When most people experience pain they take NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Physicians prescribe medications like celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), meloxicam (Mobic), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn) or piroxicam (Feldene). People in pain can take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc) or naproxen (Aleve) over the counter. But NSAIDs can cause serious side effects including high blood pressure, fluid retention and swollen feet, heart attacks, strokes, irregular heart rhythms (atrial fibrillation), heart failure and dangerous digestive distress (bleeding ulcers). What if cherries or other natural approaches could ease pain without such scary side effects?
Q. My 54-year-old husband has severe pain and swelling in his feet and legs after a long day at work. This morning I gave him a 4-ounce glass of tart cherry juice with his breakfast.
When he got home from work, he was in a great mood and told me he felt great and nothing hurt. When I told him it was the cherry juice he was amazed. Now he wants it every day.
A. Tart cherry juice contains natural compounds that have anti-inflammatory activity and can ease pain (Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, Aug. 2013). Other readers have reported similar benefit. One wrote:
“I used tart cherries to cure a gout attack and it worked. The real news is that the pain from osteoarthritis of the hip joint also diminished.
“I’ve been able to reduce my use of Celebrex by half and still have less pain.”
Anyone who would like to learn more details about cherries and other natural approaches for gout, arthritis, fibromyalgia or plantar fasciitis may be interested in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.
Here is what some other readers report:
Rick B shared this:
“I am a believer in cherry concentrate syrup. I take it on a regular basis to prevent the gout. Cherries and cranberries have always done a good job of keeping my uric acid lower. Thus, whole cranberries and cherries are a regular addition to my diet. I suffered from the gout for many years before I learned about these two.”
Anne offered a similar story:
“Two or three weeks ago I wrote and asked if tart cherry juice would help pseudogout. I’ve been drinking an ounce or two 3-4 times a day for the past couple of weeks and have had greatly diminished pain. My left knee and toe had been affected for a long time.”
Cindy and her painful heel:
“Not long ago I developed a painful heel on the left side. I have no idea why, nor had it ever happened before. It got so bad I was literally hobbling at times. I bought some tart cherry extract and began using it (1-2 T each night, in a little water), and the pain almost immediately disappeared. I used the cherry juice for about a month, then ran out… and I noticed that the pain DIDN’T return, so I haven’t even bought any more. THANK GOD for the cherry juice!”
Tap Dancing Again After Cherries:
Q. I was on Celebrex but experienced side effects. A friend recommended that I try Brownwood Acres tart cherry juice. It took four weeks to kick in, but at the ripe old age of 79 I’m tap dancing again. It worked for me.
A. We are more than a little impressed that you are still tap dancing at the age of 79. A lot of people would just like to be walking comfortably without pain at that age.
We’ve heard from others that tart or sour cherries or cherry juice might ease joint pain from gout. Your testimonial is terrific, and we suspect others will want to try cherry juice for arthritis as well. The brand you mention is available at www.brownwoodacres.com or (877) 591-3101.
How Much Cherry Juice is Enough?
The research protocol in the study mentioned above used a dose of two 8-ounce bottles of tart cherry juice daily. Some readers find Montmorency cherry juice concentrate is more economical. That way you can add the juice to sparking water for a pleasant fizzy drink.
An interesting article in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports (June, 2014) noted:
“Recently, cherries and cherry products have received growing attention within the literature with regard to their application in both exercise and clinical paradigms. Reported to be high in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative capacity, cherries and their constituents are proposed to provide a similar but natural alternative akin to over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or analgesics.”
A study of elite cyclists revealed that 30 ml (1 oz.) of tart cherry juice extract twice a day produced favorable outcomes (Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, April, 2015).
The results of the study suggest that Montmorency cherry concentrate can be an efficacious functional food for accelerating recovery and reducing exercise-induced inflammation following strenuous cycling exercise.”
To learn more about a variety of non-drug approaches to easing inflammation and joint pain you may wish to consult our newly revised and expanded Guide to Alternative Treatments for Arthritis. In it you will learn more about cherries, apitherapy (bee stings), acupuncture, ashwagandha, boswellia, gelatin, gin-soaked raisins, grape juice and Certo, pineapple, ginger, turmeric and stinging nettle. The guide provides scientific evidence for the anti-inflammatory activity of tart cherries and many other natural remedies.
Share your own cherry story below or other strategies you have used to ease inflammation or arthritis pain.