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Raw, living cranberries
Local resident claims cured UTI

Fresh-frozen cranberries can be stored in the freezer at least three years and remain potent.
-SVT Photo

Staff Reports

Cranberries have long been regarded as a superfood for their healing qualities and used for centuries by Native Americans to heal UTI and bladder related infections, among other things. There are literally thousands of websites that contain information on the health benefits of cranberries. According to the Cranberry Institute, and other health-related websites, cranberries contain proanthocyanidins (PACs) that are in the flavanol family – a class of polyphenols. The PACs found in cranberries have a different structure than those found in other fruits and vegetables which are associated with their anti-adhesion properties. Cranberries are unique. Cranberry PACs help prevent the adhesion of certain harmful bacteria, including E. coli associated with urinary tract infections, onto urinary tract walls. In this way, the PACs in cranberries help prevent infection. There is also evidence that suggests the polyphenols contained in cranberries may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), gum disease and even cancer.

Ever tried drinking store-bought cranberry juice or spending exorbitant prices on the heavily advertised cranberry supplements to no avail? They do not have the same healing effects as the entire, whole, RAW, living cranberry, according to one local resident, Tami Stevenson, who wanted to share her experience with others.

According to the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), urinary tract infections (UTI) are very common diseases. Recurrent urinary tract infections remain challenging to treat because the main treatment option is long-term antibiotic prophylaxis; however, this poses a risk for the emergence of bacterial resistance. They recommend the use of cranberry products as an option to help prevent infections.

Stevenson had chronic UTI’s and kidney infections that began in her teens. The antibiotics from the doctor seemed to work the first couple of years but the infection never seemed to go away completely. It kept coming back more and more frequently. Finally, three or four times a year she found herself back in the waiting room at the doctor’s office to get yet another round of antibiotics. The doctor had to put her on stronger and stronger antibiotics each time until finally none of them seemed to work.

“The pain and pressure was so intense at times, I would lay on the living room floor with my feet up on a chair to get some relief,” she said. She tried drinking glass after glass of water, cranberry juice and cranberry supplements. The supplements helped very little and the store-bought juice did nothing for her. She said she was desperate to find a cure and began searching the internet. “This was in the late ’90’s and there wasn’t much out there back then,” she added.

Then she came across an article that talked about the importance of the whole, raw, living cranberry. By eating the entire raw berry, the way God intended, all the enzymes would work synergistically and properly. The full healing benefits would be felt. She was willing to try it.

Fresh cranberries are only available in the fall and it was late August. She called her friends and neighbors and someone gave her two bags of fresh-frozen cranberries they had in their freezer.

“So then the challenge was, how to eat them. They are very bitter, but I didn’t want to use sweeteners, sugars, or even honey. I didn’t want to take the chance of that affecting the way the enzymes worked. And I knew I couldn’t cook them if I wanted this new experiment to work.” She tried just chewing a few berries. The sharp sour/bitter taste was just too much. Then she purchased a small food processor. She only took out what she needed for the day and left the rest in the freezer. She washed a handful under her kitchen faucet, put them in the processor and ground them all up as fine as she could get them. Then, with a large glass of water, she put a small amount of the ground up cranberries on a spoon, put them in her mouth – without chewing – and tried taking a swallow of water to wash them down.

“I choked the first few times and realized it was going to take some practice to train my body that it was okay to swallow without chewing.” She laughed, remembering. “But I was so desperate, I was willing to try anything.”

She said she managed to get down about three rounded teaspoons, taking small amounts at a time, in the beginning.

“In three hours’ time, I was beginning to feel relief. I wasn’t sure if it was just wishful thinking, but as the day progressed, I kept feeling better and better. I forced more down after about four hours, then took more before I went to bed.” She said, “After three days of repeating the cranberries about every four-six hours during the day, the infection was gone! I couldn’t feel it at all … finally something was working! Swallowing the cranberries got easier. So it was all worth it, I was so desperate.” She said she wanted to share her story to help others with chronic UTI’s and bladder troubles.

The berries are so potent when made this way, she said she only needed three to four spoonfuls, three to four times a day and that was only if the infection was still pretty severe. “Over the years I found to be careful not to eat too many spoonfuls at one time because they could irritate the bladder if I took too much.”

“I found that although I may have felt better after a day or two, I NEEDED to keep taking the cranberries with lots of water for at least a week to 10 days. Sometimes I would decrease the amount down to one or two doses a day as I felt better, but I didn’t stop completely for 7-10 days. If I would stop before that, an infection would flare up again after a few months.” She said she tries to take raw cranberries a couple times each week to maintain.

“I have not been to the doctor since, for a UTI, and that is the truth. If one starts to flare up, I just go back to the three or four doses a day.” She said she found out, through more study on the internet from medical websites, that unlike antibiotics, the germs do not build up an immunity to cranberries. It is the same for raw garlic.

“I haven’t had an infection for years,” she added, but said she always keeps a supply of organic raw cranberries in the freezer she orders in late October from a farm in Carver, Massachusetts called Fresh Meadows Cranberries. “They are expensive and the shipping is pretty stiff, but when you compare it to the cost of doctor visits and medications, they are very inexpensive.” She added when she takes her first dose, or a maintenance dose, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, she seems to get more energy that lasts throughout the day.

She wanted to add that, “When God makes something He does it right. There is no shadow of turning with God and if we follow the instructions, it works every time.” She continued, “When scientists start trying to pick out one or two qualities they believe creates the healing and try to package it in pill form or whatever, the process is never going to be as effective. There’s something that works synergistically with the entire, raw, living berry. Once the berry is dead or cooked, the quality and potency diminish.”

Fresh, raw cranberries can be frozen for at least one to three years. Wash the cranberries before using but not before freezing. When you are ready to use frozen cranberries, do not thaw; just wash and put into the food processor. Store the ground cranberries in the refrigerator for no more than three days, she said they loose their potency quickly and tries to only make enough for one to two days at a time.

“All the talk of cranberries being used for centuries to heal were not myths after-all,” she said. “We just need to use the entire raw berry to truly get the benefits.”

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article is simply one person’s testimony of what happened to them. Always consult your health care provider before starting anything new.

When you are ready to use the frozen cranberries, do not thaw; just wash what you need and put into the food processor.
-SVT Photo

When you are ready to use the frozen cranberries, do not thaw; just wash what you need and put into the food processor.
-SVT Photo

Chopped cranberries, ready to eat. -SVT Photo