Uva ursi, a potently effective herbal treatment for urinary tract infections, can be safe when it is used for short periods of time by healthy adults. However, some people should not take uva ursi, due to the potential risk for serious side effects and drug interactions. If you are interested in taking uva ursi, consult a qualified health care provider about the relative benefits and risks.
If you are in any high-risk group, you should not take uva ursi unless specifically directed to do so by a licensed practitioner. The following groups of people should not take uva ursi.
No studies have investigated uva ursi’s safety or efficacy as a treatment for urinary tract infections in children. There is no dose that is known to be safe for young children, and it could harm their developing livers and other internal organs. Do not give uva ursi to a child under age 15.
If you are pregnant, you should not take uva ursi. It could cause miscarriage or preterm labor, and its active compounds may cross the placenta and harm a developing fetus.
Compounds in uva ursi, including those with potentially toxic effects, may pass into breast milk. Because babies and toddlers are less capable of ridding these toxins from their systems, uva ursi may trigger liver damage or blood pressure problems in breastfed children. Women who are breastfeeding should not use uva ursi.
People with Liver Disease
Uva ursi’s active compound, hydroquinone, can be very toxic to the liver in large doses. If you have a live condition, sucha s cirrhosis, hepatitis or fibrosis, your liver may be more prone to these damages. Do not use uva ursi if you have any form of live disease.
People with Hypertension
You should not use uva ursi if you have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Uva ursi may worsen this condition, leading to serious problems such as hypertensive crisis– an episode of extremely high blood pressue.
People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Uva ursi is not consdiered to be safe for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Do not use uva ursi if you have Crohn’s disease, proctitis or ulcerative colitis. It can worsen symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases, causing severe diarrhea and fluid loss.
People with Ulcers
If you have ulcers or have been treated for them recently, it is best to avoid uva ursi. It may affect stomach acid and mucus levels in the stomach, possibly causing a recurrence of ulcers or worsening symptoms of existing ulcers.
People who have used Uva Ursi Recently
You should not use uva ursi more than five times in one year. Its potentially toxic compounds can build up in the system, causing an increased risk of serious liver problems and ulcers. Consult your health care provider if you experience recurrent urinary tract infections.
Read more about uva ursi from the University of Maryland Medical Center.