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The active medicinal compound in Arctostaphylos uva ursi is the Hydroquinone glycoside, Arbutin. (Murray, 1991)
Biological Activities or Arbutin:
The leaves of the bearberry have both external and internal uses. Used internally, it has been used to reduce the accumulation of uric acid and relieve pain of bladder stones and cystitis. The tea or tincture can be used in treating bed wetting as well. Bearberry has been reported to be effective against E. coli. For external use, it has been used as an astringent wash for cuts and scrapes.