The Benefits of Black Cherry Juice

Can this antioxidant-rich juice enhance your health?

Rebecca Tabor Armstrong
Rebecca Tabor Armstrong/Getty Images

Extracted from black cherries (Prunus serotina), black cherry juice is typically used as a remedy for health conditions like gout and arthritis. Rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, black cherry juice is purported to reduce inflammation, a biological process closely linked to these conditions. Indeed, anthocyanins have been found to block two enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) involved in the production of inflammatory compounds known as prostaglandins.

Why Do People Use Black Cherry Juice?

Although black cherry juice is most widely used in the treatment of gout and arthritis (including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), some proponents claim that black cherry juice can also fight exercise-induced muscle damage.

Related: 3 Natural Remedies for Gout

The Benefits of Black Cherry Juice

There is currently a lack of clinical trials on the health effects of consuming black cherry juice. However, a number of studies suggest that anthocyanins (one of the key antioxidants found in black cherry juice) may offer certain health benefits.

For instance, a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dietary intake of anthocyanins may help prevent high blood pressure. And in a 2006 report published in Free Radical Research, scientists state that anthocyanins "may play an important role in health promotion in terms of obesity prevention, cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects."

In addition, there's some evidence that increasing antioxidant intake in general may help protect against the development and progression of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, scientists have yet to explore the use of black cherry juice as a treatment or prevention method for either type of arthritis.

How Does It Compare to Tart Cherry Juice?

Like black cherry juice, tart cherry juice (from the Prunus cerasus cherry) is rich in anthocyanins. Some research suggests that it may offer certain health benefits, and there has been more research on tart cherry juice than black cherry juice. For example, preliminary studies show that consumption of tart cherry juice may fight oxidative stress, reduce arterial stiffness, improve sleep quality, and reduce inflammation. 

Related: Tart Cherries and Tart Cherry Juice

Possible Side Effects

Like any supplement, the side effects of black cherry juice are poorly understood. Consuming large amounts of cherry juice may lead to indigestion and diarrhea, and the calories and sugar may be a problem for some people. 

Also, cherries contain sorbitol, which may exacerbate symptoms in people with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, or fructose malabsorption.

It's important to note that self-treating a health condition with black cherry juice and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.

Where to Buy It

Widely available for purchase online, black cherry juice is sold in many grocery stores and natural-food stores.

It can also be found as a concentrate. Black cherry concentrate contains significantly less water than black cherry juice. In order to create black cherry juice concentrate, manufacturers apply specialized filtration and extraction processes. The resulting product contains a greater concentration of nutritional compounds than black cherry juice.

The Takeaway

While it's possible that drinking black cherry juice may help enhance your overall health and reduce inflammation by increasing your anthocyanin intake, there's a lack of clinical trials (the kind of research you want to see to put full-stock in a treatment). If you're still considering using black cherry juice, talk to your doctor first.

You can also increase your anthocyanin intake by including black cherries and foods like berries, red onions, kidney beans, pomegranates, and red grapes in your diet on a regular basis.


Cassidy A, O'Reilly ÉJ, Kay C, et al. Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):338-47.

Jaswal S, Mehta HC, Sood AK, Kaur J. Antioxidant status in rheumatoid arthritis and role of antioxidant therapy. Clin Chim Acta. 2003 Dec;338(1-2):123-9.

McAlindon TE, Jacques P, Zhang Y, et al. Do antioxidant micronutrients protect against the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis? Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Apr;39(4):648-56.

Prior RL, Wu X. Anthocyanins: structural characteristics that result in unique metabolic patterns and biological activities. Free Radic Res. 2006 Oct;40(10):1014-28.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

Continue Reading