What is Uva-ursi?
Uva-ursi or Bearberry is a small woody shrub, which thrives in the mountains of Alfred Vogel’s native Switzerland and has been used traditionally to help promote bladder health.
To help combat cystitis, Alfred Vogel combined Uva-ursi with his favourite herb Echinacea purpurea. Echinacea was much loved by the Native American Indians and is well known for its ability to help fight cold and flu infections. Uva-ursi and Echinacea tincture was born!
Uva-ursi & Echinacea is a licensed herbal remedy for the relief of symptoms associated with cystitis and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Some of the common symptoms of cystitis to look out for can include:
Together with managing your diet and employing some tips at home to manage urinary tract infections, an extract of uva-ursi can be a useful addition to help keep your symptoms in check.
However, if any of the more serious symptoms such as those in the list below are present, you should go to the doctor for a check-up as self-medication may not be appropriate:
How does it work?
The Uva-ursi & Echinaforce Complex contains extracts of Uva-ursi (75%) and fresh Echinacea purpurea (25%). Uva-ursi is thought to possess unique anti-septic properties which can help to combat the bad bacteria which give rise to urinary tract infections. This herb contains a number of compounds including arbutin and hydroquinone which help to maintain the health of the bladder. The tannins in the herb have an astringent effect.
Echinacea is also thought to possess both anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, but it can also help support and strengthen the function of the body’s immune system. Therefore, both herbs work well in combination to help manage the symptoms of cystitis or urinary tract infections.
Can I use it instead of antibiotics?
The symptoms often associated with cystitis listed above can act as a good guide to help determine whether or not self medication may be appropriate. However, a trip to the doctor may be required if your symptoms are more severe.
If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics then we would recommend you take them, however, if you can avoid having antibiotics prescribed in the first place, and eventually learn how to manage your symptoms better before they become more serious, this is preferable.
Read my blog for more information on whether or not antibiotics are always necessary for managing cystitis or urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Can it be used long-term?
Uva-ursi & Echinacea Complex can be taken up to five times daily for up to a period of 6 weeks. This may be repeated after a break if symptoms were to return. However, if recurrent cystitis is an issue for you and uva-ursi doesn’t seem to be helping to keep your symptoms under control longer term then we would recommend you return to your doctor to have them investigate this further.
Please note, for best results uva-ursi should be taken at regular intervals throughout the day and as with all of our remedies, in a small splash of water only (5-10mls), to help support optimal absorption. It’s also important to couple Uva-ursi with helpful diet and lifestyle habits which can keep symptoms of cystitis at bay.
Is this remedy suitable for the whole family?
Although Uva-ursi & Echinacea is suitable for over 18s only, we also have a similar unlicensed product available.
Uva-ursi Complex drops can be used in children over 2 years of age and directions are as follows:
Children aged 2-12 years can be given 1 drop per year of age twice daily, in a little water. As always, if symptoms don’t start to improve or get any worse, they should stop taking them and visit a doctor instead.
Is Uva-ursi also suitable for men?
Although Uva-ursi is indicated for women, in some cases it may also be suitable for men – that is, if cystitis is most likely to be at the root of the cause and they’ve had a formal diagnosis from their doctor.
In many cases, especially as a man gets older, symptoms associated with enlarged prostate may get mistake for symptoms of cystitis. Some of these symptoms may include:
- Frequent urination
- The need to urine more frequently during the night
- A disturbed flow of urine
If an enlarged prostate is thought to be at the root of the problem rather than cystitis, then an extract of Saw Palmetto, such as in our Prostasan capsules, may be more suitable.