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Bearberry

Bearberry is a low growing evergreen belonging to the genus Arctostaphylos. It has a stem that raises 2-8″ off the ground and is covered in a thick bark and fine silky hairs. The fruit is a red berry 3/8″ in diameter. Bearberry gets its name because bears like to feast on these berries. Bearberry is a very useful plant. All parts of it can be used in some way.

 

The fruit can be eaten and cooked with other foods. The roots can be made into a tea that can treat a constant cough or slow down menstrual bleeding. A tea from the stem is used to prevent miscarriage and to speed up women recovery after childbirth. Bearberry is an herbal product. It works by killing bacteria in the urinary tract.

 

Bearberry is one of the many ingredients that are becoming more prominent in skin care products today. Cosmetic companies are seeing the need to create skin care products with natural ingredients to fight skin conditions and offer safer alternatives, especially for those with sensitive skin and allergies.

 

Bearberry leaves contain a natural lightening compound called arbutin that is said to be quite powerful at bleaching dark spots, age spots and melasma. Bearberry is usually delivered in small doses in brightening skin care products so its powerful lightening effect remains gentle and natural. Bearberry is also packed with antioxidants and has natural sun protective benefits for the skin.

 

Dried bearberry leaves are formulated in capsules, tablets, teas, and tinctures. Bearberry leaves can also be smoked to get rid of headache. However, using bearberry in this form is illegal and is carefully regulated in many parts of the world, as it has a narcotic effect. Folk remedies of many regions of the world suggest the use of bearberry for effectively treating backaches, rheumatism and arthritis. In some parts of the world, bearberry is also used as a disinfectant.

 

Bearberry is high in tannins, which can produce stomach aches, nausea, and vomiting. Thus, if you have a weak stomach, avoid bearberry. Overuse may cause liver damage. It is not to be taken during pregnancy and generally not recommended for children.

 

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