Bearberry: medicinal properties andcontraindications

Update: October 2018 Bearberry (bearberry, berry
bear’s ear, bear’s ear, grapes bear, painter) – creeping
evergreen shrub of the heather family, very similar to
cowberries. Grows in Siberia, the Caucasus, the Far East,
sometimes found in the sandy tundra. Distributed in North
America, Northern Europe. Occurs in Central and South
Europe: in the Alps, the Apennines and the Balkans.

It prefers dry pine forests, deciduous forests,
birch-larch woodlands, glade, grows well on
mostly sandy soil with sufficient access to the sun
Sveta. Well settles logging and burning, grows on seaside rocks
and rubbly places. In case of insufficient humidity, it slows down
growth, the leaves become rough and brown, and then leaf shoots and
completely die off. Feature of the plant – the presence of endo-and exotrophic
mycorrhiza, so for growth in the soil should be mycorrhiza
fungi. Does not tolerate competition with other plants and grows
curtains within the range.

Лечебные свойства и contraindications толокнянки известны очень
long ago that allows you to use the plant in the official and national

Morphological description

The height of the shrub is 5-30 cm. Branches are branched,
recumbent, rooting and ascending. The leaves are oblong
obovate shape. At the base narrowed into a short scape, and
on the top – rounded. From above dark green color, brilliant, with
visible veins, below – dull and lighter. Leaves have whole
edge, without edge, are arranged in turn: live 2 years, and on the 3rd
die and fall.

A distinctive feature of lingonberry – small brown dots on
reverse side of the leaves. Knowing this feature, plants are easy
identify in nature.

Color from April to June. Inflorescence is a
small apical brush consisting of several
drooping white-pink flowers on short pedicels. Himself
corolla pitcher, has a five-prong limb, inside are
tough hairs. The anthers with appendages are dark red in color and
open up at the top. Column somewhat shorter than the corolla.

The fruit ripens in August-September and represents
berry-like drupe dark red color with a diameter of 0.6-0.8 cm
Mealy powder, inside of which there are five bones.

Chemical composition

The main chemically active substances of the plant are
phenols and phenologlycosides (their derivatives):

  • полезные свойства толокнянкиArbutin (up to 20% in shoots) –
    its content is higher in the autumn;
  • methylarbutin;
  • n-methoxyphenol;
  • hydroquinone;
  • 2-O-galloylarbutin;
  • piceoside;
  • 6-O-galloylarbutin.

Bearberry leaves are also rich in:

  • terpenoids (ursuloic and oleic acids, pyrol,
    erythrodiol, lupeol, α- and β-amyrins);
  • anthocyanins (cyanidin, delphinidin);
  • catechins;
  • pitch;
  • waxing;
  • iodine, zinc, copper and manganese;
  • ascorbic acid.

In the shoots of the plant found:

  • flavonoids (isoquercithin, quercetin, myricitrin, myricetin,
  • C-benzylated dihydroflavonones (hamanetin and
  • iridoids (monotropein and undezide);
  • phenol carboxylic acids with derivatives (up to 6% gallic to-you,
    n-kumarovaya, coffee, lilac, ellagal, proto-catechone,
    vanilla to-you, methylgallate, korilagin);
  • up to 35% of pyrogallic tannins (ellagotanins and
  • organic acids (formic, quinic, tack, malic and
  • small amount of essential oil;
  • micro and macronutrients.

Collecting and harvesting

Useful properties of bearberry leaves, as well as its shoots,
Allow them to be harvested as a medicinal raw material.
You can collect the plant in the spring before flowering or at the very beginning,
and in the fall, when the fruits are fully ripe (before shedding

At one site you can collect raw materials not earlier than in 5 years.
after the previous collection. Dry in dryers at T 50-60 ̊С or in
ventilated areas. Store in linen bags 5 years.

History and Scientific Research for Bearberry

  • The first mention of the medicinal properties of a bear’s ear
    dating back to the 12th century – it was already used in England:
    the Old English medical book “Meddygon Myddfai” is given a description
    properties of the plant.
  • In the medieval medicine of the Armenian peoples the torch was used
    as an astringent for diarrhea and hemoptysis.
  • Recognition in Germany, as a medicinal plant, bearberry
    Received only in the 18th century.

The German State Health Service recognizes
ear bears one of the effective means of treating
воспалительных процессов urinary tract.

  • Инструкции по применению толокнянки в
    scientific and practical medicine in France dated 20-ies. 20 in.
    Famous phytotherapist of this country Leclerc recommended the plant
    as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory drug in renal pathologies,
    bladder and prostate.
  • In folk medicine of Siberia and the North of Russia
    толокнянку применяли при патологиях мочевыделительной системы,
    for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases – syphilis and gonorrhea. And in
    a number of places Russian plant is used for this purpose so far
    since then
  • In folk medicine of Lithuania, the plant was used in the treatment of
    chronic diarrhea, hypertension, neurosis, to bring
    organism in a tone, elimination of inflammatory processes.
  • Tibetan healers use the leaves of the plant for heartburn,
    goiter disease, gastritis.
  • Ukrainian phytotherapeutist Nosal V. advises preparations of the plant
    with urinary incontinence at night in children.
  • Czech scientists have developed cell culture technology.
    Mesophyll leaves of bearberry. However, arbutin and others
    Phenologlycosides do not accumulate with this method, and the current
    the base is represented by triterpene compounds, derivatives
    oleanolic acid.
  • In 1974 in the Institute of Chemical Pharmaceuticals
    St. Petersburg has developed a method for obtaining a liquid concentrate
    from the leaf of a plant that contained up to 15% arbutin. In the
    experiments on laboratory rats, it was found that the drug is 37
    % increased diuresis.
  • In vitro experiments have shown that plant leaf extracts
    inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes,
    Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhimurium,
    Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Proteus mirabilis, Ureaplasma
    urealyticum, Serratia marcescens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
    Streptococcus mutans and Mycoplasma hominis.
  • In 2001, Japanese scientists found that the extract
    bearberry enhances the sensitivity of St. aureus
    (methicillin-resistant strains) to β-lactam antibiotics.

Pharmacological and medicinal properties

The plant preparations have pronounced antimicrobial,
anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. Beneficial features
bearberry is caused by the action of chemicals entering into
the composition of its parts.

  • Anti-inflammatory effect due to the presence in the plant
  • Antioxidant properties are determined by the presence of gallic
  • Antiseptic properties are associated with irritant and
    antimicrobial action of phenol hydroquinone.
  • The diuretic effect is also associated with hydroquinone and other
    phenols: they irritate the kidney tissue, passing through it, and
    increase urination.
  • Antimicrobial properties are associated with glycoside arbutin,
    which breaks down into free hydroquinone and glucose under the influence
    the enzyme arbutase.
  • Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects are determined
    ursuloic acid.
  • Rejuvenating, whitening and cleansing effect has

And in the official, and in folk medicine bearberry
mainly used as an antiseptic for diseases
urinary tract, urethra and bladder, urolithiasis
diseases. The combined effect of bearberry leads to peeling
urinary tract pathogen flora and products of inflammation.

Also, the preparations of the plant are used as an astringent;
heartburn, diarrhea, gastritis, colitis and other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract,
diabetes, gout, tuberculosis, atherosclerosis, rheumatism.
Milk broths of bearberry fruit are used to treat diarrhea and

Outwardlyе использование препаратов растения помогает уменьшить
the severity of wrinkles, improve and illuminate the skin (with
hyperpigmentation), eliminate inflammation and black spots.
So, bearberry cream Kredo Natur is a unique cleansing product
pores from black spots in 7-10 days. Cream from domestic
manufacturer of Pure Line with bearberry recommended for people with
very dry and sensitive skin, and according to reviews, really
helps with these problems.

Instructions for the use of bearberry in folk medicine

Bearberry decoction

It is indicated for chronic gastritis, edema, cystitis, urethritis,
nephritis chronic, constipation, uterine bleeding, colitis
chronic diathesis, diabetes. Used externally to treat
poorly healing wounds, abrasions, scratches.

Приготовление: 1 st.l. dry leaves перетереть до
forming a powdered mass, pour in 1 cup boiling water and all
it’s put in a water bath. Warm up this mixture for 20 minutes, further
another 40 minutes to insist. Strain the resulting product and bring to
initial volume of boiled water. Not recommended for
patients with sensitive stomach, because it contains tannic
substances and irritates the mucous.

Take 30 minutes after eating 50 ml, 3 times a day.

Cold infusion

Effective with cystitis and other inflammatory processes in
urinary system.

Приготовление: 10 гр. dry leaves растения соединить с
2 cups of cold water.

Insist 12 hours, then warm up for 5 minutes, not boiling,
strain. This method allows you to extract from the leaves almost
все действующие компоненты, но без tannins. It reduces
the likelihood of side effects and allows you to get soft,
но не менее эффективное means.

How to drink bearberry: c / o 30 minutes after meals, 30 ml, 3 times a
days You can store the infusion in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

Alcohol tincture

It is used for sleep disorders, diseases of the nervous system,
urolithiasis, alcoholism; rheumatism, oncological
diseases and gout as painkiller means.

Приготовление: 40 гр. crushed dried leaves
put in a glass container, add 250 ml of vodka and put
Infuse in the dark for 2 weeks. Strain the tincture.

Take 15 drops c / o 30 minutes after meals 3 times a day.


Used in the complex treatment of urinary tract pathologies:
pyelonephritis, cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis. In gynecology
used in cervicitis and vaginitis. Used in cosmetology
to improve the appearance and cleansing of the skin, accelerate the regeneration
and rejuvenation, reducing inflammation and healing
damage. Stops hair loss and stimulates growth
hair follicles.

Приготовление: листья растения измельчают до 3 мм и
prepare the extractant (water or alcohol). On 1 part of the leaves
take 5 parts of the extractant, which should be divided into 3 portions:
3: 1: 1. First, add 3 parts of extractant to the leaves and
incubated for 4 days at room temperature. Extract drained,
grass squeeze and pour 1 part of the extractant. 2 days later
the process is repeated, but the drug is already insisting for 1 day. Everything
the resulting extracts are mixed together and stored in a bottle in
the fridge.

Take 30 minutes before eating 1 tbsp. up to 5 times a day for
1 month. In the year can be 4 courses of treatment. Outwardly
use for local treatment of problem areas.

Bearberry preparations and recipes for certain diseases

Collection for the treatment of neurosis, insomnia

Bear ear and motherwort grass mixed in equal shares. Take 2
st.l. mix, add 3 cups of water to them and put everything in
pan and water bath. Boil until liquid volume
evaporated by 1/3. Cool and strain.

Take 50 ml before meals (before each meal).

Collection for the treatment of cystitis

Mix 20 g. gryzhnika and bearberry, add to the mixture 5 gr.
dried parsley and the same amount of celandine. Grind a mixture of plants
and add to it 1 cup of boiling water, insist 60 minutes.

Take 3 times a day, h / o 30 minutes after meals, 50 ml.

Diuretic collection

Take bearberry leaves, licorice root and cornflower flowers in
пропорции 3: 1: 1. К 250 мл кипятка ввести 1 st.l. this mixture and
insist 20 minutes.

Принимать по 1 st.l. three times a day.

Gout Remedy Recipe

Налить в кастрюлю 500 мл воды, положить 3 st.l. dry leaves
bearberry, put on the fire and wait for the boil. Then 15
minutes, remove from heat and cover, wait until cool.

Take with meals, 2 times a day. Also in this broth you can
wet gauze dressing and apply it on sore spots for 15
minutes This treatment is carried out until the pain disappears completely.

Pyelonephritis collection

Take 10 grams of bearberry leaves, birch, horsetail grass,
licorice root and 20 grams of leaf lingonberry, flax seeds and herbs
nettle. 1 st.l. of this mixture pour 200 ml of boiling water, warm it up
water bath for 15 minutes and insist 60 minutes.

Take 1/3 cup twice a day.

Edema collection

Mix birch foliage, corn stigmas and cornberry in equal
parts, 100 gr. collection steam 200 ml boiling water, insist day in
dry warm place.

Take half a cup 3 times a day, h / s 60 minutes after

Tuberculosis Treatment

2 st.l. dry plant raw materials mixed with 100 ml of vodka, insist in
dark 14 days, strain.

Take 10-15 drops after a meal, 3 times a day.

Collection for the treatment of rheumatism

In equal proportion to take bearberry leaves, grass of horsetail
field, sash pods sowing beans, stigma of corn, grass
fragrant hernia and highlander bird, willow bark, cornflower flowers,
Birch Hangs. Смесь растений измельчить, взять 1 st.l.
This dare and pour 250 ml boiling water, boil for 10 minutes and another half an hour
insist, strain.

Drink 100 ml h / o 40 minutes after meals 5 times a day.

Collection for the treatment of atherosclerosis

Take in equal proportions ear ear, heart-shaped flowers
lindens, oregano, peppermint leaves, large plantain,
motherwort, horsetail, marshland and rosehips,
grind. 1 st.l. mixture pour boiling water (2 cups) and insist 40
min, squeeze.

Take 1 glass twice / day. 60 minutes after

Bearberry Pharmaceuticals

  • Урифлорин. Monopreparation in the form of tablets on
    leaf-based plant, which is effective in complex treatment
    inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract and bladder
    (cystitis, urethritis).
  • Урокам. Syrup that besides bearish
    Abalone, contains extracts of birch leaves, cranberries and cranberries.
    Shown in the treatment of inflammation of the bladder and
    urinary tract.
  • Урифлан. Supplements in the form of capsules containing dry
    plant extract. It is indicated for the treatment of chronic and acute
    pyelonephritis, acute and chronic cystitis and urethritis, congestive
    processes in the pelvis.
  • Урсул. Polycomponent dietary supplement for food.
    It is recommended as a general tonic drug to maintain
    functions of the urinary system, as well as additional
    source of minerals in urinary urinary inflammatory pathologies
  • Листья толокнянки сухие (либо в
    filter bags) – herbal medicine, used in complex treatment
    воспалений urinary tract.

Contraindications to treatment

Bearberry should not be taken when:

  • acute renal failure;
  • glomerulonephritis;
  • children under 12;
  • lactating and pregnant women;
  • patients to hypersensitivity to the plant.

Bearberry during pregnancy is contraindicated because the plant
has a tonic effect on the muscles of the uterus, which can
cause miscarriage or childbirth ahead of time. In spite of this,
some doctors prescribe plants to women in position
in the detection of inflammatory diseases of the urinary tract and
swelling, considering them safer compared to chemically
synthesized drugs. However, restrictions for this group
patients exist, and they should not be neglected.

Side effects and special instructions

When treating with plant preparations in high doses, it is possible
exacerbation of inflammation in the urinary organs and
development of renal symptoms due to prolonged irritation
renal tubules.

It is also possible the development of vomiting, nausea, chills, increase
temperature and diarrhea.

  1. To reduce the likelihood of side effects during treatment
    bearberry, it is recommended to use it in combination with plants
    (in the form of fees), which have anti-inflammatory and
    diuretic properties.
  2. Also during the period of treatment with the preparations of the plant pathologies
    urinary tract should exclude protein products because
    they acidify urine. The main ration should be
    plant food. To keep the urine pH alkaline, before
    by taking bearberry preparations, you need to drink the solution,
    prepared from 1 glass of water and 1 tsp. soda
  3. During treatment, you can not take drugs that contain
    alkalis and alkaloids.

How to distinguish bearberry from lingonberry

Very often, dry raw lingonberries give out under the guise of bearberry and
sell it in the markets. There will be no harm from such treatment, however
benefits in the expected amount too.

Back in the eighth century pharmacopoeia, an analysis technique was described.
medicinal raw materials to determine fraud. From the subject
raw water preparing infusion in the ratio of 1:50, then to him
a crystal of ferrous sulfate is added. If the tested raw materials
is bearberry, then the solution must first turn red
color, then turn purple and after the reaction should
a dark purple precipitate appears. In case it is lingonberry
sheet, this reaction is not observed.

The second method requires the presence of iron-ammonium alum, with
adding a few drops of which to the infusion of bearberry last
gets black and blue color. If the infusion is made from cowberries, he
will turn green and black.

Автор: врач-гигиенист, эпидемиолог

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