Cherries are small, tart fruits that grow on Prunus trees. The juice from the cherry can be made into a tea, syrup, or beverage. Cherries have been used to improve exercise performance and ease swelling in joints. They can also be taken as a pill, powder, or extract.
8 ounces of juice 1 to 2 times each day
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe to take cherries in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether they are safe to use for a long period.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:
A. A. Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage
A1. Brown MA, Stevenson EJ, et al. Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) supplementation accelerates recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in females. Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 Feb;19(1):95-102.
B. B. Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage
B1. Brown MA, Stevenson EJ, et al. Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) supplementation accelerates recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in females. Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 Feb;19(1):95-102.
C. C. High Blood Pressure
C1. Keane KM, George TW, et al. Effects of Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus Cerasus L.) consumption on vascular function in men with early hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun;103(6):1531-1539.
C2. Chai SC, Davis K, et al. Impact of tart cherry juice on systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Food Funct. 2018 Jun 20;9(6):3185-3194.
C3. Chai SC, Davis K, et al. Effects of Tart Cherry Juice on Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Older Adults. Nutrients. 2019 Jan 22;11(2). pii: E228.
D. D. Insomnia
D1. Howatson G, Bell PG, et al. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Dec;51(8):909-916.
D2. Pigeon WR, Carr M, et al. Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study. J Med Food. 2010 Jun;13(3):579-583.
D3. Losso JN, Finley JW, et al. Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms. Am J Ther. 2018 Mar/Apr;25(2):e194-e201.
E. E. Knee Osteoarthritis
E1. Schumacher HR, Pullman-Mooar S, et al. Randomized double-blind crossover study of the efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee). Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013;21(8):1035-1041.
E2. Guan VX, Mobasheri A, et al. A systematic review of osteoarthritis prevention and management with dietary phytochemicals from foods. Maturitas. 2019 Apr;122:35-43.
Last reviewed May 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 6/16/2020