The definition of an astringent is: a substance able to contract or constrict cell walls & bodily tissues.
This powerful herb is a specialist in infections and inflammation of the urinary tract. It contains an assortment of chemical compounds, especially arbutin...which is an active component against many of the pathogens commonly found in UTI's! Uva ursi is more effective when the urine is alkaline, so do not take it with cranberry juice which makes the urine acidic and the 2 could counteract each other.
Uva ursi should be reserved when quick intervention is needed. It should not be taken for extended periods and not for those with kidney disease. It has been known to reverse urinary tract infections as it increases renal circulation and stimulates tubular function.
The substance arbutin is converted in the urine to hydroquinone, a urinary antiseptic. It literally flushes out the kidneys. If you use it regularly, you will need to replenish your potassium, which can be lost when you lose fluid. So a dandelion tincture would be a great benefit to that. The hydroquinone which is derived from the arbutin and methykrbutm are powerful anti-bacterial agents and are thought to be responsible for it's ability to treat UTI's.
A week's (7 days) use of Uva ursi should be more than enough time to knock out the menacing infection. After symptoms have subsided, switch to blueberries & cranberries (and not the sugary stuff)!!
It traditionally was used for the treatment of bladder & kidney infections and kidney stones. It was also recommended for treatment of bronchitis. Arbutin is also known to have antimicrobial activity against E. coli.