Is Tart Cherry Juice Good For Arthritis?

Is Tart Cherry Juice Good for Arthritis?

As we all know, a lot of people struggle with joint pain and stiffness.

So could this natural juice help alleviate arthritis symptoms?

Well, let's explore its potential benefits:

  • how it works
  • possible side effects
  • guidelines for using it correctly

If you're curious about this remedy, let me share some important points down the line.

Note: This article includes references and studies on tart cherry juice and arthritis.

Tart Cherry Juice Good For Arthritis? (In A Nutshell)

Firstly – tart cherry is a vibrant red fruit with a sour taste.

It's native to the Carpathian Basin and it comes from the plant family called Rosaceae.

Now – its juice is popular because of several benefits it has.

But in this article, we will focus on its effects on arthritis.

So far – here's what you should know about how it works:

  • reduces the production of the pro-inflammatory molecules
  • supports muscular nerves
  • lowers the risk of cell damage and oxidative stress
  • alleviates pain and arthritis symptoms

The bioactive compound responsible for these benefits is its anthocyanin content.

It's an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties.

As I've mentioned, it's known to improve muscle soreness and pain.

However – muscle issues are not the root cause of arthritis.

So in reality, tart cherry juice is far from a potent solution for pain and inflammation (unlike turmeric):

  • doesn't improve the root cause
  • only helps with pain and swelling
  • effective for one of the symptoms of arthritis (not its main trigger)

Now – don't be discouraged.

Since you have nothing to lose, just go ahead and incorporate this into your everyday routine.

Just make sure to drink it in moderation (to avoid its potential adverse reactions).

Other than that – it can provide your body with a lot of benefits (even for joint pain).

But if you're looking for a stronger solution for improving arthritis, tart cherry juice is not the one.



What Is Tart Cherry Juice?

Let's start by discussing the origin of the juice [1]:

  • it's derived from the fruit called Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus)
  • Rosaceae is its plant family
  • is native to Carpathian Basin (Hungary and Romania)
  • some people pertain to it as sour cherry, due to its sour taste
  • also, it's characterized by a vibrant red color
  • the juice can be obtained by pressing the cherries or by commercial methods

So how come Tart Cherry Juice is that famous?

Besides it being widely available, it has several potential benefits for the body [2]:

  • improves muscle soreness and damage
  • reduce high blood sugar and bad cholesterol
  • decreases oxidative stress
  • supports a better sleep (in terms of duration and quality)
  • increases immunity and energy

But as I said, these benefits are rather general.

As I promised at the beginning of this article, let's focus further on its effect on arthritis.



Tart Cherry Juice & Arthritis

Let's look at the relationship between tart cherry juice and arthritis:

  • what is arthritis
  • this condition's main symptoms
  • how tart cherry juice can improve it

With that – let's further talk about each of them down below.

1. Arthritis

To give you an idea, here are the things you need to know about this condition [3]:

In most cases – arthritis is a long-term chronic condition or even a lifelong disease.

So that's why there's a constant drive for research to find its possible cure or prevention.

2. Arthritis' Top Symptoms

How do you know if you're experiencing arthritis?

Well – the symptoms below are the common signs that you need to watch out for [4]:

  • aching and swelling in the joints
  • heat and redness
  • stiffness (usually in the morning)
  • reduced mobility
  • muscle pain
  • fever or fatigue
  • weight loss or anemia

Moreover, these symptoms can get worse with a sedentary routine or lack of physical activity [5].

So we conclude that a healthy lifestyle schedule can help alleviate arthritis in some ways.

3. Tart Cherry Juice's Potential

Another way to relieve the symptoms of arthritis is by including tart cherry juice in your daily routine.

According to some studies, it claims to have:

  • anti-arthritic benefits
  • anti-inflammatory potential
  • antioxidant effect [6]

The bioactive compound responsible is the anthocyanin content inside it.

Just like other anti-inflammatory herbs (turmeric, boswellia and ginger), its mechanism is quite similar.

Anthocyanins inhibit the activity of pro-inflammatory mediators (Th17 cells, COX, PGE2 and signaling pathways) [7].

Also – tart cherry's antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress by destroying harmful free radicals [8].

In return, here are the potential effects of tart cherry juice on your body [9]:

  • decreases the incidence of arthritis
  • lowers histological inflammation
  • reduces cartilage damage
  • improves oxidative stress

Again – some common types of arthritis are caused by inflammation.

So adding tart cherry juice can contribute to reducing the trigger behind this condition.

Lastly – anthocyanins could improve neuromuscular function and decrease soreness and damage [10].

But its current research is more focused on athletes (than on arthritis sufferers).

Besides – arthritis is not caused by aching muscles, this is rather one of the symptoms.


Overall, you can consume tart cherry juice to alleviate arthritis (especially the muscle pain related to it).

However – there are still very few studies that prove its potential. 

So don't rely solely on it for prevention and treatment.

In most cases, it won't make a huge difference on your arthritis pain (especially if you have no muscular pain additionally).



Side Effects

In general – tart cherry juice is safe for consumption.

However – just like other things, it's highly discouraged to drink it in excess.

In fact – the recommended dosage is around 130-490 mL per day [11].

Sure enough, this still depends on your physical state and everyday activities.

With that, here are the possible adverse reactions of overly consuming tart cherry juice:

  • upset stomach or diarrhea
  • bloating or constipation
  • heartburn or acid reflux
  • headaches or nausea
  • vomiting or feeling sick
  • allergic reactions

Now – tart cherry juice is fairly acidic, so it might cause acid reflux [12].

Additionally – the issue above are typical side effects when overdosing with any type of food/supplement.

So they're not necessarily specific to tart cherry juice.

Even so, the percentage of these side reactions is very low.

Overall – it's best to take tart cherry juice in moderation and seek medical help if you feel something is wrong.



How To Take Tart Cherry Juice Correctly

Firstly – you need to remember that tart cherry juice is different from tart cherry extract.

So be mindful of the product you get and always read the label.

With that, here are the general guidelines for taking the juice properly:

  1. Always consume pure and high-quality juice of the tart cherry.
  2. You can also create a fresh one by placing the pitted cherries in the blender.
  3. You can then add water afterwards (the amount depends on how concentrated/diluted you want it to be).
  4. Start with a small amount and monitor how your body adjusts to it.
  5. Gradually increase the intake if you can tolerate it.
  6. You can take it at any time of the day or before any physical activities.
  7. Consume it with a meal if you want to avoid stomach upset or acid reflux.
  8. Be consistent in drinking it.
  9. If there are unusual side reactions, talk to your doctor to address them immediately.

Now – some people take it in the morning or before exercising.

In this way, they can avoid any potential joint pain and muscle discomfort.

Additionally – drinking it before bedtime can also enhance sleep quality [13].

Again, it's best to choose high-quality and pure tart cherry juice.

Avoid the products that contain sugars or artificial additives, otherwise your effort would be useless.

In order to optimize its potential benefits, look for options that are prepared in healthier ways.

Lastly – individual responses vary, so always observe how your body reacts to it.

Overall, taking tart cherry juice is easy.

But it's best to combine it with a balanced diet, regular exercise and a specialized arthritis treatment.

Again – tart cherry juice is not a cure, it can only offer an additional help.



Final Conclusion

To summarize, tart cherry juice may help alleviate some arthritis symptoms.

That's because of its mechanism of action:

  • inhibits pro-inflammatory mediators
  • improves neuromuscular functions
  • reduces oxidative stress and cell damage
  • decreases pain sensation caused by symptoms

Again – tart cherry is rich in antioxidants – especially anthocyanin.

This compound is the major key player in tart cherry's benefits.

However – the juice alone is not potent enough to address arthritis.

It can only improve muscle pain and reduce spasms.

But keep in mind that muscle-related problems are not a cause of arthritis.

Additionally – most studies about it revolved around people who exercise a lot.

With that, solely drinking tart cherry juice won't prevent arthritis as a whole.

It just serves as supplementary assistance for extra symptoms.

So if you want a stronger treatment, I suggest you to try other alternatives.

best turmeric


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Written by 

Paula has a background in Chemistry and continues to pursue further studies in it. She loves searching for the best products in the market that will give excellent benefits to the human body and share them with you.

Fact Checked by Oltea Roman, Pharm. D.

Last updated: June 30, 2023

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