Parts Used: Berries
Uses: Cystitis and other urinary tract infections (helps neutralize acids and dissolve sediment), clearing kidney stones, the prevention of asthma attacks (dilating bronchial passages during an attack), reducing ammonia urinary odors in the elderly, acne prevention, cancer and heart disease prevention, cold and flu prevention (high antioxidant and vitamin C content)
Constituents: Arbutin, colorful anthocyanins and their colorless precursors the oligomeric proanthocyanidins, and natural sugars
High in phosphorus, potassium, and calcium; contains significant amounts of iron, magnesium, manganese, sodium and B-complex vitamins. Antibacterial compounds in cranberries inhibit urinary infecting bacteria from adhering to tract walls so that they are flushed from the system. It is a good source of bioflavonoids and vitamin C for tissue tone. Has anti-cancer, blood purifying and immuno-stimulant effects.
Preparations: For medicinal use, the powder is best. May be encapsulated or added to sugar-free teas. Most dried and powdered products on the market are freeze-dried and usually contain and anti-caking agent to prevent it from solidifying.
Harvest: Ranging from damp bogs to mountain forests. Many species are cultivated in natural or artificial bogs throughout the United States, but especially in Massachusetts and Washington. Other plants of the Vaccinium species include blueberry, bilberry and lingonberry.
Precautions: Adding sugar to cranberry powder cancels out the antibacterial effects of the herb.
By: Jacqueline Ryan
By Kami McBride
This tangy red fruit that makes it to the thanksgiving table is the perfect food for this time of year. Cranberries are loaded with vitamin C and help to ward off colds and flu. They help boost the immune system and can help keep the body strong during the cold months. They are of course a very bitter fruit, so find a way that you like to prepare them and eat them as part of your winter health program. Cranberries make a great chutney or relish that tastes good on more than just turkey! We mix cranberry chutney into rice and put it on sandwiches. Cranberries contain high amounts of antioxidants that help protect against heart disease and cancer. Cranberries are one of the fruits with the highest known anti- oxidant content. Anti-oxidant foods have been shown to protect the body against cardiovascular disease. More Americans die of heart disease than anything else. Think of your cranberries as food for the heart. Anybody that suffers from Urinary tract infections or cystitis knows that cranberries are their ally. Cranberries also reduce other infections by blocking different bacteria from sticking in other areas of the body as well. Bacteria in the urinary tract, stomach and mouth have been shown to be inhibited by the presence of cranberries. They are also a general tonic to the kidneys and urinary tract. Cranberry tea is also a good remedy for mild nausea. If for some odd reason you don’t eat your cranberries fresh or would like to save them for tea to drink through the winter, they store well frozen. Just put them in a zip lock freezer bag or a mason jar in the freezer. They last for about 8 months this way.
1 cup water
1 cup crushed cranberries
Bring water and cranberries to a boil; turn off the heat and let sit for one half
hour. Add honey to sweeten and enjoy this health enhancing beverage. Add 1
cup of lemonade to make this into a holiday beverage or just enjoy the tea and its
antibacterial properties as a general tonic promoting winter wellness.
Herbal Cranberry Chutney
2 cups fresh cranberries
Handful of chopped dates
1/2 cup agave nectar or sugar source of choice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 small finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped sage leaf
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped savory
If your thanksgiving cranberry dish still comes from a can….try this instead!!
Cranberry Jalapeno dip
4 cups fresh finely chopped cranberries
3/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup agave nectar or other sugar source of choice
1/4 cup minced green onions
3 tablespoons lime juice
2-3 tablespoons finely minced jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Mix everything together, let it sit for several hours before serving. Pour over a
block of cream cheese and serve with crackers
This is an unusual favorite that you will find at our table every year during the
Kami McBride has taught herbal medicine since 1988. Through her herb classes
and personal wellness consultations she provides people with the tools to create
a sustainable approach to their health care. Kami has helped thousands of
people learn to use herbs in their daily lives in ways that are healthy, safe and
fun and she teaches classes in herbal medicine and women’s health at her
school and herb gardens in Vacaville, California.