Latin Name: vaccinium macrocarponl.
Active Ingredient: Anthocyanosides Anthocyanidins
CAS No.: 84082-34-8
Test method: UV-VIS
Cranberry Extract Vaccinium macrocarpon Anthocyanosides Anthocyanidins
What Is It?
Generations of American women have known that the bitter native cranberry isn't just the basis of a Thanksgiving relish. In fact, these small, dark red berries have a long medical history in addition to a colorful culinary one. Specifically, cranberry juice and cranberry extract appear to help prevent and even eliminate urinary tract infections. Most women develop this type of problem at least once in their lives, and some suffer from constant recurrences.
The name "cranberry" evolved from "craneberry" (a common name for the low-growing shrub Vaccinum macrocarpon) because the plant’s flowers resemble the heads of cranes frequently spotted in the bogs where cranberries thrive.
Early American physicians successfully applied crushed cranberries to tumors and wounds. They also used cranberries as a remedy for the age-old malady known as scurvy, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C. It wasn’t too surprising, therefore, when modern scientists discovered that cranberries contain plentiful stores of this common antioxidant vitamin.
Recently, Israeli researchers discovered that a compound in cranberry juice is effective against various plaque-forming bacteria that can bind to teeth and cause gingivitis and gum disease. If you’re considering using cranberry juice for this purpose, however, stick with the natural (and unsweetened) variety. Commercial cranberry juice cocktails are very high in sugar, a gum-disease culprit in its own right.
Researchers have also found that cranberry juice may deodorize urine, a real boon for individuals who suffer from incontinence. In fact, the most popular medicinal uses by far for cranberry relate to urinary tract conditions.
Specifically, cranberry may help to:
Prevent and relieve symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Over the decades, countless women have used pure cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail to self-treat their UTIs. This common infection typically causes a burning sensation while urinating as well as a frequent and often intense urge to do so. For a long time, cranberries were thought to directly fight the infection by acidifying the urine to such an extent that bacteria such as Escherichia coli would languish or die.
Today, the prevailing theory is that cranberry juice inhibits microorganisms from adhering to the mucosal cells lining the urinary tract, making it a less hospitable environment for the proliferation of E. coli and other infection-causing bacteria.
Several clinical trials now corroborate that this folk remedy does indeed work. In one of the best-designed studies, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association in 1994, Harvard researchers reported that regular consumption of cranberry juice led to reduced amounts of potentially infectious bacteria in 153 older women. The number of white blood cells--markers of the body's response to infection--were also less. And over a six-month period, the participants who drank 10 ounces of cranberry juice daily developed significantly fewer cases of UTIs. Studies in younger women have been similarly positive.
In addition, when taken at the same time as prescription antibiotics for a UTI, cranberry juice or cranberry extract in supplement form may lessen the duration of the infection and help to ease such symptoms as itching, burning, and pain. In general, however, this herbal remedy is better taken to prevent recurrent UTIs than to treat a potentially serious infection that has already developed.
Reduce the risk for kidney stones. Anecdotal reports indicate that cranberry may help to reduce the risk of infection when you have this painful condition, also commonly referred to as urinary stones and "bladder gravel."