Scientific Name: Vaccinium macrocarpon

Cranberry Information

Found primarily in North America and grown in bogs, cranberry is an evergreen shrub that is related to blueberry, buckberry, huckleberry, cowberry, and bilberry. The medicinal properties of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) have been recognized for centuries. Native Americans used raw cranberries as a wound dressing. Early settlers from England learned to use the berry both raw and cooked for a number of ailments including appetite loss, digestive problems, blood disorders, and scurvy (vitamin C deficiency that causes weakness, gum disease, and spontaneous bleeding in the skin). In the early 1920s, American scientists discovered that people who eat large amounts of cranberries have more acid in their urine than those who do not eat high amounts of the berry. Because bacteria cannot survive in an acidic environment, the researchers speculated that a diet rich in cranberries may help prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are commonly caused by bacteria known as Escherichia coli. In time, the popularity of cranberry for UTIs soared and many women reported satisfactory results from drinking cranberry juice. Although the scientific explanations for its purported benefits have changed throughout the years, there is a significant amount of evidence today to support the use of cranberries to prevent and treat UTIs.

Cranberry Benefits

  • Acidifies the urine and prevents bacteria from adhering to the bladder cells.
  • Good for the kidneys, bladder, and skin.
  • Has anti-cancer properties.
  • Helpful for infections of the urinary tract infections of the bladder and urethra.
  • Good source of Vitamin C.

Cranberry Nutrient Content

The cranberry fruit is high in antioxidants, partly from substances called proanthocyanidins (which give cranberries their rich color). Antioxidants scavenge damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. Free radicals are natural by-products of normal metabolism. But, free radicals can alter cell membranes, tamper with genetic material known as DNA, and even cause cell death. Environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution) can increase the number of free radicals in the body, which are believed to contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and infections. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Cranberry Notes

Cranberry should not be used as a substitute for antibiotics during a serious UTI. There are no known scientific reports of interactions between cranberry and conventional medications.

Cranberry Products

  Brand & Product Name  Description  Retail 
 More Info  Buy Now 
  Nature's Herbs : Cranberry Juice 
 100 caps, 505 mg  $19.99   $11.95   More info 
  Nature's Herbs : Cranberry Power 
 60 caps, 505 mg  $11.99   $6.95   More info 
  Natures Way : Cranberry Extract 
 120 tabs, 400 mg  $17.99   $10.95   More info 
  Nature's Answer : Cranberry Alcohol Free 
 1 oz  $11.99   $6.95   More info 

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