A small shrub used for centuries in herbal folk medicine, uva ursi dates back to the 2nd century. It has been used throughout these centuries as a diuretic, antiseptic, and astringent. This small but potent herb has also been used to treat cystitis, kidney stones, and nephritis. Native Americans used it medicinally to help strengthen the pancreas and liver as well as a headache remedy, or to treat urinary tract infections. It has since been confirmed through clinical research that uva ursi tea can help fight infections, because it has antibacterial properties. It also helps flush the system by acting as a diuretic, which is perhaps why it is so commonly used for urinary tract infections.
The diuretic effect that uva ursi tea exhibits is most likely due to a substance called arbutin, which is excreted by the kidneys. This in turn helps create an antiseptic effect in the urinary tract, helping fight infections, flush and cleanse the system. Other medical uses for this herb include fighting chronic diarrhea, relaxing muscles, and preventing postpartum infection. Some even claim that it is helpful for weight loss. This can also probably be chalked up to the diuretic effect that it helps the body achieve, so that you can better lose water weight and reduce bloating or other water retention.
Another unique benefit that uva ursi tea shows is in the treatment of the E. coli bacteria, which can be deadly in some cases. By treating it organically, you can avoid the side effects of strong antibiotics. However, if you suspect that you have been infected with E. coli, you will need to speak to a healthcare professional to confirm this as soon as possible, before beginning any alternative treatment options. In a different form, such as in over the counter antibacterial creams, you might notice that uva ursi is a common active ingredient, used to treat cuts and other wounds.
Finally, for of high blood pressure, many people choose to drink uva ursi tea. This is because it, as mentioned above, can be a diuretic, flushing out excess waste and water weight in the body. When taking diuretics, it's best to replenish the body's supply of potassium with foods like bananas. These are but a few of the main benefits of this potent herbal tea, which can be enjoyed on its own or sweetened with honey or sugar. For the best results, it's recommended to use uva ursi for a short term to let your body adjust to it, when using it for medicinal reasons.