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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What are Cherries?

Cherries and their juice have a long history of use in food and cooking all over the world. Mention of cherries can be found in the literature of the ancient Chinese, Greeks and South Asians.

Medicinally, they have been used for a variety of pain-related conditions, including arthritis, gout, back pain and tendon injuries. It is often said that tart cherries have more medicinal value than sweet cherries.

Tart cherries contain relatively high levels of substances known as anthocynanins, also found in bilberry , cranberry and other foods. Anthocyanins are antioxidants , and most health claims for cherries are based on this fact. However, the case that antioxidants provide health benefits has become weaker rather than stronger in recent years, and, therefore, merely finding antioxidant content in cherries is inadequate to show benefit. Only double-blind, placebo-controlled studies can actually provide evidence of efficacy, and for cherries, only one smal study of this type has been reported.

In this study, fourteen male athletes were given either tart cherry juice (12 oz) or placebo twice daily, and then performed intensive arm exercises. 1 The results of this trial...

Safety Issues

As a widely consumed food, cherries are presumed to have a high level of safety. However, maximum safe doses in pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe liver or kidney disease have not been determined.