Don’t Toss Those Left-Over Thanksgiving Cranberries

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Glistening like little red jewels on your Thanksgiving table, the tart-tasting cranberry is a powerhouse of vitamins and antioxidants, making it a great health remedy.  The berry is one of only three fruits indigenous to North America and is still grown in cooler regions throughout the continent.  The cranberry was long used by ancient people for its medicinal properties.

In addition to the cranberry’s place on tables at Thanksgiving, it is often used to treat a variety of health concerns.  Consuming the berry or its juice is said to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.  Some studies show cranberries help to improve memory.  The berry’s antibacterial and antiviral properties make it beneficial in the treatment of urinary tract infections and the prevention of kidney stones.  Did you know those very same antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties make cranberries an effective treatment for skin conditions including acne, eczema, and psoriasis?

Cranberries are beneficial when used both internally and externally.  The oils found in cranberries are high in fatty acids such as Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9, which makes the oil a very moisturizing product for dry or irritated skin.  This fruit helps exfoliate the skin which removes dead and dry skin from the skin’s surface.  The berry, its juice, or its oil is used in hair care products to increase the vibrancy of your hair’s coloring, especially if you have red or auburn hair.

While there are many ways to use the berry in skin and hair products, here are two do-it-yourself recipes to try with your left-over fresh or canned cranberries this Thanksgiving.

Cranberry Brown Sugar Exfoliating Face Scrub

10 fresh cranberries, ground or 1 TBS canned cranberries

2 TBS brown sugar

1-2 tsp coconut oil or another preferred oil

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.  To use, apply to face that is clean and still damp.  Gently massage scrub over face using small, circular motions.  Rinse skin thoroughly and pat dry.  Apply moisturizer and sunscreen as normal.  This scrub can be used anywhere on the body, but the brown sugar makes it gentle enough for use on the face.

Cranberry Healing Skin Mask

2 TBS oats, ground

1 TBS cranberry (canned or fresh berries, ground)

1-2 tsp plain yogurt

Mix together ingredients and apply to clean, dry skin.  Allow mask to remain on the skin 10-15 minutes.  Rinse off mask with warm water.  Pat skin dry and moisturize skin as usual.


These recipes should be made when ready to use.  If you must make either recipe in advance, store the product in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



Jaime Johnson 
Natural Beauty

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Russell

    December 3, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Jaime has a lot of helpful tips & insight on these & many natural products. Kudos to you for sharing this very detailed story, step by step. A fountain of knowledge she is! The best part is these cranberries are NOT getting thrown away AND used for health related and or DIY health & beauty. Very well written & a Big Thank you!

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