Albaluk, Alubalu, Cerasus vulgaris, Cerezo Acido, Cerise, Cerise à Tarte, Cerise Acide, Cerise Acide Rouge, Cerise Aigre, Cerise de Montmorency, Cerise Rouge, Cerisier Acide, Cerisier Aigre, Dwarf Cherry, English Morello, Gilas, Ginjeira, Griotte de Champagne, Griottier, Griottier Acide, Guinda, Guinda Acida, Guindo, Montmorency Cherry, Morello Cherry, Olchi, Pie Cherry, Prunus cerasus, Prunus vulgaris, Red Cherry, Red Sour Cherry, Richmond, Sauerkirsche, Sauerkirschenbaum, Tart Cherry.


Overview Information

Sour cherry is a fruit. The fruit and stem of the sour cherry are used in food and as medicine. The Montmorency sour cherry is the most popular type grown in the U.S.

Sour cherry is used for muscle soreness after exercise, improving exercise performance, gout, high blood pressure, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support any use.

In foods, sour cherries are eaten as a food or flavoring.

In manufacturing, sour cherry is used to make cherry syrup for drugs with an unpleasant taste.

How does it work?

Sour cherry fruit contains substances that might reduce swelling and act as antioxidants.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Athletic performance. Some early research shows that taking sour cherry improves jumping, agility, and some aspects of performance in trained athletes doing intense exercise. But not all research agrees.
  • Muscle soreness caused by exercise. Early research shows that taking sour cherry for 7 days before a long-distance race reduces muscle soreness after the race. It also seems to reduce muscle soreness after weightlifting.
  • Airway infections caused by exercise. Early research shows that drinking sour cherry and apple juice before and after running a marathon reduces cough, sore throat, congestion, and sneezing after the race.
  • High blood pressure. Early research shows that taking sour cherry might decrease blood pressure short-term. It is unknown if it decreases blood pressure in the long-term in people with high blood pressure.
  • Insomnia. Some early research shows that sour cherry improves sleep time when used for 1 week. But it doesn't seem to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Gout.
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia).
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Increasing urination.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate sour cherry for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Sour cherry is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when eaten as food or used as medicine, short-term. Some people have reported diarrhea after taking sour cherry products. There isn't enough information to know if sour cherry stems are safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Sour cherry fruit is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when eaten in normal food amounts. There isn't enough information to know if medicinal amounts of sour cherry fruit or stems are safe. Stay on the safe side and stick to sour cherry fruit in food amounts.



We currently have no information for SOUR CHERRY Interactions.



The appropriate dose of sour cherry depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for sour cherry. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


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  • Bajerska J, Mildner-Szkudlarz S, Gornas P, Seglina D. The effects of muffins enriched with sour cherry pomace on acceptability, glycemic response, satiety and energy intake: a randomized crossover trial. J Sci Food Agric 2016;96(7):2486-93. View abstract.
  • Bak I, Czompa A, Czepanyi E, et al. Evaluation of systemic and dermal toxicity and dermal photoprotection by sour cherry kernels. Phytother Res 2011;25(11):1714-20. View abstract.
  • Bak I, Lekli I, Juhasz B, et al. Cardioprotective mechanisms of Prunus cerasus (sour cherry) seed extract against ischemia-reperfusion-induced damage in isolated rat hearts. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 2006;291(3):H1329-36. View abstract.
  • Bell PG, Gaze DC, Davison GW, et al. Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) concentrate lowers uric acid, independent of plasma cyaniding-3-O-glucosiderutinoside. J Funct Foods 2014;11:82-90.
  • Bell PG, Stevenson E, Davison GW, Howatson G. The effects of Montmorency tart cherry concentrate supplementation on recovery following prolonged, intermittent exercise. Nutrients 2016;8(7):441. View abstract.
  • Bell PG, Walshe IH, Davison GW, et al. Montmorency cherries reduce the oxidative stress and inflammatory responses to repeated days high-intensity stochastic cycling. Nutrients 2014;6(2):829-43. View abstract.
  • Bell PG, Walshe IH, Davison GW, et al. Recovery facilitation with Montmorency cherries following high-intensity, metabolically challenging exercise. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2015;40(4):414-23. View abstract.
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  • Bobe G, Wang B, Seeram NP, et al. Dietary anthocyanin-rich tart cherry extract inhibits intestinal tumorigenesis in APC(Min) mice fed suboptimal levels of sulindac. J Agric Food Chem 2006;54(25):9322-8. View abstract.
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  • Bowtell JL, Sumners DP, Dyer A, et al. Montmorency cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43(8):1544-51. View abstract.
  • Brown MA, Stevenson EJ, Howatson G. Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) supplementation accelerates recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in females. Eur J Sport Sci 2019;19(1):95-102. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1502360. View abstract.
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  • Chai SC, Jerusik J, Davis K, Wright RS, Zhang Z. Effect of Montmorency tart cherry juice on cognitive performance in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Food Funct 2019;10(7):4423-31. doi: 10.1039/c9fo00913b. View abstract.
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  • Connolly DA, McHugh MP, Padilla-Zakour OI, et al. Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage. Br J Sports Med 2006;40(8):679-83. View abstract.
  • Csiki Z, Papp-Bata A, Czompa A, et al. Orally delivered sour cherry seed extract (SCSE) affects cardiovascular and hematological parameters in humans. Phytother Res 2015;29(3):444-9. View abstract.
  • Czompa A, Gyongyosi A, Czegledi A, et al. Cardioprotection afforded by sour cherry seed kernel: the role of heme oxygenase-1. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2014;64(5):412-9. View abstract.
  • Dimitriou L, Hill JA, Jehnali A, et al. Influence of a Montmorency cherry juice blend on indices of exercise-induced stress and upper respiratory tract symptoms following marathon running-a pilot investigation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2015;12:22. View abstract.
  • Elliot DL, Kuehl KS, Jones KD, Dulacki K. Using an eccentric exercise-testing protocol to assess the beneficial effects of tart cherry juice in fibromyalgia patients. Integ Med 2010;9(6):25-9.
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  • Gao R, Chilibeck PD. Effect of tart cherry concentrate on endurance exercise performance: a meta-analysis. J Am Coll Nutr 2020:1-8. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2020.1713246. View abstract.
  • He YH, Zhou J, Wang YS, et al. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects of cherries on Freund's adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. Scand J Rheumatol 2006;35(5):356-8. View abstract.
  • Homoki J, Gyémánt G, Balogh P, et al. Sour cherry extract inhibits human salivary a-amylase and growth of Streptococcus mutans (a pilot clinical study). Food Funct. 2018;9(7):4008-4016. View abstract.
  • Howatson G, Bell PG, Tallent J, et al. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr 2011;51:909-16. View abstract.
  • Howatson G, McHugh MP, Hill JA, et al. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon training. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2010;20(6):843-52. View abstract.
  • Juhasz B, Kertesz A, Balla J, et al. Cardioprotective effects of sour cherry seed extract (SCSE) on the hypercholesterolemic rabbit heart. Curr Pharm Des 2013;19(39):6896-905. View abstract.
  • Kang SY, Seeram NP, Nair MG, Bourquin LD. Tart cherry anthocyanins inhibit tumor development in Apc(Min) mice and reduce proliferation of human colonic cancer cells. Cancer Lett 2003;194(1):13-9. View abstract.
  • Keane KM, Bailey SJ, Vanhatalo A, Jones AM, Howatson G. Effects of Montmorency tart cherry (L. Prunus Cerasus) consumption on nitric oxide biomarkers and exercise performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2018;28(7):1746-1756. View abstract.
  • Keane KM, Bell PG, Lodge JK, et al. Phytochemical uptake following human consumption of Montmorency tart cherry (L. Prunus cerasus) and influence of phenolic acids on vascular smooth muscle cells in vitro. Eur J Nutr 2016;55(4):1695-705. View abstract.
  • Keane KM, George TW, Constantinou CL, et al. Effects of Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) consumption on vascular function in men with early hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr 2016;103(6):1531-9. View abstract.
  • Kim DO, Heo HJ, Kim YJ, et al. Sweet and sour cherry phenolics and their protective effects on neuronal cells. J Agric Food Chem 2005;53(26):9921-7. View abstract.
  • Kim DO, Padilla-Zakour OI. Jam processing effect on phenolics and antioxidant capacity in anthocyanin-rich fruits: cherry, plum, and raspberry. J Food Sci 2004;69(9):S395-400.
  • Kirakosyan A, Seymour EM, Urcuyo Llanes DE, et al. Chemical profile and antioxidant capacities of tart cherry products. Food Chem 2009;115(1):20-5.
  • Kuehl KS, Perrier ET, Elliot DL, Chesnutt JC. Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2010;7:17. View abstract.
  • Kupusarevic J, McShane K, Clifford T. Cherry gel supplementation does not attenuate subjective muscle soreness or alter wellbeing following a match in a team of professional rugby union players: a pilot study. Sports (Basel) 2019;7(4). pii: E84. doi: 10.3390/sports7040084. View abstract.
  • Lamb KL, Ranchordas MK, Johnson E, Denning J, Downing F, Lynn A. No effect of tart cherry juice or pomegranate juice on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in non-resistance trained men. Nutrients. 2019;11(7). pii: E1593. View abstract.
  • Levers K, Dalton R, Galvan E, et al. Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on acute bout of intense lower body strength exercise in resistance trained males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2015;12:41. View abstract.
  • Levers K, Dalton R, Galvan E, et al. Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on acute endurance exercise performance in aerobically trained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2016;13:22. View abstract.
  • Lynn A, Mathew S, Moore CT, et al. Effect of a tart cherry juice supplement on arterial stiffness and inflammation in healthy adults: a randomised controlled trial. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2014;69(2):122-7. View abstract.
  • Mahmoud F, Haines D, Al-Awadhi R, et al. Sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) seed extract increases heme oxygenase-1 expression and decreases proinflammatory signaling in peripheral blood human leukocytes from rheumatoid arthritis patients. Int Immunopharmacol 2014;20(1):188-96. View abstract.
  • Mahmoud FF, Al-Awadhi R, Haines DD, et al. Sour cherry seed kernel extract increases heme oxygenase-1 expression and decreases representation of CD3+TNF-alpha+ and CD3+IL-8+ subpopulations in peripheral blood leukocyte cultures from type 2 diabetes patients. Phytother Res 2013;27(5):767-74. View abstract.
  • Martin KR, Coles KM. Consumption of 100% tart cherry juice reduces serum urate in overweight and obese adults. Curr Dev Nutr 2019;3(5):nzz011. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzz011. View abstract.
  • McCune LM, Kubota C, Stendell-Hollis NR, Thomson CA. Cherries and health: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2011;51(1):1-12. View abstract.
  • Mulabagal V, Lang GA, DeWitt DL, et al. Anthocyanin content, lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibitory activities of sweet and sour cherries. J Agric Food Chem 2009;57(4):1239-46. View abstract.
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  • Ou B, Bosak KN, Bricker PR, et al. Processed tart cherry products-comparative phytochemical content, in vitro antioxidant capacity and in vitro anti-inflammatory activity. J Food Sci 2012;77(5):H105-12. View abstract.
  • Piccolella S, Fiorentino A, Pacifico S, et al. Antioxidant properties of sour cherries (Prunus cerasus L.): role of colorless phytochemicals from the methanolic extract of ripe fruits. J Agric Food Chem 2008;56(6):1298-35. View abstract.
  • Pigeon WR, Carr M, Gorman C, Perlis ML. Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study. J Med Food 2010;13:579-83. View abstract.
  • Quinlan R, Hill JA. The efficacy of tart cherry juice in aiding recovery after intermittent exercise. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 Oct 15:1-7. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2019-0101. View abstract.
  • Saric A, Sobocanec S, Balog T, et al. Improved antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential in mice consuming sour cherry juice (Prunus cerasus cv. Maraska). Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2009;64(4):231-7. View abstract.
  • Schumacher HR, Pullman-Mooar S, Gupta SR, et al. Randomized double-blind crossover study of the efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2013;21(8):1035-41. View abstract.
  • Seeram NP, Momin RA, Nair MG, Bourquin LD. Cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant cyaniding glycosides in cherries and berries. Phytomedicine 2001;8(5):632-9. View abstract.
  • Seymour EM, Lewis SK, Urcuyo-Llanes DE, et al. Regular tart cherry intake alters abdominal adiposity, adipose gene transcription, and inflammation in obesity-prone rats fed a high fat diet. J Med Food 2009;12(5):935-42. View abstract.
  • Seymour EM, Singer AA, Kirakosyan A, et al. Altered hyperlipidemia, hepatic steatosis, and hepatic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in rats with intake of tart cherry. J Med Food 2008;11(2):252-9. View abstract.
  • Seymour EM, Warber SM, Kirakosyan A, et al. Anthocyanin pharmacokinetics and dose-dependent plasma antioxidant pharmacodynamics following whole tart cherry intake in healthy humans. J Funct Food 2014;11:509-16.
  • Stamp LK, Chapman P, Frampton C, et al. Lack of effect of tart cherry concentrate dose on serum urate in people with gout. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2019 Dec 31. pii: kez606. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kez606. View abstract.
  • Szabo ME, Gallyas E, Bak I, et al. Heme oxygenase-1-related carbon monoxide and flavonoids in ischemic/reperfused rat retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2004;45(10):3727-32. View abstract.
  • Tall JM, Seeram EM, Zhao C, et al. Tart cherry anthocyanins suppress inflammation-induced pain behavior in rat. Behav Brain Res 2004;153(1):181-8. View abstract.
  • Total anthocyanins and total phenolics of fresh and processed cherries and their antioxidant properties. J Food Sci 2004;69(1):FCT67-72.
  • Traustadottir T, Davies SS, Stock AA, et al. Tart cherry juice decreases oxidative stress in healthy older men and women. J Nutr 2009;139(10):1896-900. View abstract.
  • Wang H, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, et al. Novel antioxidant compounds from tart cherries (Prunus cerasus). J Nat Prod 1999;62:86-8. View abstract.
  • Wang H, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, et al. Antioxidant and antiiinflammatory activities of anthocyanins and their aglycon, cyaniding, from tart cherries. J Nat Prod 1999;62(2):294-6. View abstract.
  • Wang H, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, et al. Novel antioxidant compounds from tart cherries (Prunus cerasus). J Nat Prod 1999;62(1):86-8. View abstract.

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