Tart Cherries Provide Arthritis Relief
Arthritis sufferers long have hailed the mysterious healing power of Michigan's tart cherries. The swollen fingers, the aching knees, the pains -- all gone, thanks to the magic potion in cherries.
But only recently has scientific research proved these claims. Results of a study by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their university colleagues suggest that some natural compounds in Bing cherries may reduce painful arthritic inflammation.
"Our test is among the first to track anti-inflammatory effects of fresh Bing cherries in a controlled experiment with healthy volunteers," says chemist Robert A. Jacob, who led the investigation.
A follow-up study, conducted in 2003, involved more people, more cherries, and a greater array of inflammatory response markers. Eighteen women and two men, aged 22 to 40, participated in the 64 day investigation.
In fact, Cherries are such powerful medicine for gout and arthritis, the FDA went out of its way to try to muzzle cherry growers, preventing them from linking to scientific studies on cherries as a way to censor the information. If the public finds out the truth about cherries, after all, they won't need arthritis drugs anymore - and Big Pharma will lose billions in profits. (Source: Natural News)
Michigan State University studies have confirmed that the compounds that give tart cherries their bright red shade also relieve pain. The compounds also are rich in antioxidants, which slow the body's natural process of deterioration, MSU and other scientific studies show.
As word spreads of cherry wonders, many of the state's 850 cherry farmers -- who are responsible for 75-percent of the nation's tart cherry supply -- are fiercely marketing their products. Juice concentrates, dried and canned cherries, pie filling, frozen cherries, even tablets and chewable wafers are hot items.
The Arthritis Foundation now recommends drinking tart cherry juice mixed with water three times a day for its anti-inflammatory properties. Good news for those who suffer from arthritis or any other type of joint problem.
Eight years of ongoing study for MSU researchers show that tart cherries have an anti-inflammatory property called anthocyanin.
In addition, the antioxidant vitamins cherries contain are ten times more active than those in vitamin C.
At the University of Texas Health Science Center, research scientists found tart cherries rich in melatonin. The melatonin is an antioxidant said to reach and kill "free radicals", which are toxins believed to cause or worsen diseases.
Strawberries, blackberries and sweet cherries are currently undergoing studies for similar benefits.
Cherries for Insomnia?
Tart cherry juice could get you more shut-eye. In a small study, insomniacs who drank 8 ounces of cherry juice twice a day slept an impressive 84 more minutes per night than they did when given a placebo juice. Previous research has pointed to the cherries naturally occurring hormone melatonin as the key soporific ingredient. Look for juice made from Montmorency tart cherries, which have the highest concentration of this wonderfully snoozy compound. Source: Experimental Biology 2014 annual meeting.
Bing Cherry Topping
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups Bing cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
Whisk cornstarch with apple juice in medium saucepan until cornstarch dissolves. Whisk in honey and vanilla extract. Stir in cherries, cinnamon and cardamom, if using. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and turns transparent. This should be four to five minutes. Remove from heat. Serve warm. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 72 calories, 1g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 1mg sodium.
How About Some Cherry Pie?
American as Cherry Pie... At the turn of the 20th century, cherry farming began in earnest in Traverse City Michigan. Local cherry growers eventually got together and asked their priest to bless their crop. By 1925, cherry growers had partnered with Traverse City merchants and created the "Blessing of the Blossoms Festival". This was done to promote the region as well as the cherry business. They even had a "Cherry Blossom/Festival Queen".
In 1926, a new tradition began, that of baking an enormous cherry pie and presenting it to the United States President. Hawkins Bakery in Traverse City baked a pie that weighed 42 pounds, was three feet in diameter and contained more than 5,000 cherries. And yes, transportation was a problem! It took 3 full days to drive the pie from Traverse City to present it to President Coolidge.
In 1928, the Blessing of the Blossoms was renamed the Michigan Cherry Festival. In 1931, the Michigan state legislature passed a resolution making the festival a national celebration and renamed it The National Cherry Festival. The National Cherry Festival has continued to expand over the years and The Cherry Royale Parade has become one of the largest parades in the Midwest.
Suggested Cherry Pie Recipes
Cherries are extraordinarily safe, effective and fast-acting (delicious too) for relief of swelling and pain due to arthritis. If eating fresh cherries causes any problem for you, try cherry concentrates, extracts and/or juices.
Cherries: Medicine that grows on trees.
You may also find of interest...
- Help and Hope for Arthritis
- Osteoarthritis: A Message from the Arthritis Foundation
- Coping with Arthritis
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