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Cranberry

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What other names is Cranberry known by?

Agrio, Airelle à Gros Fruits, Airelle Canneberge, Airelle Européenne, Airelle Rouge, American Cranberry, Arándano, Arándano Americano, Arándano Rojo, Arándano Trepador, Atoca, Atoka, Bearberry, Canneberge, Canneberge à Feuillage Persistant, Canneberge d'Amérique, Canneberge Européenne, Cocktail au Jus de Canneberge, Cranberry Extract, Cranberry Fruit, Cranberry Fruit Juice, Cranberry Juice, Cranberry Juice Cocktail, Cranberry Juice Concentrate, Cranberry Powder, Cranberry Powdered Extract, Craneberry, Da Guo Yue Jie, Da Guo Yue Ju, Da Guo Suan Guo Man Yue Ju, European Cranberry, Extrait de Canneberge, Große Moosbeere, Gros Atoca, Grosse Moosbeere, Jus de Canneberge, Jus de Canneberge à Base de Concentré, Jus de Canneberge Frais, Kliukva, Kliukva Obyknovennaia, Kranbeere, Large Cranberry, Man Yue Ju, Man Yue Mei, Moosebeere, Mossberry, Oomi No Tsuruko Kemomo, Oxycoccus hagerupii, Oxycoccus macrocarpos, Oxycoccus microcarpus, Oxycoccus palustris, Oxycoccus quadripetalus, Petite Cannberge, Pois de Fagne, Pomme des Prés, Ronce d'Amerique, Sirop de Canneberge, Small Cranberry, Trailing Swamp Cranberry, Tsuru-Kokemomo, Vaccinium hagerupii, Vaccinium macrocarpon, Vaccinium microcarpum, Vaccinium oxycoccos, Vaccinium palustre.

What is Cranberry?

Cranberry is a type of evergreen shrub that grows in wet areas, such as bogs or wetlands. Cranberry is native to northeastern and northcentral parts of the United States. The shrub has small, dark green leaves, pink flowers, and dark red fruit that are egg-shaped.

Cranberry is most commonly used for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Cranberry is also used for kidney stones, neurogenic bladder (a bladder disease), to deodorize urine in people with difficulty controlling urination, to prevent urine catheters from becoming blocked, and to heal skin around surgical openings in the stomach that are used to eliminate urine. Some people use cranberry to increase urine flow, kill germs, and reduce fever.

Some people use cranberry for type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), enlarged prostate, common colds, flu, heart disease, memory, metabolic syndrome, ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), scurvy, inflammation of the lining around the lung (pleurisy), and cancer.

In foods, cranberry fruit is used in cranberry juice, cranberry juice cocktail, jelly, and sauce.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Some research shows that taking certain cranberry capsules or tablets can help prevent UTIs in people who have had UTIs in the past. However, research is unclear whether drinking cranberry juice helps prevent repeat UTIs. Taking certain cranberry products or drinking cranberry juice might prevent UTIs in older people living in nursing homes, in pregnant women, and in children who have had UTIs in the past. But cranberry does not appear to help prevent UTIs in other people who have conditions that make them a high risk for UTIs. This includes people undergoing surgery or radiation near the bladder or urinary tract, as well as people with a bladder condition (neurogenic bladder) caused by an injury to the spinal cord.

    While cranberry can help prevent UTIs for some people, it should not be used for treating UTIs.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Diabetes. Research shows that taking cranberry supplements by mouth does not lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Early research shows that taking dried cranberry capsules three times daily for 6 months might improve urinary symptoms and reduce levels of certain biomarkers associated with BPH.
  • Common cold. Research suggests that drinking cranberry juice daily for 70 days does not reduce the risk of cold or flu, but might reduce cold and flu symptoms.
  • Clogged arteries (coronary artery disease). Early evidence suggests that drinking cranberry juice daily for 4 weeks does not improve blood flow in people with clogged arteries.
  • Stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection. There is inconsistent evidence regarding the ability of cranberry juice to eliminate a certain bacteria (H. pylori) in the stomach that can cause stomach ulcers. Some research suggests that drinking cranberry juice daily for up to 90 days can help eliminate H. pylori in adults and children. But other early research shows that drinking cranberry juice while taking conventional medication used to treat H. pylori infections does not improve healing time compared to taking the medication alone.
  • Flu. Research suggests that drinking cranberry juice daily for 70 days does not reduce the risk of cold or flu, but might reduce cold and flu symptoms.
  • Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). There is inconsistent evidence on the use of cranberry to lower the risk of kidney stones. Some early evidence suggests that drinking cranberry juice might lower the risk of kidney stones forming. However, other early evidence suggests that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extracts might actually increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Memory. Early research suggests that drinking cranberry juice twice daily for 6 weeks does not improve memory in older people.
  • Metabolic syndrome. Early research suggests that drinking cranberry juice twice daily for 8 weeks can benefit some antioxidant measurements in the blood, but it does not appear to affect blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol levels in people with metabolic syndrome.
  • Urine odor. Early research shows that drinking cranberry juice might reduce the odor of urine in people with difficulty controlling urination.
  • Cancer.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Pleurisy.
  • Wound healing.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate cranberry for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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