The most important health benefits of bearberry include its ability to detoxify the bladder, protect the immune system, eliminate headaches, aid in pregnancy, speed up healing, reduce inflammation, and protect the gut.
What is Bearberry?
Bearberry is a fruit that belongs to the genus Arctostaphylos and can be found in Asia, Europe, and North America. There are actually three different shrubs, the fruits of which claim the title of bearberry. There are dozens of different kinds of berries that have been used for medicinal or herbal purposes over the millennia, but the earliest recorded use of bearberries dates back nearly 800 years ago.
Indigenous cultures may have used these berries for traditional healing methods. The plant is unusual in that with its organic compounds and components that give it so many health benefits. There are also slightly narcotic elements as well, which is why the reputation and traditions of use of bearberries have changed and fluctuated over time. Now, you can mainly find bearberries in health food stores, herbalists, and those who still use folk medicine for treatments.
Bearberry Nutrition Facts
The health benefits of bearberry are mainly due to its unique chemical makeup, which includes tannic, ursolic, and gallic acid, and various flavonoids. These powerful organic compounds impact the body’s organs in a number of ways, making this a potentially valuable herbal remedy for many people. The bearberry plant can be smoked, steeped into a tea, ground into a powder, or made into a decoction to topically apply or ingest.
Health Benefits of Bearberry
Let’s take a closer look at the fascinating health benefits of bearberry.
Protects the Immune System
The most powerful chemical compounds, hydroquinones, found in bearberry, act as powerful antibacterial agents that can keep a wide range of diseases away from you. By eliminating harmful agents and foreign substances, bearberries can protect everything from your gut to your skin, acting as a defense against bacteria.
Detoxifies the Body
Bearberry has been used for hundreds of years as a headache reliever. To achieve this particular benefit, you need to smoke the dried leaves of the bearberry shrub, which produces a similar effect as the widely known cannabis plant. This narcotic use is one of the more controversial health benefits of bearberry and is looked down upon in many circles, but it has been shown to be an effective headache remedy.
Aids in Pregnancy
The active components of bearberry have been directly connected to prevent miscarriages, ensuring the safety of the mother during pregnancy. Furthermore, after the baby is delivered, there is often a significant amount of pain and inflammation. Eating bearberries has been used to promote a healthy recovery of the mother by eliminating some of the pain and discomfort.
Speeds up Healing
A salve can be made from the fruits of the bearberry to form a topical application. This can be directly applied to burns, wounds, bruises, or areas of inflammation. The acids of this unique fruit help speed the healing process under the skin, while also reducing inflammation and eliminating pain.
Protects the Stomach
Gastrointestinal issues are very critical and they can affect your overall health badly by destroying the natural balance of helpful bacteria in our gut. Bearberries are known to inhibit the activity of harmful bacteria like E. coli, Proteus vulgaris, and a number of Staphylococcus strains of bacteria, helping our systems stave off these common infections.
Word of Caution: There are powerful chemical compounds in bearberry, some of which are known to cause a negative reaction in people with a sensitive stomach. Mild nausea and dizziness have been reported in rare cases, so be sure to always speak with a medical professional before adding a new food to your regimen.