What is the quality & strength of evidence for harm from the oral use of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Turnera diffusa and Achillea millefolium.

Laura Dwyer, Ian Breakspear

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Abstract

Arbutin is responsible for the antibacterial, astringent, disinfectant and antioxidant activity of various plant materials used in herbal medicine. This constituent is found in Turnera diffusa, Achillea millefolium and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, which is used to treat and prevent infections of the urinary tract.

In 2018, it was revealed that Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and Turnera diffusa will no longer be available to Naturopaths and Herbalists Australia-wide, due to the Scheduling of arbutin. This prompted an important question – are these herbs safe for human consumption?

After an extensive search of the literature, 2 case reports were revealed where either A. uva-ursi or A. millefolium were considered to be a causal factor in adverse reactions. Bull’s eye maculopathy was diagnosed in one report due to uva-ursi tea intake and anticholinergic toxicity due to yarrow tea consumption was suspected in another case. Quality and causality assessment tools were applied revealing varying results. A common factor in both reports revealed inadequate information regarding authentification of the the plant source, extract name and specific daily dosing regime.

This poster will discuss the quality of human case reports of adverse reactions regarding the oral use of arbutin and whether the evidence supports the restriction of these herbs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventNaturopaths and Medical Herbalists of New Zealand Annual Conference - Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 28 Sep 201929 Sep 2019

Conference

ConferenceNaturopaths and Medical Herbalists of New Zealand Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
CityWellington
Period28/09/1929/09/19

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