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Cherries: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more


Cherry is scientifically known as Prunus. It belongs to the family Rosaceae. It is widely distributed in northern temperate areas such as western Asia and Europe. Genus Prunus comprises two varieties: sweet cherry (P. avium) and tart cherry (P. cerasus). The sweet cherry is a large and black-coloured fruit, whereas the tart cherry is originated from the Montmorency varieties.1 

cherries benefit

Cherries are densely packed with nutrients and have significantly low calories. Cherries are also enriched with bioactive components such as vitamin C, potassium, carotenoids, anthocyanins, melatonin and fibre. ‘Sato Nishiki’ is a common name for sweet cherries.1 

Nutritional Value of Cherries: 

Cherries have a very high amount of nutrients. 

Nutritional components Value 
Energy 63 kcal 
Carbohydrate 16 g 
Protein 1.06 g 
Total lipid 0.2 g 
Sugar 12.8 g 
Fibre 2.1 g 
Glycine 0.023 g 
Table 1: Nutritional value of raw cherries in 100 grams2 

Components Value 
Iron 0.36 mg 
Calcium 13 mg 
Manganese 0.07 mg 
Magnesium 11 mg 
Potassium 222 mg 
Phosphorus 21 mg 
Copper 0.06 mg 
Fluoride 2  µg 
Vitamin E 0.07 mg 
Vitamin K 2.1  µg 
Vitamin C  7 mg 
Thiamin  0.027 mg 
Riboflavin 0.033 mg 
Niacin 0.154 mg 
Vitamin B6 0.049 
Folic acid 4  µg 
Choline 6.1 mg 
Carotene 38  µg 
Fatty acids 0.038 g 
Threonine 0.0222 g 
Lysine 0.032 g 
Aspartic acid 0.569 g 
Alanine 0.26 g 
Phenylalanine 0.024 g 
Table 2: Vitamins, minerals and amino acids in raw cherries in 100 grams2

  Also Read: Peaches: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Properties of Cherries: 

Cherries have several bioactive compounds, which show properties that help to prevent several acute and chronic diseases.3 The therapeutic properties of cherries are: 

  • May show anti-microbial (reduces the growth of micro-organisms) potential  
  • May have anti-oxidant potential  
  • May have potential anti-diabetes properties  
  • May have potential anti-cancer potential  
  • May have the potential to help with brain cells  
  • May help with anti-inflammatory potential.3  

When you undergo vigorous and strenuous physical activities, it is a good idea to indulge in a cherry diet. Cherries might play an important role in reducing inflammatory diseases as they may have anti-inflammatory effects that might cope with muscle damage.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Papaya: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Potential Uses of Cherries: 

The nutritional and bioactive components of cherries may provide potential benefits against many conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory disease and Alzheimer’s disease.1 Some of the benefits of cherries are described as follows: 

1. Potential Uses of cherries for diabetes  

Cherries contain an anti-oxidant that may help lower the glucose levels in the blood. In animal studies, it has been seen that diets containing cherries reduce glucose levels, thereby helping control type 2 diabetes. The alcohol extracts of cherries may also show hypoglycaemic action, i.e., glucose-lowering activity in lab studies. Therefore, cherries may be used as a natural way to manage diabetes.4 Before using cherries or any other herbal remedies for diabetes, have a consultation with your doctor or healthcare provider so that you make well-informed choices.  

2. Potential Uses of cherries for sleep  

The juice of tart cherries may help improve sleep in healthy older adults with insomnia i.e., inability to sleep. A study confirmed that the juice of tart cherry contains several nutrients that may help improve the continuity of sleep. Cherries also contain many bioactive components called anthocyanins that may have the potential toprotect brain cells against the harmful effects caused by oxidative stress.5 Also, If you face difficulty sleeping, reach out to your healthcare provider for a consultation.  

3. Potential Uses of cherries for gout  

Cherries show anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities that may help manage gout (deposition of uric acid in joints). Cherries and their other essential components may also reduce the spread of gout and lower uric acid levels in plasma.6 If you are suffering from gout, consult your doctor before using cherries or any other herbal remedies.    

4. Potential Uses of cherries for skin  

The extract of cherries may help control the ageing of the skin. It may also help with reducing oxidative stress due to the anti-oxidant properties of cherries. A study confirmed that the extract of sweet cherry could be used as a potential ingredient in the formulation of products used for skin care.7 While using cherries for the skin, if you notice any allergic reactions or side effects, discontinue its use and reach out to your healthcare provider.    

5. Potential Uses of cherries for cancer  

Sweet cherries have anti-cancer properties due to their nutrients such as fibre, vitamin C and carotenoids. Cherries are an excellent source of dietary fibre associated with a reduced risk for cancers. A study confirms that cherry may help with site-specific inhibition related to colon cancer.1,3 Cancer is a severe medical condition which requires medical diagnosis and treatment. Before using any herb or fruit, consult your doctor.   

6. Other Potential Uses of cherries  

  • The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cherries may help prevent strength loss, inflammation and pain in muscles.  
  • A study has shown that consumption of cherries may help decrease blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress.  
  • In clinical studies, it has been suggested that the benefits of eating cherries may be helpful in sleep, mood, diabetes, cognitive functions, blood lipids and arthritis.8  

Though there are studies that show the benefits of beetroot juice in various conditions, but these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of benefits of beetroot juice on human health.  

Based on many studies, Tart cherries have various phytochemicals. Eating cherries might improve motor and cognitive functions. Additionally, eating cherries might show decreased age-related inflammation, along with working memory improvement. Thus, cherries might promote healthy ageing.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Pomegranate: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

How to Use Cherries? 

Cherries can be used in the following ways: 

  • Sweet cherries are usually consumed as fresh fruits. They can be juiced, frozen, brined, dried and canned. Tart cherries are used in baking and cooking.1  
  • Tart cherries are used to prepare juices, drinks, jams and pastries.3  
  • Cherries can be used as a dietary component in medicinal products and food supplements.3  

You should always consult your Ayurvedic physician before consuming cherries in large quantities. They will be the best person to prescribe you the correct form and dosage as per your health condition. Also, do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Cherries: 

The Ayurvedic physician often overlooks the side effects of cherry extract because of its nutraceutical properties. The side effects of cherries are mainly related to injury of the kidney and allergic reactions that are described as follows: 

  • Cherries have negatively impacted patients with chronic kidney diseases causing acute kidney injury (kidney failure).9 
  • Cherries contain an essential protein which acts as a major allergen responsible for allergic reactions.10 

However, if you experience any adverse reactions to it, immediately contact your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it to you. They will be able to treat you appropriately. 

Precautions to Take With Cherries: 

Cherries are generally considered to be safe if taken in the recommended dosages. However, general precautions have to be followed while consuming cherries. 

  • Cherries contain essential nutrients that are not toxic and do not cause any harm to humans.4 Therefore, eating cherries during pregnancy is safe. However, consult your Ayurvedic physician to avoid pregnancy-related complications if any symptoms appear. 
  • Patients with chronic kidney diseases should avoid eating cherries. It could lead to acute kidney injury, which is sudden kidney failure that damages the normal filtration processes of the kidney. Although the safety of cherries is not questionable, patients and Ayurvedic physician must be careful about the possibilities of danger caused due to nutraceutical properties.9 
  • Few children might develop allergies on eating too many cherries.10 Extra precautions need to safeguard children and avoid such allergic reactions. If the reactions persist for a longer duration, immediately consult your Ayurvedic physician. 

Please do not try to treat yourself by consuming herbs. Ayurvedic herbs may have benefits but it is advisable to consult a qualified Ayurvedic physician before taking any herb for its health benefits.  

Also Read: Nanches: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!  

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

Nutraceutical foods may interact with some drugs, but not all interactions negatively impact it. When cherries are combined with a drug named allopurinol (manage gout and various types of kidney stones), it positively reduces the risk of an attack of gout (severe joint pain).6 Thus, it may indicate that the dosage and form in which the herb may be taken as per your condition must be prescribed by an ayurvedic doctor only.  

Also Read: Water Apple: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, And More!

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is the difference between sweet cherry and tart cherry?  

The main difference between sweet cherry and tart cherry is the concentration of anthocyanin (bioactive compound), which is higher in sweet cherry.1 

Do cherries help to maintain oral hygiene?  

Yes. The anti-microbial properties of cherry juice may help to manage the growth of bacteria in the mouth thus may help to improve oral hygiene.3 

What is the role of vitamin C present in cherry?  

Vitamin C shows a synergistic anti-oxidant effect, which may play a significant role in the total antioxidant activity of sweet cherries and may have an effective role against cancer.1 

What are the benefits of eating cherries?  

The beneficial effect of consuming cherries is that it helps manage arthritis and diabetes. It also lowers blood lipids, induces sleep and improves cognitive function and mood patterns.8 Before eating cherries for correcting any health conditions, you need to contact your healthcare provider and receive proper diagnosis and treatment.  

Do cherries prevent skin ageing?  

Yes. Sweet cherries are rich in anthocyanin, which shows anti-oxidant activities and may inhibit the enzymes related to skin ageing. Hence, cherries may be beneficial for the skin.7 Also, if you are experiencing any skin condition or damage, reach out to your skin doctor for a consultation.   


1. McCune LM, Kubota C, Stendell-Hollis NR, Thomson CA. Cherries and health: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Jan 11;51(1):1-12. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21229414/ 

2. US Department of Agriculture [Internet]. Cherries, sweet, raw; 2019 Jan 4 [cited 2022 June 3]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171719/nutrients 

3. Gonçalves AC, Bento C, Silva B, Simões M, Silva LR. Nutrients, Bioactive Compounds and Bioactivity: The Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries (Prunus avium L.). Curr Nutr Food Sci. 2018 Sept 10;14:1-20. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/356924649 

4. Lachin T, Reza H. Anti Diabetic Effect of Cherries in Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats. Recent Patent Endocr Metab Immune Drug Disc. 2012 Oct 2;6:67-72. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221780166 

5. 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 July 28;13(3):579-83. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133468/pdf/jmf.2009.0096.pdf 

6. Chen PE, Liu CY, Chien WH, Chien CW, Tung TH. Effectiveness of Cherries in Reducing Uric Acid and Gout: A Systematic Review. Evid Based Complement Alter Med.2019 Dec 4;2019:9896757. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6914931/pdf/ECAM2019-9896757.pdf 

7. Letsiou S, Karamaouna A, Ganopoulos I, Kapazoglou A, Xanthopoulou A, Sarrou E, et al. The pleiotropic effects of Prunus avium L. extract against oxidative stress on human fibroblasts. An in vitro approach. Mol Biol Rep. 2021 May 1;48(5):4441-8. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34100152/ 

8. Kelley DS, Adkins Y, Laugero KD. A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries. Nutrients. 2018 Mar 17;10:368. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872786/pdf/nutrients-10-00368.pdf 

9. Luciano RL. Acute kidney injury from cherry concentrate in a patient with CKD. Am J Kidney Dis. 2014 Mar 1;63(3):503-5. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24290246/ 

10. Inschlag C, Hoffmann-Sommergruber K, O’Riordain G, Ahorn H, Ebner C, Scheiner O, et al. Biochemical characterisation of Pru a 2, a 23-kD thaumatin-like protein representing a potential major allergen in cherry (Prunus avium). Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1998 May 1;116(1):22-8. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9623505/ 

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