The dried leaves of Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi (Linné), Sprengel (Nat. Ord. Ericaceae). A perennial evergreen common in the northern part of Europe and North America. Dose, 30 to 60 grains.
Common Names: Uva Ursi, Bearberry, Upland Cranberry.
Principal Constituents.—A bitter glucoside arbutin (C12H16O7), yielding hydroquinone, methyl-hydroquinone, and glucose; ericolin (C10H16O), ursone, tannic and gallic acids.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Uva Ursi. Dose, 5 to 60 drops.
Specific Indications.—Relaxed urinary tract, with pain and bloody or mucous secretions; weight and dragging in the loins and perineum not due to prostatic enlargement; chronic irritation of the bladder, with pain, tenesmus, and catarrhal discharge.
Action and Therapy.—Uva Ursi is a true diuretic acting directly upon the renal epithelium. Owing to the presence of arbutin it is decidedly antiseptic and retards putrescent changes in the urine, and acts as a mild disinfectant of the urinary passages. It is to be used where the tissues are relaxed and toneless, with dragging and weighty feeling, and much mucoid or muco-bloody discharge. There is always a feeble circulation and lack of innervation when uva ursi is indicated. It is especially valuable in chronic irritation of the bladder, in vesical catarrh, strangury, and gonorrhea with bloody urination. It is claimed that when cystic calculi are present uva ursi, by blunting sensibility, enables their presence to be more comfortably borne. Pyelitis and mild renal haematuria sometimes improve under the use of uva ursi. Arbutin, in its passage through the system, yields hydroquinone, and this body, further changed by oxidation, renders the urine dark or brownish-green. This should be explained to patients taking the drug in order to allay any unnecessary fears the phenomenon may excite.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.