Monday, March 10, 2008

Bearberry As Alternative Medicine

Bearberry As Alternative Medicine

Bearberry or kinnickinnick is an alternative medicine that has been used as a mild diuretic for hundreds of years. The bears love its berries and that is how Bearberry gets its name. In countries such as Poland the leaves are still used for medicinal purposes.

  1. It is a powerful antiseptic to treat urinary tract infections such as vaginitis, prostatitis and urethritis.
  2. It reduces the body’s uric acid.
  3. It inhibits the production of melanin.
  4. It is useful for treating hepatitis.

Bearberry is available as dried leaves, liquid extract, capsules and tea bags. Standard dosage is 2 grams three times a day. An infusion is made by steeping a teaspoonful of dried leaves into a cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes.

This herb is non-toxic but long term use is not advisable. Side effects could arise from the excessive hydroquinone levels. Nausea, delirium, stomach upset and vomiting are some of the common side effects. Pregnant or nursing women and children must refrain from taking this herb. For those who suffer from kidney disease also should avoid it. Bearberry is an alternative medicine that very often interacts with drugs such as digoxin.

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