Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

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GreenBro
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Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Postby GreenBro » May 1, 2007 7:43 am

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General info about Fruit

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is a species of Arctostaphylos, one of several related species referred to as bearberry. Other names for this species include kinnikinnick and pinemat manzanita.
It is a small procumbent woody shrub 5-30 cm high. The leaves are evergreen, remaining green for 1-3 years before falling. The fruit is a red berry.
The leaves are shiny, small, and feel thick and stiff. They are alternately arranged on the stems. Undersides of leaves are lighter green than on the tops. New stems can be red in areas with high sun, but are otherwise green. Older growth stems are brown. In spring, they have white or pink flowers
he distribution is circumpolar, widespread in northern latitudes, confined to high altitudes further south. In Europe, from Iceland and North Cape, Norway south to southern Spain (Sierra Nevada), central Italy (Apennines) and northern Greece (Pindus mountains); in Asia from arctic Siberia south to Turkey, the Caucasus and the Himalaya; in North America from arctic Alaska, Canada and Greenland south to California, north coast, central High Sierra Nevada (above Convict Lake, Mono County, California), Central Coast, California, San Francisco Bay Area, to New Mexico in the Rocky Mountains; and the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast United States. In some areas the plant is endangered or has been extirpated from its native range. In other areas it is abundant.

Ways to prepare and serve the Fruit

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Tea.
Fruit - raw or cooked. Insipid, dry and mealy, it becomes sweeter when cooked. Added to stews etc, it is a good source of carbohydrates. The fruit can also be used to make a cooling drink or used for preserves etc. It can be dried and stored for later use. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter. A tea is made from the dried leaves.

Health Benefits and Warnings of eating Fruit

Medicinal Uses
Antiseptic; Astringent; Birthing aid; Diuretic; Hypnotic; Kidney; Lithontripic; Poultice; Skin; Tonic; Women's complaints.
Bearberry was commonly used by many native North American Indian tribes to treat a wide range of complaints and has also been used in conventional herbal medicine for hundreds of years, it is one of the best natural urinary antiseptics. The leaves contain hydroquinones and are strongly antibacterial, especially against certain organisms associated with urinary infections. The plant should be used with caution, however, because hydroquinones are also toxic. The leaves are antiseptic, astringent, diuretic, lithontripic, hypnotic and tonic. The dried leaves are used in the treatment of a variety of complaints. These leaves should be harvested in early autumn, only green leaves being selected, and then dried in gentle heat[4]. A tea made from the dried leaves is much used for kidney and bladder complaints and inflammations of the urinary tract such as acute and chronic cystitis and urethritis, but it should be used with caution and preferably only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The tea is more effective if the urine is alkaline, thus it is best used in combination with a vegetable-based diet. Externally, a poultice of the infused leaves with oil has been used as a salve to treat rashes, skin sores etc, and as a wash for a baby's head. An infusion of the leaves has been used as an eyewash, a mouthwash for cankers and sore gums and as a poultice for back pains, rheumatism, burns etc. The dried leaves have been used for smoking as an alternative to tobacco. One report says that it is unclear whether this was for medicinal purposes or for the intoxicated state it could produce, whilst another says that the leaves were smoked to treat headaches and also as a narcotic. The herb should not be prescribed to children, pregnant women or patients with kidney disease. Another report says that some native North American Indian tribes used an infusion of the stems, combined with blueberry stems (Vaccinium spp) to prevent miscarriage without causing harm to the baby, and to speed a woman's recovery after the birth.

Other Uses
Beads; Dye; Ground cover; Pioneer; Soil stabilization; Tannin; Waterproofing.
A yellowish-brown dye is obtained from the leaves, it does not require a mordant. A grey-brown dye is obtained from the fruit. The dried fruits are used in rattles and as beads on necklaces etc. The leaves are a good source of tannin. The mashed berries can be rubbed on the insides of coiled cedar root baskets in order to waterproof them. A good ground-cover for steep sandy banks in a sunny position or in light shade. A carpeting plant, growing fairly fast and carpeting as it spreads. It is valuable for checking soil erosion on watersheds. This is also a pioneer plant in the wild, often being the first plant to colonize burnt-over areas, especially on poor soils.

Classification

There are four subspecies:
• Arctostaphylos uva-ursi subsp. uva-ursi. Common Bearberry; circumpolar arctic and subarctic, and in mountains further south.
• Arctostaphylos uva-ursi subsp. adenotricha. Central high Sierra Nevada.
• Arctostaphylos uva-ursi subsp. coactilis. North coastal California, central coast California, San Francisco Bay Area.
• Arctostaphylos uva-ursi subsp. cratericola (J. D. Smith) P. V. Wells. Guatemala Bearberry, endemic to Guatemala at very high altitudes (3000-4000 m).
There are also several varieties that are propagated for use as ornamentals. It is an attractive evergreen plant and it is also useful for controlling erosion.

meign
AR Knight
Posts: 2238
Joined: Sep 15, 2010 8:55 am

Re: Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

Postby meign » Dec 3, 2010 3:48 am

Learn how can a bearberry be a natural herbal medicine... This will truly help

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3VHiOsfPWw


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