Herb of the Day for December 7th is Bearberry

Herb of the Day


Bear Grape, Crowberry, Foxberry, Uva-ursi, Yukon holly

Medicinal Uses: Bearberry was smoked in peace pipes by American Indians to promote calming and mental clarity. People of the Middle Ages believed that since bearberry grew in sandy, gravely soils, it would effectively remove “sand” and “gravel” from the kidneys.
Bearberry is considered to be a kidney herb. Primarily it is used for bladder infection, kidney infection and irritation. The plant is believed to have urinary antiseptic properties. It helps to reduce accumulations of uric acid and to relive the pain of bladder stones and gravel. It is used to alleviate chronic cystitis. The tea or tincture is used for bronchitis, nephritis, and kidney stones.                      
It is used to strengthen the heart muscle.  Also used as a broad-range remedy for diabetes, liver and spleen problems (to cleanse and strengthen), hemorrhoids, and mucous discharges.                                                                   
Used in combination with blueberry for diabetes (20-40 drops tincture of blueberry leaves, 10-20 drops tincture of bearberry; dose is 10-20 drops in water three times daily).

Magickal uses: Uva-ursi is used to increase psychic powers. Used in a shaman smoking mixture. Ruled by the planet Mars and Pluto.

Properties: Diuretic, strongly astringent, tonic. Contains arbutin (a powerful astringent that has antiseptic properties), chorine, ellagic acid, ericolin, gallic acid, hydroquinolone, malic acid, methyl-arbutin, myricetin, volatile oils, quercetin, tannins, ursolic acid, ursone, and a substance similar to quercetin. Tannin is present up to 6% or 7%.

Growth: A sprawling shrub with much-branched irregular stems and evergreen leaves with a single, long, fibrous main root which sends out several prostrate stems from which grow erect, branching stems 4 to 6 inches high; found over most of the northern hemisphere (primarily the mountains of Europe, Asia, and America, it is also common in Scotland on heaths and barren places in hilly terrain (especially the Highlands), and extends as far south as Yorkshire. Also found on hills of northwestern Ireland. In North America it is found throughout Canada and the United States as far south as New Jersey and Wisconsin.    

Infusion: soak the leaves in alcohol (not rubbing alcohol) or brandy, then add 1 tsp. soaked leaves to 1 cup boiling water. Drink 2-3 cups per day, cold. You can let the leaves soak in brandy for a whole week before making the infusion with water and add a tsp. of the brandy to each cup of infusion. Do not boil this herb. Just steep in boiling-hot water.

Dried herb: mix 1 tbsp. in 8 oz. warm water. Drink 1 cup daily.

Tincture: take 10 to 20 drops in water, 3 to 4 times per day.

Not to be taken by pregnant women or those breastfeeding, by children, or those with kidney disease. High doses cause nausea and can actually inflame the lining of the bladder and urinary tract. Overuse can cause symptoms of poisoning. Long term use can cause liver damage, especially in children.
Author: Crick