Ursolic acid is a pentacyclic triterpene acid, used in cosmetics, that is also capable of inhibiting
various types of cancer cells by inhibiting the STAT3 activation pathway and human fibrosarcoma cells by reducing the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 by acting through the glucocorticoid receptor.
Ursolic acid is also known as Prunol, Malol, Urson, beta-Ursolic acid, NSC4060, CCRIS 7123, CHEBI: 9908, TOS-BB-0966, and 3beta-Hydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid. As medicine it is well tolerated and can be used topically and orally.
Ursolic acid is present in many plants, The plant grows throughout colder northern climates from North America to Asia and is particularly popular in Europe for treating urinary tract inflammation. Including apples, basil, bilberries, cranberries, elder flower, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, oregano, thyme, hawthorn, prunes. Official physician handbooks in the United States listed uva ursi as a urinary antiseptic for a century up until the 1920s.
The antiseptic compound in uva ursi is arbutin, which the body converts into a substance with proven astringent and bacteria-killing powers called hydroquinone. Interestingly, arbutin taken alone is not as effective as the whole uva ursi plant in controlling urinary tract infections. That's because intestinal bacteria can break down arbutin, but they are less likely to do so in the presence of other uva ursi compounds.
To effectively fight a urinary tract infection with uva ursi, your urine must be alkaline. You may be able to help maintain an alkaline pH by consuming plenty of dairy products and non-citrus fruits. By the same token, avoid taking uva ursi with substances that have the reverse effect--acidifying the urine--such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vitamin C supplements.
In addition to its antiseptic and astringent actions, uva ursi may help to flush out bacteria by promoting urination.
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