Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (manzanita)
Uva ursi has a history of medicinal use dating back to the 2nd century. It has been widely used as a diuretic, astringent, and antiseptic. Folk medicine around the world has recommended it for nephritis, kidney stones, and chronic cystitis. The herb has also been used as a general tonic for weakened kidneys, liver or pancreas. Native Americans used it as a remedy for headaches, to prevent and cure scurvy and to treat urinary tract infections. In fact, until the discovery of sulfa drugs and antibiotics, Uva ursi was the treatment of choice for such bladder and related infections.
This herb helps prevent postpartum infection and is helpful for chronic diarrhea. As a nutritional supplement and muscle relaxant, the herb soothes, strengthens, and tightens irritated and inflamed tissues. The herb neutralizes acidity in the urine, increasing urine flow, therefore reducing bloating and water retention, making it beneficial for weight loss. Uva ursi’s astringent properties may also assist in the treatment of some bed wetting problems.
It’s used topically for treating cuts, scrapes, sprains, and to reduce the spreading of poison ivy rash.
Uva Ursi is associated with the planets Mars and Pluto. Spiritually it is used to increase psychic and intuitive abilities.
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