Cranberry is a member of the same family as bilberry and blueberry. It is from North America and grows in bogs. The ripe fruit is used medicinally.
In traditional North American herbalism, cranberry has been used to prevent kidney stones and “bladder gravel” as well as to remove toxins from the blood. Cranberry has long been recommended by herbalists as well as doctors to help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
What it does
Cranberry contains D-mannose, hippuric acid, Vitamin C and proanthocyandidins which have the ability to inhibit bacteria such as such as streptococcus and E coli in the urinary tract. The proanthocyanidins prevent the bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder, kidneys and ureters, whereas hippuric acid is thought to destroy the bacteria.
|Cystitis||Urinary tract infections|
Cranberry is very useful for preventing cystitis and keeping the urinary tract free from infections. Cranberry can be taken as a juice, but beware of commercial brands that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. Bacteria feed on sugar and artificial sweeteners are disruptive to blood sugar levels.
Cranberry tablets are stronger than juices and provide better protection against infection.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using cranberry.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with cranberry.