This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAME. The upland Cranberry.
MEDICINAL PART. The Leaves.
Description. -- Bearberry is a small, perennial, shrub, having a long fibrous root. The stems are woody and trailing; bark smooth. The leaves are alternate, evergreen, obovate, acute, and have short petioles. The fruit is a small, scarlet-colored drupaceous berry.
History. -- This plant is a perennial evergreen, common in the northern part of Europe and America. It grows on dry, sterile, sandy soils, and gravelly ridges. The berries ripen in winter, although the flowers appear from June to September. The green leaves, picked from the stems in the fall and dried in a moderate heat, are the parts used. These leaves are odorless until reduced to powder, when the odor emitted is like that of dried grass. The powder is of a light brown color, tinged with a yellowish green. The taste is astringent and bitterish. The properties of the leaves are extracted by alcohol or water. A preparation called Ursin is made from them.
Properties and Uses. -- Uva Ursi is especially astringent and tonic, depending upon these qualities for the most of its good effects. It is particularly useful in chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, profuse menstruation, piles, diabetes, and other similar complaints. It possesses rare curative principles when administered for diseases of the urinary organs, more especially in chronic affections of the kidneys, mucous discharges from the bladder, inflammation of the latter organ, and all derangements of the water-passages. It is also a valuable assistant in the cure of gonorrhoea of long standing, whites, ulceration of the cervix uteri (or neck of the womb), pain in the vesical region, etc. Many physicians now rely upon it as the basis of their remedy for gonorrhoea which is accompanied by mucous discharges, and for all kindred afflictions. Its tannic acid gives it great power in rectifying and extirpating the obstinate and disagreeable complaints we have mentioned.
Dose. -- The dose of the powder is ten to forty grains; of the decoction, one to two fluid ounces--(to make this, boil a pint and a half of pure water, containing one ounce of uva ursi, down to a pint); of the extract, five to ten grains.