Albanian forests hide a lot of sweet secrets among them. One of this secrets are the bearberries (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).  Known also by the name Gërdec, this particular fruit is grown in wild nature.

Although it is not known widely in our country, in some northern areas of Albania, bearberries have been used traditionally as a folk medicinal treatment.

For the peoples of these areas, eating bearberries has been traditionally used to promote a healthy recovery of the mother and to eliminate some of the pain and discomfort.

But while the bearberry fruit is edible and is sometimes used as food, the leaves of the plant are extensively used for medicinal purposes by herbal practitioners.

Bearberry tea is a traditional herbal treatment since centuries in Northern Europe and Eurasia. Bearberry leaves are known to contain a very powerful antibacterial chemical compound known as hydroquinones.

A tea prepared from the dried bearberry leaves has been a traditional treatment in many parts of the world for urinary tract infections. This treatment will work best if the patient is on a vegetable-based diet.

Some of the most important health benefits of bearberry include its ability to protect the immune system, eliminate headaches, aid in pregnancy, speed healing, reduce inflammation, and protect the gut.

Health Benefits Of Bearberry

Protect the Immune System: One of the most powerful chemical compounds found in bearberries are called hydroquines, and these act as powerful antibacterial agents that can keep a wide range of your systems healthy.

Detoxify the Body: The most common traditional use of bearberries was as a natural diuretic. This helps people release the toxins from their body at a rapid rate, cleansing the bladder and kidneys. This helps to eliminate excess salts, fats, water, and toxic materials from your body, helping all of your systems work better.

Headaches: This is one of the more controversial health benefits of bearberry, but it has been used for hundreds of years as a headache reliever. To achieve this particular benefit, you need to smoke the dried leaves of the bearberry shrub, which produces a similar effect as the more widely known cannabis plants.

Pregnancy Aid: Some of the active components of bearberry have been directly connected to prevent miscarriages and ensuring the safety of the mother during the pregnancy. Furthermore, after the baby is delivered, there is often a significant amount of pain and inflammation.

Speeds Healing: A salve can be made from the fruits of the bearberry to form a topical application. This can be directly applied to burns, wounds, bruises, or areas of inflammation. The acids of this unique fruit can help to speed the healing process in the skin, while also reducing inflammation and eliminating pain.

Protect the Stomach: There is a wide variety of gastrointestinal “bugs” out there, and preventing those illnesses is essential. They can destroy the natural balance of helpful bacteria in our gut.

Bearberries are known to inhibit the activity of E. coli, Proteus vulgaris, and a number of Staphylococcus strains of bacteria, helping many of our systems stave off these common infections./AgroWeb.org