Q. I have been told to take cherry juice for joint pain. Where can I find it?

A. Cherries have anti-inflammatory activity, and one study found that 280 grams (about 10 ounces) of cherries a day reduced inflammatory markers in the blood (Journal of Nutrition, June 2003). When cherries are not in season, cherry concentrate softgels are a good substitute. You can find them in health food stores or on the Internet.

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  1. Mike

    I’m 60 years old and a former collegiate middle-distance runner. I have run over 100,000 miles. Three years ago I developed hip and back pain and was told by my orthopedist that I was through running. I began drinking 4oz of tart cherry juice daily and within a few weeks the pain was gone. I run 12 miles a week now and feel great. When I travel with my job and miss the daily juice, my pain begins to return on the third day–so I know it works!

  2. JRS

    My mother-in-law just told me about the idea of taking cherry juice for joint pain. She bought her cherry juice at Trader Joe’s and also purchased coconut milk to help with the taste. She said her mobility has improved 100% since taking it.

  3. JW in NC

    I’m 51 years old and have had ‘aches and pains’ for a few years. My knees have been getting stiff, hard to bend, painful on stairs, etc. 3-4 ibuprofen would help for the anti-inflammation properties but would also burn my esophagus. I decided to try tart cherry juice and I am seriously amazed. I order the tart cherry concentrate on-line and mix one tablespoon into sparkling water every evening. After one month, the joint pain in my knees is virtually gone. I walk down stairs without holding the railing, the range of motion in my knees has improved, I feel much more mobile. And the natural melatonin in cherries helps me sleep! I do suggest starting with one tablespoon to be sure you don’t get overly drowsy.

  4. Allison

    While I’m hoping for the newest medication Febuxostat to be out in the market(in my country), I’m handling my gout using the tart cherry juice blended with freshly squeezed lemon juice. I have found tart/sour cherry juice to be extremely effective in decreasing the pain/swelling.

  5. BE

    I have recommended 2 ounces of pure cherry juice for gout to three people for relief. They have been drinking 2 ounces everyday for years. One friend bought it by the case because he traveled and you cannot get it everywhere.
    He found that if he missed just 2 days his gout returned.

  6. Jonathon

    I agree the tart cherry juice is very tart. I talked with my doctor and recommended Fruit Advantage tart cherry capsules. I have been taking them for over 6 months.

  7. Carye

    For BJJ – When I moved to the South after a lifetime in Michigan orchard country, I found I couldn’t get tart cherries (only sweet cherries) and I miss that taste. I started ordering the concentrate to make my own juice, but just mixed with water it is pretty darn tart. Try mixing it with flavored sparkling water. My favorite is Walmart’s Key Lime.

  8. Linda

    Unsweetened cherry juice isn’t that tasty, BUT dilute (1:3) with tap water or sparkling water and it’s very pleasant. We drink it routinely instead of soda pop–it’s energizing in a healthful way.

  9. Kathy Smith

    Re: Cherry extract for joint pain. Make sure it is black or tart cherry extract. There is a difference.
    I had 40% of my cartilage removed in one knee 21 years ago. It has worn down, and I was having terrible pain. I had a series of hyaluronic shots and 6 weeks of physical therapy. I still had pain. I began wearing a band beneath my knee (available in drug stores) and taking 4 Phosoplex capsules plus two black cherry extract capsules daily. Most of the day I am pain free. It works. Phosoplex can be purchased from Total Body Solutions, Cedar Grove, New Jersey 07009 or phone 973-239-3026. It is rated #1 by Consumer Reports for non-prescription joint relief.
    Your column is WONDERFUL. Thank you.

  10. bjs

    Recently started taking tart cherry gels for joint pain and I do believe it is helping. It looks like http://www.brownwoodacres.com has the best product.

  11. Marie P.

    About cherry juice–I bought a bottle and discovered that I don’t know what to do with it. I tried drinking it by the glassful, but really don’t like the taste… and yet, I love cherries. Any suggestions??
    Thank you

  12. BJJ

    I have been using tart cherry juice for almost two years. I didn’t believe it was helping until I stopped taking it. Within two days I express ordered more.

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