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Tart Cherry Juice Soothed Pain in Big Toe

Tart Cherry Juice Soothed Pain in Big Toe

Q. I am in my early 60s but I’ve been hobbling around like an old man after a couple of bad bouts with gout. I have been on a prescription to treat that along with various other meds for high cholesterol and blood pressure. I’m sure they all contribute to my aches and pains.

Several months ago I felt my gout flaring up in my big toe. Instead of getting a new drug to treat this, I went online and read that drinking concentrated tart cherry juice every day can knock gout pain out almost overnight.

I had a hard time finding concentrated tart cherry juice but finally found a bottle at a health food store. It made me cringe to pay $17 per bottle but I took two tablespoons of the stuff before going to bed. The next morning I woke up with no pain in my big toe. A couple of days later, I realized that the very creaky and painful bones in my feet, ankles, knees and hips were not hurting and I was no longer hobbling when I walked.

Several months later, I am still almost pain-free. It is so good to be able to walk normally again.

A. Thanks for sharing your story. Eating tart cherries, drinking juice or taking cherry extract seem to reduce the likelihood of a gout attack by around 35 percent (Arthritis and Rheumatism, Dec. 2012).

You may know that staying away from alcoholic beverages and purine-rich foods such as anchovies, sardines, mussels or liver can also help lower your risk of a gout attack (Evidence-Based Medicine, online Feb. 16, 2013). We have more details on cherries and other home remedies for joint pain in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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