June 4, 2002
The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), a California-based non-profit research organization, has released its quality control standards and therapeutic compendium for the popular botanical dietary supplement Cranberry Fruit (Vaccinium macrocrpon) . Each monograph establishes national standards for assuring authenticity, purity, and quality control of the monographed botanical. The Therapeutic Compendium provides a complete and critical review of the pharmacological and safety data currently available.
Cranberry is used by many for its beneficial effects on the urinary tract and especially for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections. It has been hypothesized that cranberry is useful against urinary tract infections because it inhibits the adhesion of uropathogenic bacteria to epithelial cells. The AHP cranberry monograph reviews all the data on the bacterial anti-adhesion effects of cranberry. In particular, it presents data implicating the proanthocyanidin fraction of cranberry in this effect. In addition, evidence concerning the effect of cranberry on calcium oxalate stone formation is reviewed.
According to executive director of American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, Roy Upton "each monograph represents the most thorough and critical review of all aspects of the plant available. They provide complete and reliable information regarding the true therapeutic potential and safety of the herb so that people and health professionals can make educated decisions about its use." Each monograph is available for $19.95 (except Ginkgo and Garlic will be $24.95 each) (plus s&h, 2.00 for each monograph ordered) through the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia * PO Box 5159 * Santa Cruz, CA * 95063 * US. www.herbal-ahp.org