Uva Ursi

by Regan Schwartz

A close up of the bearberry bush with small dark green waxy leaves and bright red berries.

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Energetics: cool, dry, tonifying

Actions: astringent, antimicrobial, diuretic

Uva ursi, or bearberry, is widely turned to when folks are dealing with a urinary tract infection as it is a powerful antimicrobial astringent that can help to tone the tissues of the urinarary tract while working to disrupt bacterial adhesion so that our immune system can work effectively.  Most never go beyond working with Uva Ursi in this capacity.  I, on the other hand, have only worked with it topically!

Topically, uva ursi contains a healthy dose of arbutin that works to brighten and even skin tone.  Its astringent nature also tones the skin and its anti microbial action can help to keep our pores clear. I work with uva ursi in my brightening serum for just these reasons!

My relationship with uva ursi is one I’m looking forward to deepening as I let it break out of the “skin brightening” box I’ve put it in.  We do that with herbs, don’t we? Categorize them by their actions, their energetics, the “thing they do” as we struggle to fully wrap our heads around their complicated lives.  I’m working on appreciating complexity that challenges me and my preconceived notions.  Truth be told, I’m working on so very many things.  I am nothing if not a work in progress.