Bearberry, Uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi) (Linne), which takes its name from the fact that its berries are eaten by bears and other animals, is a low evergreen shrub common to the Northern countries of Europe and America. The leaves, which are used in medicine, are an article of commerce in the northern sections of Europe, America, and some parts of Asia. Being used in tanning, in Sweden and Russia, according to Rafinesque (535), they established the well-known Russia leather. The astringent leaves were once highly valued in Europe, but have since fallen into disuse. The domestic employment of the drug introduced it to American medicine, Drs. Wistar, Barton (43), and Bigelow (69) recommending a decoction of it as a wash for leucorrhea and as an injection in gonorrhea and catarrh of the bladder. For these purposes, as based on its domestic employment, the plant has its professional record, but has never been very important in any school of medicine.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.