Cranberry tea is increasingly being recognized for its anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. Long a familiar fixture in the American Thanksgiving meal, the cranberry fruit is now being touted as a ‘superfood’ possessing potent healing properties, especially in the area of urinary tract infections.
The cranberry plant is a small evergreen shrub and trailing vine, which grows in mountain forests and damp bogs that stretch from Alaska to Tennessee. It has slender, wiry stems and evergreen leaves. The cranberry bush produces pink or purple flowers in the spring and bright red berries in the fall.
The active constituents of cranberry are arbutin, anthocyanins, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, and natural sugars.
Also known by its scientific name of vaccinium macrocarpon, the cranberry has a tart fruity taste and is rich in vitamin C. Many people prefer to derive the health benefits of the fruit through cranberry tea rather than cranberry juice, as the former is seen as possessing less calories.
Cranberry tea can be made by combining the powdered cranberry fruit with sugar-free teas like green tea and rooibos tea, or with herbal infusions like cinnamon tea. Cranberry tea bags are also widely available for ready infusion in hot or near-boiling water.
It is important to note that adding sugar to the cranberry tea cancels out the antibacterial properties of the tea.
The following health benefits are attributed to this tea:
- Can be used to treat and prevent urinary tract infection.
- May be effective against kidney disorders.
- May be helpful in treatment of gingivitis.
- Holds promise in the fields of cancer, heart disease and stroke treatments due to its high concentration of antioxidants that may be used as a weapon against free radical damage.
- May have beneficial effects in fighting eye problems.
- May have beneficial effects in fighting scurvy.