Q. I have heard that sour cherry juice can ward off gout attacks and help relieve arthritis pain. I cannot tolerate drugs like ibuprofen because of a sensitive stomach. When I asked my pharmacist about non-drug options he was clueless. Have you ever heard of cherries against pain?
A. Some data suggest that sweet cherries have anti-inflammatory activity that might be helpful against both gout and arthritic conditions (Journal of Nutrition; June, 2003 and April, 2006).
Both sweet and sour cherries block an enzyme (COX 2) that is active in inflammation (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Feb. 2009). One reader reported, “I have used tart cherry juice for over one year now and I am PAIN FREE! I had a hip replaced and then pain started flaring up in the other one. I also have moderate arthritis in my knees, which would throb at night. I took tart cherry juice every morning and saw results after the third week.”
There is more information about cherries for both gout and arthritis, along with many other natural approaches, in our book Favorite Home Remedies From The People’s Pharmacy.