Gout is a chronic condition that seems to get very little respect. Once upon a time, it was considered a rich man’s disease (although poor people and women are also vulnerable to the excruciating pain gout can cause). That is probably because a diet high in purines from meat, shellfish and beer can trigger attacks (New England Journal of Medicine, March 11, 2004). So can many fruit juices and sugar-sweetened beverages (JAMA, Nov. 24, 2010). On the other hand, cherries for gout actually have been studied and found helpful.
Tart Cherries for Gout Pain:
Q. I have been battling gout for the past five weeks and was on indomethacin, ibuprofen and a low purine diet. The attacks kept moving around from joint to joint, and the ordeal has been extremely painful.
I heard that tart cherries might help, so I bought tart cherry juice and a big bottle of tart cherry concentrate from the health food store.
The pain is 80 percent gone in just 48 hours! I drank 24 to 32 ounces of the juice each day and supplemented it with 2 to 4 tablespoons of tart cherry concentrate mixed with water. This is amazing, especially since I have stopped taking the medication.
The Science of Tart Cherries:
A. Readers have been telling us for years that tart cherries help ease their gout attacks. The first study on cherries for gout appeared in the medical literature in 1950 (Texas Reports on Biology and Medicine).
Although many doctors have been skeptical about the benefits of cherries, a new year-long study of 633 volunteers with gout shows that flare-ups are 35 percent less likely when a person eats cherries (Arthritis & Rheumatism, Dec., 2012). Cherries in combination with the uric-acid-lowering drug allopurinol reduced the likelihood of an attack by 75 percent. Some doctors are considering the possibility that cherries could be used as a complementary medicine for gout (Evidence-Based Medicine, Dec., 2013).
For more information about the benefits of cherries for controlling inflammation in gout and arthritis, along with other foods that can ease joint pain, we offer our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies.
This comment comes from Sharon M (Oct. 30, 2012):
“I am so thankful to you! Your articles have taught me so much and have literally changed my life for the better! Pycnogenol for hot flashes and asthma is working beautifully and tart cherry for arthritis pain is amazing! I am making notes in your book I ordered from you of new things I am learning. It is an invaluable tool in natural healing. I wish you both the best and may God bless you richly! Love, Sharon M., reader and fan.”
We are so grateful to Sharon and the thousands of other people who continue to support our work on the radio, in print and on this website.
Joe & Terry