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Cranberries - Vaccinium macrocarpon

Cranberries Vaccinium macrocarpon


Native to mainly Northeastern and some Northwesternareas of North America, where glacial melting provided wetlands and sandy bogs in which wild cranberries could thrive. These evergreen, vining shrubs, related to blueberries, lingonberries and huckleberries, were used by Native Americans for natural remedies, food and dyes. Introducing to Europeans, the use of cranberries for the prevention of scurvy, treat indigestion, inflammation and to compress wounds.


Cranberries juices, extracts and supplements are considered the go to natural remedy for urinary tract, bladder or kidney health. Like other berries, cranberries are high in phytochemicals, such as terpenes, flavonoids and antioxidants. These bioactive plant compounds are likely what drives the therapeutic properties cranberries are associated with.


Antioxidant polyphenols- quercetin and myricetin may have several health benefits. Anthocyanins- peonidin and cyanidin, provide the rich red color of the American Cranberries and could contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Condensed tannins, or a-type proanthocyanidins are what is believed to be helpful for urinary tract and bladder health. Triterpene- Ursolicacid, concentrated in the skins of certain fruits and found in many traditional herbal medicines has beenshown to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Many of these phytochemicals are being studied for their effects on cardiovascular systems, immune systems and cancers. Other terpenes that have been found in cranberries are terpineol, terpinolene, limonene, myrcene, a-pinene and nerol.


One serving of raw cranberries contains about 20% of daily recommended vitamin C intake and likely why they were so helpful in the prevention of scurvy. Other vitamins cranberries are rich in are manganese, Vitamin E and Vitamin K1. Vitamin K1 is needed to help blood clot and could be why cranberries were found to be useful to compress wounds.


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