UVA URSI: “The Urinary Antiseptic”

Antiseptic, Congestive Heart Failure, Lowers Blood Pressure, Urinary Tract Infection, Wound Healing

Also Known As: Arbutus, Bearberry, Bear’s Grape, Upland Cranberry


For more than 1,000 years, uva ursi has been used as a urinary antiseptic and diuretic by cultures widely separated as the Chinese and Native Americans. In 1820, Uva Ursi was incorporated into the United States Pharmacopeia as a urinary antiseptic and remained until the year 1936. Today, contemporary herbalist continually recommend uva ursi for kidney and urinary complications.


  • Decoction:

Boil water and add 1 teaspoon of herb per cup. Simmer for 10 minutes and drink up to 3 cups daily.

  • Wounds:

Wash wound thoroughly and apply fresh crushed leaves to minor cuts and scrapes. Or, dip a clean cloth into the decoction and apply the compress to the affected area.

  • Tincture:

Take up to 3 times a day, adding ¼ solution of tincture.
Soak leaves overnight to minimize the unpleasant taste of the herb.

USE: (Grow Your Own)

Uva ursi does poorly in a soil that is rich, acidic, poor soil is preferred. Sun or partial shade is okay. This herb does not transplant well. Try to keep patches well weeded until the plants are established.

This plant can survive rigid temperatures as low as 50 degrees below Fahrenheit. Harvest the leaves in the autumn before frost. To dry, spread them in a single layer and dry them in your over.


May turn urine dark green, but it is nothing to be alarmed about. Uva ursi contains high levels of tannins (cancer causing agent), so much it has been used to tan leather products. The FDA defines uva ursi as an herb of undefined safety.