Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng.

Bearberry

Bearberry  (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng.) is evergreen creeping shrub of the Sem. Pyreneans - Ericaceae, reaching up to 25-30 cm. It grows on dry rocky and rocky meadows and in the more dry coniferous forests in all the higher mountains in Bulgaria. The stems usually have a dark brown bark. The leaves are eternally green, back ovate or spiny, fruity, rounded at the top and contain different types of acids such as formic, quinine, gallic and tanning substances. The flowers are small, the fruits are round, red with 6 pits. Blooms in June - July.

The leaves are used in medicine because of their good disinfecting and urinary properties. Leaves are harvested during flowering of the plant from June to August. The dried leaves have a dark green top, gray-green underneath, the upper side is glossy and the lower, matte, odorless and have a slightly bitter and tart taste.

Bearberry are also used in veterinary medicine as a raw material for obtaining arbutin.

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