Phenol Glycosides - Bearberry

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Glycosides

These are the dried leaves of Arctostaphylous uva-ursi (Linne) Sprengel, belonging to family Ericaceae.


BEARBERRY

 

 

Synonyms

 

Uva ursi, Bearberry leaves, Busserole.

 

Biological Source

 

These are the dried leaves of Arctostaphylous uva-ursi (Linne) Sprengel, belonging to family Ericaceae.

 

Geographical Source

 

It is found in different parts of Central and North Europe, North America, Canada and Scotland.

 

Characteristics

 

Leaves are spatula like, 2–2.5 cm in size tapering towards base, with short stalk or petiole. Fruits are scarlet red with calyx at base. The leaves are collected in April to June and dried under sun. They show olive green upper surface and pale colour on lower surface. They are small coriaceous, shining leaves. They have .astringent and bitter taste, without any specific odour.

 

Chemical Constituents

 

The leaves contain a glycoside called arbutin which con-tains phenolic aglycone. The leaves also contain methyl arbutin, quercetin, ursone, iriodoids, quinones, tannins (6–10%), gallic acid ursolic acid, α-amyrin, β-amyrin and terpenoids.

 

Uses

 

The leaves have diuretic and astringent properties. As an infusion, it is used in urethritis and cystitis.

 

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