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Cranberry Juice

written by Marina Zacharias

Cranberry juice is an old folk remedy that has a long history of usage for preventing and treating urinary-tract infections. The ‘Empire’ boys still consider it to be just another "quack" remedy because it has not been scientifically proven…until now, that is!

In a recent study, some 153 elderly women (average age 78.5 years) were randomly assigned to consume 300ml. (about ten ounces) daily of a cranberry juice beverage or a synthetic placebo drink that was similar in taste, appearance, and Vitamin C content.

After six months of treatment, women receiving the cranberry juice had 58% fewer urinary-tract infections than did women receiving the placebo.

There were some interesting aspects to this particular study. In the past, for example, it was thought that cranberry juice increased the acidity of urine which would make it more difficult for certain bacteria to grow. However, in this study, the urinary acidity was not increased with cranberry juice. Its beneficial effect must therefore be attributed to some other action.

We do know that cranberry juice contains relatively large amounts of a compound called "hippuric acid" which is known to have an antibiotic activity. There also appears to be an unidentified substance in cranberry juice that prevents bacteria from binding to the bladder wall. Obviously, if bacteria cannot attach themselves to tissues, they cannot cause and infection.

We have had excellent results in using Cranberry concentrate capsules (1,000 mg capsule) for the dogs in preventing reoccurring urinary tract infections and cystitis problems. The concentrate is of course much easier to administer plus it contains no sweeteners or added sugars.

For those animals that have chronic reoccurring infections we have obtained stable relief with using a Chinese herbal formulation called Lindera 15. This formula can be used safely for long term use in both dogs and cats.

If a bladder infection should occur, in the majority of cases it can be treated easily and quickly by a variety of natural methods, without resorting to continual rounds of antibiotics which can create its own set of problems. (i.e. yeast infections.)

To treat an infection BHI Bladder and Inflammation are two homeopathics that work well to relieve symptoms and make the animal more comfortable. They can be given frequently in acute symptoms. The glandular called Albalplex works well in conjunction to clear the problem. It gives direct support to the kidney, liver and urinary tract functions. It also aids the immune system and can be used until all signs of infection are clear.