The drug consists of dried leaves of this plant that appear counter-positioned egg-shaped, or shovel-like, leather-like, brittle, shiny, thick with bitter taste.
They contain phenol heterosides more important being arbutin and methyl arbutin; they contain flavonoids, mostly hyperoside; tannins that hydrolyze; five-cycle triterpene compounds, etc.
Tea is used as uroantiseptic and mild diuretic in urinary infections. It is usually added to combined teas (Species urologicae and Species diureticae). Diuretic effect of the tea is based upon presence of flavonoids, whereas antiseptic is based upon arbutin methyl arbutin.
When preparing the tea (decoct), it is necessary to brew leaves longer as the leathery consistence inhibits and prevents extraction of arbutin and tannins.