FSS Bearberry Powder
Bearberry is a dwarf evergreen shrub indigenous to the dry, sandy, rocky soil climes of Europe, Asia, and Northern and Central America. The plant grows between 10 and 30 cm tall and has oval shaped green leathery leaves that are generally 1 inch long. During the spring months of March through June, the Bearberry shrub blooms small white to slightly pink bell shaped flowers, which then form smooth red berries that are 3/8th of an inch in diameter. The thick, prostrate, vegetative mat and evergreen character are what make bearberry a popular ground cover. This long-lived, low-growing shrub is very cold tolerant. The fruit will persist on the plant into early winter. The berries are often eaten by bears hence the plant’s name bearberry, it is also referred to as: uva ursi, mountain cranberry, sandberry, arberry, bear’s grape, mealberry, mountain box, red bearberry, sagackhomi, rockberry, upland cranberry and hogberry. Native Americans used it with tobacco and other herbs in religious ceremonies. It was referred to as ‘Kinnikinnick’ from the Algonquian for ‘mixture’.
have used the bearberry plant throughout the ages. It was a common ingredient
in remedies utilized by Welsh physicians during the 13th century, and it has
been referenced and recommended for medicinal uses throughout Europe. In 1788
the London Pharmacopeia printed a recommendation for its use, and it was listed
in the United States Pharmacopeia from 1820 to 1926. In the past bearberry
leaves have been used to treat bronchitis as well as many urinary and
intestinal tract disorders. The Cheyenne Native Americans used Bearberry to
treat back pain, and other Native Americans used the plant to treat nephritis,
cystitis and venereal diseases. The tannin content of the leaves is so abundant
that they were used for tanning leather in Sweden and Russia. Traditionally,
the leaves are infused with water for medicinal applications. However,
virtually all parts of the plant are useable, the roots and branches as well as
the leaves have been dried and ground for use in teas, and the berries can be
eaten fresh, dried or incorporated into preserves.
The cosmetic industry primarily uses the Bearberry
leaves, which are usually harvested during September and October. The leaves
contain hydroquinone glycosides including arbutin, methylarbutin and ericolin.
When arbutin is applied topically, the skin hydrolyzes it into hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone inhibits melanin production and it reduces the appearance of
freckles, melasma and age related spots. Due to previously existing patents it
is difficult to add arbutin directly into cosmetic products so to counter this
problem formulators can utilize bearberry extract. Arbutin has been shown to
have antimicrobial activity against Citobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia,
Klebsiella, Proteus, Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus (Kedzia).
FSS Bearberry Powder is a green powder with a very mild aroma similar to tea. Bearberry Powder may be used as an additive in fading creams and lotions as at a concentration ranging from 0.5 to 5.0% to create a more aesthetically even skin tone
Formulation Guidelines: Disperse in Glycol or Glycerin
Put into Emulsion in cool down phase.
Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf
Suggested Use Levels:
Green Powder to Brown Powder (depending on season)
Insoluble in water
Storage: Protected from direct
light and humidity at a temperature of 50°-77°F (10°-25°C)
Shelf life: 12 months, properly
stored, in sealed container.
This product should be added to a formulation at the recommended usage
1) Bang SH, Han SJ, Kim
DH, Hydrolysis of arbutin to hydroquinone by human skin bacteria and its effect
on antioxidant activity. J Cosmet Dermatology.
2008 Sep; 7(2); 189-93.
2) The Journal of
Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, February 1996, p 765-769.
3) Garrett, J. T. (2003). The
Cherokee Herbal: Native Plant Medicine from the Four Directions. Bear &
Company. pp. p. 209.