Vaccinium oxycoccus

A small evergreen shrub with vine-like branches, growing to 2m (7ft) in height. Leaves are rubbery and lance-shaped. The flowers appear both as singular or in clusters, pink to red in colour. The fruit is red, juicy and sweet.

Family: Ericaceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Cranberry is a key herb in Kids

Habit and cultivation: Grows in the cooler more temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere, preferring moist, wet soils. Grows well in full sunlight or partial shade.

Actions (known for): Anti-oxidant, diuretic, cardio tonic and anti-microbial.


The name derives from the German kraanbere, mentioned by a missionary in the mid-1600s. Native Americans have used it both as a dye and a food source, and it was first recorded in a Pilgrim cookbook with a recipe for cranberry sauce. Today 95% of cranberries are made into juice and sauce.

Parts used:

Ripe berry.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Polyphenols including proanthocyanidins, flavonols and quercetin.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, K. Minerals: manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.


Urinary tract infections, heart disease and tonic, cancer, may enhance B12 absorption.


200-400mg tablet twice daily. 225ml of pure unsweetened cranberry juice 3 x daily.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Cautions for therapeutic doses

kidney insufficiency.

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