Uva Ursi - Bearberry
This herb has been scheduled by the TGA not to be used internally as a tincture. It contains Arbutin
It can be used in a hair wash only.
June 13 2018
Proposed changes by the TGA will see Uva Ursi (herb) banned by the end of this month. Other popular herbs might also be impacted, depending on how much arbutin they contain. These include Yarrow and Damiana.
Ingredients known to contain arbutin have been caught in the net of an arbitrary decision in the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) to schedule arbutin as a poison, despite there being no evidence of harm, either for arbutin or these herbs. There is no transition period for these changes.
We urge all affected therapists and patients to write to the TGA to express their concerns. Tag & share.
What is Arbutin?
Arbutin is a glycoside of the compound hydroquinone. Arbutin is considered the main active compound in Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) and is found in a number of other plants and foods including cranberry, yarrow and pear.
Is Arbutin toxic?
There is little evidence to suggest that arbutin is unsafe. There is concern that arbutin could potentially convert in the digestive tract to free hydroquinone. The degree to which hydroquinone forms from arbutin on ingestion is unconfirmed.