American cranberry properties

Medicinal properties of American cranberry

What does American cranberry mainly have?

American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) has very few calories, since it contains practically no fat and has a very low sugar content (3-4%).

What stands out most of this plant fruits is their extraordinary content in benzoic acid (antiseptic) and proanthocyanidins.

Cranberry indications

Red cranberry
Cranberry extract is one of the most widely used remedies to fight cystitis, even as a prophylactic when they are recurrent.

American cranberries are rich in natural antibiotics  and antioxidants, which are very important for circulation, vision and the urinary tract. It is mainly used for:

  • Coadjuvant in the treatment of genitourinary infections, such as cystitis and candidiasis.
  • Improve vision health, both in people with eye diseases (tired eyesight, eye surgery, glaucoma, cataracts, etc.), and in people who spend a lot of time in front of the screen or in the sun.
  • Improve circulation, for example in cases of varicose veins, arteriosclerosis, hemorrhoids or cholesterol problems.

American cranberries for urine infections

This fruit has very important antimicrobial properties against urine infections. Taking blueberries helps prevent its appearance and deflates the entire urinary system. So, it has come to be prescribed as a prophylactic treatment in those cases of recurrent cystitis.

How do American cranberries  help fight urinary tract infections?

soaked American cranberries
Cranberries are not as sweet as blue cranberries, they have a more acidic and astringent taste.

If there is an infection, American cranberries can help fight it by increasing the acidity of the urine, so that the reproduction of bacteria is prevented and, in this way, helps to eradicate them.

In vitro studies have shown that many bacteria are unable to generate adhesion when grown with the juice of these fruits, suggesting that American cranberries may prevent bacteria from adhering to the urogenital wall.

This hypothesis has been confirmed by analyzing the urine of mice and humans with E. coli urinary tract infections. Pilot studies have also been done on uroepithelial cells confirming these properties of cranberry juice.

Despite these evidences, there are still not enough good quality scientific studies to confirm these properties, so it is recommended as an adjunct, along with medical treatment.

Its use is still supported as a remedy for infections based on traditional medicine as more research is needed.

How is American cranberry taken for urine infections?

It is normally used as a treatment aid or as a prevention of urinary infections, for example in case of recurrent cystitis. Other natural antibiotics and diuretics such as onions, garlic, rosemary and ginger are also very suitable), as well as a healthy diet and lifestyle, obviously.

The most common way of taking it is in juice, although currently you can also find preparations in capsules that contain extract of 25-35% of proanthocyanidins). One 450mg tablet of cranberry extract can equal two liters of cranberry juice!

In addition, merchant companies often add natural vitamin C, which increases its properties (See: Vitamin C for infections).

Other antibiotic properties of blueberries

It has been observed that the plant also has properties against Helicobacter pylori adhesion to the stomach, causing gastritis, and against bacteria that cause tooth decay and tooth enamel deterioration.

Blueberries to improve circulation

blueberries in a vienna market
Fresh cranberries in a European market, the Naschmarkt in Vienna.

Eating cranberries or their juice has been found to increase the amount of antioxidants in the blood, as would be expected from a food so rich in phytochemicals.

Cranberries are rich in bioflavonoids, with antioxidant properties that promote circulation and strengthen capillaries. All this makes them very suitable as an adjunct in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, such as cholesterol, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, etc.

Blueberries for vision health

Cranberries also play a prominent role in protecting eyesight and maintaining good eye health.

Responsible for these properties are proanthocyanins, antioxidant components that repair damage caused by sunlight in the retina, improve blood flow to the eye and increase the production of collagen and rhodopsin from the retina (Rhodopsin captures sunlight).

All this makes cranberry supplements a very suitable nutritional supplement for people who spend many hours in front of the screen or exposed to intense light, for drivers who must sharpen their vision to adapt to different light conditions, night blindness , glaucoma, cataracts, vision problems in diabetes (supplement for diabetic retinopathy).

Properties of cranberry cranberries and their benefits
Main medicinal properties of cranberry and its indications. It has antioxidant and antibiotic properties

How is it better to take cranberries to obtain their benefits?

Currently blueberries can be purchased with different presentations:

  • Fresh: They can be eaten fresh when they are very ripe and have lost their initial roughness. Eaten like this, they are acidic and astringent.
  • Drinking its juice: It is not the most recommended way, since these are usually sweetened and contain the fruit diluted 25% so that it loses its acidity and roughness, since the fresh juice is very acidic (pH 2.5) and difficult to drink undiluted.
  • Powder or capsules: This is the powdered fruit, sometimes encapsulated.
  • Capsule extract: It is only an extract when they specify the amount of proanthocyanidins they contain. Extract supplements must have f  25 or 35%  proanthocyanidins content.
Contraindications of cranberries drawing
Contraindications of cranberries

punto rojo More information on blueberries

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

7 February, 2021

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