Cherries are usually divided into two groups; sweet cherries and tart cherries. They are the smallest members of the stone family which includes peaches, apricots, plums tarte aux mirabelles
The most popular of the sweet cherries is the bing cherry, and the most popular of the tart cherries is the Montmorency. For many centuries both sweet and tart cherries and their juice have been thought to possess a number of amazing health benefits. Although in many cases, the health benefits are interchangeable, this article is going to be focusing more on tart variety of cherries. First let’s talk a little about the tart cherry in general.
Since tart cherries, although sweet, are not as sweet to the taste as say, bing cherries, they are not usually found on the grocery store shelves. They are more likely to be harvested and canned, dried or frozen for use throughout the year. They are sometimes given the name pie cherries because they are the ingredient used in the ever popular cherry cobbler. Although they are most popular for their desert use, tart cherries are also used to make jams, jellies, and other great tasting concoctions.
As far as the tree itself, tart or sour cherries are usually a little smaller than the sweet varieties. Most are grown in the state of Michigan, followed by Utah. When in full bloom they are breathtaking. In the areas of the country where they are numerous, people come from miles around to see the cherry trees in bloom.
Getting to the health benefits of tart cherries, we will begin by saying that the use of cherry fruit and cherry juice for medical reasons is far from being anything new. For generations older members of families have passed down to their descendants their “family cures” for different ailments. In many instances, cherry extract or cherry juice were on the top of the list for the relief of many health problems.
In the modern world, cherries, both tart and sweet, are still heralded by most natural health specialists as containing ingredients that are very helpful in relieving or curing, many medical maladies.
For instance, for many years individuals have been given cherry juice or extract to give pain relief for different forms of arthritis. Research has shown that the anthocyanins in cherries can be a great aid in relieving or even stopping inflammation. Inflammation is usually a side effect of our immune system’s response to something that is in someway irritating our body and its healing qualities. Some studies have shown that the addition of cherry juice or extract to the diet, can also greatly reduce the pain of gout by lowering the urate level