Cherries have been used as both food and medicine. African cherry (Prunus africana) has been used to treat enlarged prostate and other disorders. Cherries contain polyphenols, which may have antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses.
Early study suggests that cherry may be able to relieve exercise-induced muscle damage, but larger studies are needed before a strong recommendation can be made.
Cherries appear to be highly allergenic. There are many reports of sensitivity to cherries and cross-reactivity with other plants. People who are allergic to birch pollen may also be sensitive to cherries.

Related Terms

African cherry, anthocyanins, antioxidants, Balaton tart cherry, Bet v1, bing sweet cherries, cherry bezoar, cherry-brandy, cherry extract, cherry jam, cherry juice, cherry pip bezoars, cherry pit, cherry stalk, cherry stone, cherry wood, choke cherries, choke-cherry, cyanide, cyanidin, makore, nitrates, nitrites, phenolic compounds, polyphenolic compounds, Pru av 1, Pru av 2, Pru av 3, Pru av 4, Prunoideae (sub-family), Prunus africana, Prunus avium, Prunus cerasus, Prunus emarginata, Prunus padus, Prunus serotina, Rosaceae (family), rPru av 1, rPru av 3, rPru av 4, sour cherry, sweet cherries, tart cherries, tart cherry, wild cherry, wild cherry bark, wild cherry bark extract, wild cherry bezoar, wild cherry extract.
Note: This monograph does not include Indian cherry (Withania somnifera), Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra), or the Finger cherry tree (Rhodomyrtus macrocarpa).

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Muscle strains/pain (exercise-induced muscle damage prevention) (Grade: B)
Early study suggests that cherry juice may prevent damage to muscles caused by exercise. More evidence is needed.