Cat’s Claw for Immunity and Recovery - Medicinal Herbs Podcast Series

LATEST PODCAST EPISODE — LISTEN NOW

Scientific Name: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Constituents:

  • Hydroquinone glycosides (arbutin)
  • Tannins (Hydrolyzable & Condensed)
  • Flavonoids
  • Polyphenolic acids (ursolic, gallic & ellagic)
  • Allantoin
  • Volatile oil

Medicinal actions:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial (tissue specificity to urinary tract)
  • Astringent
  • Demulcent
  • Diuretic

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Hydroquinone derivative, arbutin appears to release aglycone in alkaline urine leading to antimicrobial effects. Arbutin, which is cleaved and conjugated to form hydroquinones, is a known inhibitor of tyrosine kinase and thus melanin synthesis, used in skin whitening treatments.
  • Tannins are highly astringent.
  • Allantoin helps promote the growth of healthy new cells and the healing of wounds.
  • Note: The whole plant is more effective than isolated arbutin, which may be related to the activity of flavonoids (gallic acid or gallotannin) which prevents the splitting of arbutin by such enzymes as b-glucosidase. This enzyme is present in some enteric microorganisms that can occur in urinary tract infections. Thus, the flavonoid component allows more arbutin to be hydrolyzed than when isolated arbutin is administered.

Pharmacy:

  • Infusion
  • Tincture
  • Capsules

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • Toxicity is proportional to the conversion of arbutin to hyrdroquinone, as hydroquinone is mutagenic. 15 g of the fresh leaves can provide 1 g of hydroquinone, which can be toxic with signs and symptoms of: tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, cyanosis, convulsions, and delirium.
  • Caution due to hydrolyzable tannin content that can accumulate, causing liver and kidney damage.
  • Avoid during pregnancy & lactation, renal failure, and long-term use ( > 14 days).

Interactions:

  • High doses of vitamin C and cranberry juice will transiently acidify the urine in a minority of people. Considering that arbutin may convert preferentially to hydroquinone in alkaline urine, urinary acidifiers can theoretically inhibit this conversion.
  • High tannins may interfere with absorption of various nutrients (e.g iron).

Scientifically driven. Education focused. Healing Inspired.

Subscribe to Insights

Receive clinically driven nutrition insights you can trust.

Animated Newsletter WM
close

Join Our Community to Read Further

This is a premium article created for our Healthcare Practitioner readers. Create a free account to continue reading and gain full access.

Dismiss

signup-logo

WholisticMatters offers health care practitioners and nutrition enthusiasts alike the opportunity to create a free profile for access to site features like bookmarking. Enjoying an article you are reading or a video you are watching? Save it to come back to later! Sign up in seconds for continuous access to all that WholisticMatters has to offer.

WholisticMatters also offers health care practitioners who create a free user profile access to exclusive content and tools to utilize in clinical practice. Articles, tools, and downloads created specifically for practitioners to use in their office for better patient education in clinical nutrition and health. Sign up today with your email and credentials so we can confirm you as a health care practitioner, and you are free to peruse the resources unique to you and your colleagues in health.

close

Create Your Account:

show-pass Please use 8 or more characters with a mix of letters, numbers & symbols
signup-logo
close

Create a free account to use our great bookmarking tool

Once your account is created, you'll be able to save and organize what matters to you!

Already have an Account? Login Here


Click 'Sign Up' above to accept Wholistic Matters's Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.
close

Are you a Healthcare Professional? Sign Up For Free Access!

We'll verify your credentials and get you access to our great interactive tools.

Already have an Account? Login Here


Click 'Sign Up' above to accept Wholistic Matters's Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.