cherries, tart cherry juice

Q. I have suffered from arthritis in my right hip for several years. By last fall it got so bad I could hardly walk. Over the years, I tried all of the supplements for joint health advertised on TV. I have also had two expensive injections into my hip that gave me relief for only a few days. Nothing was helping.

I was unable to exercise and was having a very difficult time doing my job. My X-rays looked horrible and the surgeon who will do my hip replacement wondered how I was even walking.

I don’t remember when I heard about cherries, but I started eating Bing cherries in the spring. I also started drinking tart cherry juice concentrate mixed in water. I finally got some real relief!

It has been a very effective anti-inflammatory for me. I can climb stairs, exercise, mow the grass, and work without a lot of pain. These are things I have not been able to do for a few years. I will still go in for hip surgery next summer, but until then, tart cherry juice is the best!

A. Tart cherries contain anthocyanin compounds that inhibit enzymes called COX-1 and COX-2 (Phytomedicine, Sept., 2001). These enzymes are targeted by anti-inflammatory drugs like Celebrex, diclofenac or ibuprofen, so it is not surprising that cherry juice appears to alleviate pain (Behavioural Brain Research, Aug. 12, 2004). We discuss many other natural remedies for joint pain in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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  1. Markus E.

    I have had knee pain for the past two years. Although I went to a doctor and had X-Rays taken, no specific diagnoses was made. Nevertheless, it feels like arthritis, which I already have for the past twelve years. It seems to be triggered by a change in cold-damp weather, stress and excessive sugar and alcohol.

    I incorporate tumeric, ginger, and pineapple for the arthritis, but it does not seem to help the knees. Fortunately, I found tart cherry juice has offered me relief in the knees. Neither naproxen nor aspirin seem to help, but the tart cherry juice seems to make a noticeable difference.

  2. ANON

    The local Walmart has their brand of Dark Cherry Juice. Vitamin Shoppe ( by Kohls in Ventura ) also carries Dark Cherry Juice ( both concentrated version and another bottled versions. Walmart’s is sweeter so is palatable. Vitamin Shoppe’s should be diluted as alone it has a bit/kick to it.

  3. SW


  4. Ranger

    I had terrible problems with gout and had to take two pills a day to keep the wolf away.
    Then I stumbled on cherry juice, both regular, or tart which is more expensive.
    I drink about a third of a glassful every morning, and the gout disappeared almost immediately.
    I probably should drink more for total relief, but I’m not complaining.
    Note: My gout pain was so bad, my wife had to wheel me into the doctor’s office for an appointment.
    I still take a colchicine pill every other day. From 14 to 3 ain’t all bad!
    Note #2. is the latest to tell you about gout pills. But not one mention of cherries or cherry juice. And those in the know say it doesn’t matter whether you eat cherry pie, fresh cherries, frozen cherries, cherries in a can, or cherry juice.

  5. Cheryl

    My son has the same problem and constantly scratches in his sleep and actually has permanent scars on his chest and back. He is 13 so I feel okay with starting Vitamin C TONIGHT. I have used every anti itch cream and home remedy known to man. Thanks for your comments.
    Wish me Luck

  6. Cheryl

    I have had hip and left knee pain for a couple of weeks and today I began experiencing pain in my left great toe. I now have a swollen hard painful to touch area on this toe. It may be gout, who knows. I began searching for remedies for arthritis and gout and happened upon this site. Currently my husband is on his way to Harris Teeter in Greensboro to purchase Tart Cherry Juice. I am praying this works.
    THANK YOU so very much

  7. Carol

    I had heel pain for over 4 years or more, and after trips to the doctors for feet, and trying all kinds of inserts, I finally got relief wearing doctor Scholl’s toner tennis shoes. It was nothing short of a small miracle. Really. They are so cushy, and the design of the shoe stretched my foot just the right way and the pain went away. What a relief not to have my feet hurt, especially in the mornings when I get up.

  8. Carol

    I buy my tart cherry concentrate at Walmart! In the dairy case. It is kept cold.

  9. Sb b

    Earthfare sells tart cherry juice.

  10. J Gumps

    I drink cheribundi tart cherry juice everyday. It is available @ Whole Foods and Wegmans. It tastes like cherry pie and has helped cure my hip pain.

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