Scientific name: Vaccinium macrocarpon

Common  names: Cranberry, American cranberry, bog cranberry

Ayurvedic names: Karamarda

Chinese names: Da guo yue jie,  Da guo yue ju, Da guo suan guo man yue ju, Man yue ju (Taiwan),   Man yue mei (Taiwan)

Bangladesh names: koromcha

Arabic names:    التوت البري (at-toot al barry)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Fabaceae?

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Fruit

Collection: September to november

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: upto 2 m

Actions: treatment and prophylaxis of urinary tract infections

Known Constituents:

Constituents Explained:


Traditional Use:

Used primarily in cases of urinary infection, it is believed to work by makign it difficult for bacteria to stick to the wall of the urethra.  Its high level of oxalic acid means other remedies may be a better option.

Clinical Studies:

Bacteriuria is a usual complication of enterocystoplasty following cystectomy. Cranberry products may decrease the number of urinary tract infections because of a non-dialysable compound, a condensed tannin, the proanthocyanidin (PAC) type A. 

A study determined the effectiveness of treatment with a cranberry preparation highly dosed in proanthocyanidin A in prevention of repeated bacteriuria in patients with an ileal enterocystoplasty.

Between November 2004 and November 2009, a controlled study was open to patients seen in consultation for follow-up after a radical cystectomy and ileal cystoplasty. Patients had a history of repeated urinary infection and/or bacteriuria during the pretreatment phase. 

During the treatment phase, patients received a cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) preparation highly dosed in proanthocyanidin A (36 mg measured by the dimethylaminocinnamaldehyde method), one capsule a day. 

The primary endpoint was the absence of bacteria in urine culture. The secondary endpoints were the presence or absence of symptoms (pain, fever), continence status and upper excretory tract enlargement. Each patient was his or her own historical control.

Fifteen patients were included. The median duration of the period without treatment with cranberry compound was 18.5 months. The median duration of the period with treatment with cranberry compound was 32.8 months.

There was a significant decrease in the number of positive urine cultures during cranberry compound treatment. Treatment with a cranberry compound seems to be effective in reducing asymptomatic bacteriuria in patients with an ileal enterocystoplasty. 

Cranberry juice prevents recurrences of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in adult women. Another study evaluated whether cranberry juice is effective in preventing UTI recurrences in children.

A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial was performed in 7 hospitals in Finland. A total of 263 children treated for UTI were randomized to receive either cranberry juice or placebo for 6 months. The children were monitored for 1 year, and their recurrent UTIs were recorded.

Twenty children (16%) in the cranberry group and 28 (22%) in the placebo group had at least 1 recurrent UTI. There were no differences in timing between these first recurrences. Episodes of UTI totaled 27 and 47 in the cranberry and placebo groups, respectively, and the UTI incidence density per person-year at risk was 0.16 episodes lower in the cranberry group.

The children in the cranberry group had significantly fewer days on antimicrobials. The intervention did not significantly reduce the number of children who experienced a recurrence of UTI, but it was effective in reducing the actual number of recurrences and related antimicrobial use.


Botto H, Neuzillet Y. “Effectiveness Of A Cranberry (Vaccinium Macrocarpon) Preparation In Reducing Asymptomatic Bacteriuria In Patients With An Ileal Enterocystoplasty.” 2010 April

Salo J, Uhari M, Helminem M, Korppi M, Nieminem T, Pokka T, Kontiokari T. “Cranberry Juice For The Prevention Of Recurrence Of Urinary Tract Infection In Children: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” 2012 February