Is Cherry Juice Good for Bladder Infections?

Bladder infections -- also referred to a urinary tract infections or cystitis -- are bacterial infections of the bladder than can affect anyone, but are most common in women. The University of Maryland Medical Center indicates at least 50 percent of women will experience a bladder infection at least once in their life. Bladder infections require antibiotic treatment. However, cherry juice and black cherry juice in particular may be able to help alleviate symptoms when taken with an antibiotic. Talk to your doctor prior to using cherry juice or any other alternative medicine treatment for a bladder infection.

A glass of cherry juice on a table. Credit: Marrypopins/iStock/Getty Images

Bladder Infection Symptoms

Bladder infections are painful infections that affect women ten times more often than men, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. There are many clear-cut symptoms when it comes to a bladder infection, such as frequent urge to urinate while voiding little at a time. Urination is likely to be painful and accompanied by foul-smelling urine and cloudy or blood-colored urine. You may experience pelvic or abdominal pain. For severe bladder infections, chills, nausea and vomiting may occur.

Cherry Juice Dosage

With a bladder infection, drink plenty of fluids until your symptoms clear. Fluids can help to naturally flush your urinary system of bacteria. Fluids can also help to dilute your urine, which makes urination much less painful. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends consuming six to eight glasses a day with a bladder infection. Cherry juice along with cranberry juice, blueberries and other berry fruits help prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. Cherry juice is an antioxidant. The University of Michigan Health System indicates you should consume 4 to 10 ounces of antioxidant juices on a daily basis to help treat and prevent bladder infections.

Flavonoids

Black cherry juice contains agents known as flavonoids. Flavonoids help to fight off unwanted agents in your body, including bacteria and infections. Since bladder infections are the result of bacteria in your bladder, cherry juice can help to fight off bacteria and repair damage to your bladder walls caused by infections. You can find two flavonoids in black cherry juice, queritrin and isoqueritrin.

Antioxidants and Anthocyanins

Cherry juice, like cranberry juice and blueberries, contains powerful antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder by creating a hostile environment that makes it very difficult for bacterial infections to thrive in. Consuming cherry juice regularly can also help prevent the occurrence of future bladder infections. Anthocyanins are anti-inflammatory agents found in cherry juices. Anti-inflammatory agents can help to reduce the symptoms of a bladder infections, including painful urination. Anthocyanins help to lower uric acid levels in your body. High levels of uric acids are often associated with increased and reoccurring bladder infections.

Considerations

It is important to remember that cherry juice is not a substitute for medical treatment of a bladder infection. A trip to the doctor is necessary to conduct a physical exam, examine your medical history and take a urine specimen to diagnose a bladder infection. Bladder infections require antibiotics. When left untreated or when not treated properly, bladder infections can travel to the kidneys causing permanent kidney damage.

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