Cranberry is most commonly used for the prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs). It is also used for kidney stones, neurogenic bladder (a bladder disease), to deodorize urine in people with difficulty controlling urination, to prevent urine catheters from becoming blocked, and to heal skin around surgical openings in the stomach that are used to eliminate urine. Chemicals in cranberries do not let the bacteria from sticking to the cells that line the urinary tract where they can multiply. However, cranberry does not have the ability to release bacteria which are already stuck to these cells. This may explain why cranberry is possibly effective in preventing urinary tract infections, but not for treating them. Drinking cranberry juice regularly increases the amount of salicylic acid in the body. Salicylic acid can reduce swelling, prevent blood clots, and can have antitumor effects.
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