The Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, and is a close relative of the common blueberry. The Native Americans used it as food and for treatments of Kidney and Bladder diseases.
According to recent study by New York-based researchers, the juice of Cranberry protects against viruses. For carrying out the study, the researchers studied the anti-viral benefits by exposing the viruses to Cranberry, Orange or grapefruit juices, and measured the extent of virus infectivity.
It was found that 20 percent Cranberry juice suspension was sufficient to stop the virus from binding to the cell surface. However, the percentage requirement was higher in the case of Orange and Grapefruit juice.
The popularity of the fruit has been on the increase during the recent years, with increasing consumer awareness, and more scientific evidences revealing the health benefits of the fruit. Although, the fruit has been long considered an effective method in fighting urinary tract infections, which has prompted several parents in the US to give it to their children, it was France, which became the first country to endorse the health claim for the North American Cranberry species Vaccinium macrocarpon, during the year 2004.
Their claim stated that Cranberry helps in reducing the adhesion of certain E.coli bacteria to the urinary tract walls.