Bearberry leaf – ESCOP Herbal Monograph 2012

Uvae ursi folium
Published 2012
Price:   €20
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The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of bearberry leaf. The botanical definition of the herbal drug is the whole or cut dried leaf of Arcto­staphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. Studies with its main characteristic constituents arbutin and methylarbutin are included. The therapeutic indications are uncomplicated infections of the lower urinary tract. Administration of bearberry leaf addresses posology; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose. In vitro experiments with bearberry leaf demonstrate antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In vivo experiments in animals demonstrate anti-inflammatory and diuretic activities. Pharmacokinetics of orally administered arbutin or bearberry leaf extracts were assessed in animals and healthy volunteers. Preclinical safety data, such as single dose toxicity and genotoxicity are reported. The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at compiling relevant information about the possible physiological roles of bearberry leaf and its major constituents. Examples are given below.


  • Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng
  • Uvae ursi folium
  • Bearberry Leaf 
  • Urinary tract infections


– Beaux D, Fleurentin J, Mortier F. Effect of extracts of Orthosiphon stamineus Benth., Hieracium pilo­sel­la L., Sambucus nigra L. and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng. in rats. Phytother Res 1999;13:222-5.<222::AID-PTR447>3.0.CO;2-P
– Garcia de Arriba S, Stammwitz U, Pickartz S, Goclik V, Bodinet C, Nolte KU. Änderung des Urin-pH-Werts haben keinen Einfluss auf die Wirksamkeit von Uvae ursi folium. Z Phytother 2010;31:95-7.
– Quintus J, Kovar KA, Link P, Hamacher H. Urinary Excretion of Arbutin Metabolites after Oral Administration of Bearberry Leaf Extracts. Planta Med 2005;71:147-52.
– Schindler G, Patzak U, Brinkhaus B, von Nieciecki A, Wittig J, Krähmer N, Glöckl I, Veit M. Urinary Excretion and Metabolism of Arbutin after Oral Administration of Arctostaphylos Uva ursi Extract as Film-Coated Tablets and Aqueous Solution in Healthy Humans. J Clin Pharmacol 2002;42:920-27.
– Türi M, Türi E, Koljalg S, Mikelsaar M. Influence of aqueous extracts of medicinal plants on surface hydrophobicity of Escherichia coli strains of different origin. APMIS 1997;105:956-62.



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