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In folk medicine, lingonberries and cowberries have been used as a natural remedy for the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. While large-scale controlled trials are still needed to scientifically evaluate whether eating whole lingonberries and cowberries can really provide significant health benefits for arthritis sufferers, scientific studies have proven that lingonberries contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties.
A study conducted at the University of Kuopio, Finland, found that lingonberries contained extremely high amounts of quercetin, a flavonoid with strong anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, only bog whortleberries were shown to contain more quercetin than wild lingonberries in this study which assessed the quercetin content of twenty-two berries.
It has been reported that among plant-based natural foods, only lingonberries contain A-type PACs in amounts similar to those found in cranberries. However, large-scale clinical trials are still needed to evaluate whether lingonberries and lingonberry juice have anti-UTI effects comparable to those of cranberries.
Lingonberries have been shown to exert inhibitory activity against several types of cancer cells, including leukemia, colon, and cervical cancer cells. While it is not uncommon for berries to demonstrate anti-cancer activity, the procyanidins that are responsible for the antiproliferative effects of lingonberries and cowberries do not appear to be responsible for the antiproliferative effects of many other berries.
Periodontal disease results from chronic infection and inflammation of the gums which support the teeth. This inflammatory gum disease is dangerous enough by itself, but it can also lead to the development of a number of other diseases and health problems, including diabetes, pre-term deliveries and low birth weight, and cardiovascular problems. As periodontal disease is largely driven by bacterial overgrowth, one of the best ways to prevent it is to practice good oral hygiene.
Following a diet that is low in sugar and high in foods that have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties may also help prevent periodontal disease. As pointed out earlier in this article, lingonberries are an excellent dietary source of quercetin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound. But in the context of oral health, the benefits of lingonberries may be much broader. A study published in the February 2001 issue of the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology found that a tannin extracted from lingonberries had strong antimicrobial activity against Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia, two bacteria that have been implicated in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease.
If you watch the Dr. Oz show on TV, you may have heard about the benefits of bearberry extract for people with age spots. In Dr. Oz's anti-aging guide for 2014, the leaves of the Common Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) were singled out as a remedy for age spots and hyperpigmentation due to the arbutin they contain. Arbutin is a phytochemical that has been shown to inactivate tyrosinase, an enzyme that is responsible for skin pigmentation.
But the bearberry bush is not the only wild-growing, berry-bearing shrub that has arbutin-containing leaves; also lingonberry or cowberry leaves have been shown to contain significant levels of arbutin. However, it may still take a while before skin care products featuring arbutin-rich lingonberry leaf extracts populate the shelves in the store. So, if you're looking for natural arbutin-containing products, bearberry products may be the way to go.
Practitioners of herbal and folk medicine also claim that lingonberries can prevent or treat conditions like water retention, diabetes mellitus, fever, and certain gastrointestinal disorders. However, at the writing of this article, no or limited research is available to support these claims.
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The dark color in blackberries makes them stand out in fruit salads and desserts, but it also indicates a high concentration of antioxidants. Research suggests that their vitamin content may...
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In disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable--including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries. One cup of whole cranberries has 8,983 total antioxidant capacity. Only blueberries...
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Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) have been used for centuries both as food and as medicine. Also known as foxberries or cowberries, these tart red berries can be eaten raw or they...