Cranberry extract from the fruit, also known by its botanical name Vaccinium oxycoccus, has a traditional use by Native American Indians as treatment for bladder and kidney diseases. They also used the fruit as food.
Studies now show that cranberries are antibacterial, working specifically to inhibit bacteria sticking to tissue surfaces in the urethras and bladder. Thus allowing the bacteria to be flushed out instead of attaching and multiplying. It is also possible that cranberry supplements are antioxidant and are able to scavenge free radicals better than Vitamin E.
No significant difference between has been found between juice or cranberry tablets in preventing urinary tract infections. This herb may help with treating antibiotic resistant infections. Nursing homes use has suggested that cranberry pills have a deodorising effect in adults with incontinence, when used on a regular basis. It increases excretion of uric acid making it useful for gout.
Dose to prevent urinary tract infections is 400mg capsule or 30-300ml juice daily. The dose to treat urinary tract infections is cranberry capsules or tablets with 10,000mg 3-4 times daily. At higher doses diarrhoea can occur.
Cranberry for UTI should not be used with warfarin, and diabetics should take care with juice due to sugar content.
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