Cherries

Introduction

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.

Dosages

8 ounces of juice 1 to 2 times each day

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • High blood pressure—may lower blood pressure C1-C3
  • Insomnia—may enhance sleep quality D1-D3

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Athletic performance A1
  • Exercise-induced muscle damage B1
  • Knee osteoarthritis E1-E2
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

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.
Interactions
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:
  • People with birch or latex allergies should talk to their doctors before taking cherries. They may cause a reaction.

References

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.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 05/2020
  • Update Date: 06/16/2020