The cranberry, a small red fruit that grows in boggy areas of North America, has a long history as a natural remedy. Originally discovered by Native Americans, it was used as both a food source and medicine. The berries were first documented by European settlers in the 17th century, who adopted their use from the Native Americans. This fruit is popular not only for its unique flavor, but also for its many health benefits.

Cranberry: Discovery and traditional use

The discovery of the cranberry goes way back to the time of the Native Americans, who used the berry as a pemmican (a type of shelf-stable food), for medicinal purposes and even as a dye. European settlers learned about the cranberry from the Native Americans and began to use it both in their diet and as a medicine.

Forms of administration and dosage

The cranberry can be taken in various forms: as fresh fruit, juice, extract in capsules or tablets, and even as tea. The dosage varies depending on the form and purpose of ingestion.

  • Fresh fruit: One to two handfuls daily.
  • Juice: 240 to 480 ml of pure cranberry juice daily.
  • Capsules/tablets: According to manufacturer’s directions, often 400 to 500 mg twice daily.
  • Tea: A cup several times a day, brewed with one to two teaspoons of dried berries.

Healing properties and supporting medicinal plants

Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, which prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract and can therefore prevent urinary tract infections. They are also said to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and potentially reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

The following dietary supplements and medicinal plants can be taken in addition to cranberries:

  • D-Mannose: A sugar that can also prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall.
  • Bearberry leaves: Known for their antiseptic effect on the urinary tract.
  • Vitamin C: Strengthens the immune system and increases the acidity of the urine, which can inhibit bacterial growth.

Cranberry: Medicinal forms

1. cranberry juice as daily prevention

Cranberry juice is probably the best-known form in which cranberries are used for medicinal purposes. It is often recommended for the prevention of urinary tract infections. Regular consumption can reduce the risk of infection as the proanthocyanidins prevent E. coli bacteria from adhering.

2. cranberry extract in capsules

For those who don’t like the sour taste of juice, cranberry extracts in capsule or tablet form offer a convenient alternative. This concentrated form allows for precise dosing and is particularly useful for people who want to take a targeted amount of proanthocyanidins to prevent or treat urinary tract infections.

3. cranberry tea for daily consumption

Cranberry tea, brewed from dried berries or a tea bag, provides a warming and healthy addition to your daily fluid intake. Although the tea is less concentrated than juice or capsules, it can still contribute to overall health and support urinary tract function.


The cranberry is a remarkable natural remedy whose many medicinal applications have been proven by both traditional use and scientific research. Whether fresh, as juice, extract or tea, the consumption of cranberries can contribute to the prevention and treatment of various diseases. The effectiveness of cranberries can be further enhanced by combining them with other dietary supplements and medicinal plants. However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before taking cranberry products in order to find the best form and dosage for your individual health needs.

Published on: 1. March 2024


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