Cutting through the alternative health hype is a full-time job these days. It seems like a new fad crops up almost every week. And the only thing they have in common is not living up to the hype. Well here’s something that does.
In fact, it offers benefits nobody even dreamed of when it first came on the scene as a folk remedy. I don’t think I’ve ever used the words “miracle cure” before… but this substance sure comes close.
Henry VIII Would Have Showered You in Gold for This Simple Secret
England’s Henry VIII was a lot of things. He was an empire-builder… and avid sportsman… a wily politician… and a schemer extraordinaire. He was also a man who suffered with gout.
Gout is a painful form of arthritis that often attacks the toes, feet and ankles… though your hands, wrists, and elbows aren’t immune. A gout attack can leave you immobilized for days – or even weeks.
Imagine trying to run a country, establish a dynasty, and battle the most powerful man on Earth – the Pope – all at once. And with your foot in excruciating pain. Every step is agony. Every twist and turn of your body a reminder of just how mortal you really are.
If you had given Henry this secret, you can bet he’d have made it worth your while. You’d probably have a title… land… and plenty of gold. You’d be part of the king’s court. His inner circle.
Alas, that chance is gone. But you and your loved ones can still benefit from one of the most effective folk remedies ever.
Tackling Gout, Arthritis, and More
For decades, “true believers” used tart cherries to battle gout. The medical mainstream called them kooks. Laughed at them. Ridiculed them.
And then the studies started to come in…
Gout is an extremely painful form of arthritis that’s triggered by an over-abundance of uric acid. Well, guess what tart cherry juice does?
In a 2012 study, gout sufferers who drank tart cherry juice cut their risk of another gout attack by 35%. If they were on medication at the same time, their risk of a recurrence plummeted by 75%.
A study from Arizona State University shows tart cherries do much more. Tart cherry juiced cut uric acid levels in 70% of the volunteers in this study – even though they had “normal” uric acid levels.
Volunteers taking tart cherry juice also saw their very low-density (vLDL) cholesterol levels drop… triglycerides (blood fats) go down… and their overall cholesterol levels improve. Plus blood markers of inflammation – a warning sign for gout – dropped as well.
In fact, many of their risk factors for heart disease improved. All while cutting their risk of gout. That’s not bad for a folk remedy.
And we’re just getting started.
Overall Arthritis Relief
If tart cherry is effective against gout, how does it fare with “ordinary” arthritis?
In 2012, researchers looked at women with osteoarthritis. A group of volunteers either drank tart cherry juice or a placebo for 21 days.
The tart cherry group showed a much lower level of CRP – C-reactive protein, a sign of inflammation. But the placebo group didn’t.
Tart cherry juice didn’t just offer relief from a cause of joint pain… CRP is also linked to a higher risk of heart disease. So the tart cherry group also cut their heart risk.
In a somewhat confusing 2013 study, doctors found tart cherry produced significant results – far better than a placebo.
WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index) scores, they said, dropped significantly with tart cherry… but not with a placebo. That means patients found serious relief taking tart cherry. But those who took a placebo didn’t.
The tart cherry group also saw a significant drop in their CRP levels – which the placebo group didn’t. While the authors called these two measures “significant,” they also said the results weren’t significant.
WOMAC measures various levels of pain, stiffness, and physical functioning. So when a treatment shows “significant” improvement on this scale, I’d say that’s… well, significant.
If you know anyone suffering with osteoarthritis – or suffer yourself – I’d bet you’d agree.
But tart cherries won’t make any drug company rich. So maybe that’s why significant improvements on this scale weren’t considered “significant.” I really can’t say…
But what I can say is tart cherries sure seem to bust pain.
Overall Effective Pain Relief
One of the hallmarks of aging is an increase in pain. I’m sure you know what I mean. Maybe a parent has more back pain than in the past… you may notice you ache more after exercise… or joints you never noticed start “singing” to you.
Researchers at Texas Woman’s University noticed this and tested tart cherry juice against pain.
In their review, they found tart cherries were effective against recurrences of gout, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and muscle damage due to exercise.
Their bottom line? Mature adults with any number of painful conditions may benefit from tart cherry.
But what about younger – or more active – people. Not to worry. Tart cherry has you covered.
An Ideal Recovery Strategy
In 2006, scientists in Vermont tested tart cherry. They compared how drinking tart cherry juice helped recovery after physical exertion vs. a placebo.
First, half the group drank tart cherry juice after exercising strenuously. The other half drank a placebo. After a “washout,” the groups switched.
The comparison showed drinking tart cherry juice after exercise helped preserve strength to a far high degree than the placebo.
How high? Well, four days after the placebo, the volunteers had lost an average of 22% of their strength… but for the tart cherry juice, the loss was only 6%!
And that’s hardly the only proof. In a 2010 study, British researchers found tart cherry juice improved recovery after a marathon.
And in 2011, scientists in the United Kingdom discovered tart cherry had a similar effect on recovery from strength training workouts.
Finally, there’s one more advantage I’d like to share about tart cherry.
Sleep Like a Baby Again
With all the benefits we’ve already reviewed, one more may seem like overkill. But I did say “miracle.” And I don’t want you to think tart cherry is just a lot of hype. So…
Wouldn’t it be great if tart cherry – and tart cherry juice – could help you beat gout… ease the pain of arthritis… beat other causes of pain… recover faster from your workouts… and help you get the sleep you need?
Well, it can.
A study at the University of Rochester Medical Center showed tart cherry was as effective as valerian in promoting better sleep… and almost beat melatonin.
The reason it may not quite beat melatonin for promoting sleep is because… that’s how it works.
Tart cherry has a high melatonin content… and this makes it a natural sleep-promoter. In fact, studies on tart cherry juice show it helps boost time spent in bed, time asleep, and quality of sleep.
The bottom line is this overlooked fruit could help you beat pain, stiffness, inflammation, and even sleep problems.
I usually don’t recommend drinking fruit juices because of their high sugar content. But if you don’t have a non-juice source of tart cherry available… this is the one exception I’ll make.
Tart cherry juice is available year-round… and it offers benefits you may not find anywhere else. It’s Nature’s overlooked “miracle cure.”
And whether or not you suffer with gout, it’s probably worth the extra calories.
About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.
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