importantly for my soul, to wander.  Maybe it’s just a few hours, here and there, to detach from home and work, and head for the hills and the quiet of a sounds of a forest or rushing waters - but it recenters me and my purpose when the rest of life seems like a bustling city intersection...
#wander #oregon #pnw #pacificnorthwest #oxalis #forage #foraging #forager #getoutside
  • Pearly everlasting is one of my favorite medicinal wildflowers to forage for during summer.  It ticks so many therapeutic actions boxes and is just an all around useful botanical.
It grows abundantly in the coastal mountain range a few miles from my home so it gives me great excuse to abandon my home and work responsibilities and get outside, far away from modern distractions.
All new post on the blog extolling the many virtues of this wonderful plant!
Tap link in bio for link to post.
#pearlyeverlasting #anaphalis #anaphalismargaritacea #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #medicinalherbs #wildflower
https://nittygrittylife.com/pearly-everlasting-anaphalis-margaritacea/
  • This summer has been an absolute flurry of activity.  A veritable whirlwind.  A non stop GO. 
My intended lazy, restful summer has been anything but. 
I’ve been so busy that I kinda forgot about my second book.  After the final edits were made, the photos taken - I just bid it farewell, and settled into “life after book.”
Well, life after bookS because I wrote this book immediately after finishing The Backyard Herbal Apothecary. 
When the UPS truck started down our long gravel road I paused for moment wondering what I had ordered.  And then it occurred to me — The Herbalist’s Healing Kitchen is HERE!
Now, she doesn’t officially publish until October 29th and I am still a few weeks out from promotion, but I can’t help myself - it’s just so exciting to have this book in print.
This book turns a thoughtful eye towards the food we eat and rethinks our daily meals and special treats so that we are maximizing the benefits of those foods!  I will show you how to use flavor to inform better eating decisions to cook your way to better health!
Food is MEDICINE!
#herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #author #cookbook #everydayfoods #foodismedicine #foodenergetics #eatingforhealth

Follow @nittygrittymama

×
shares