Gout pain really bites. “What’s the difference between a guy in the hospital with a broken leg, and one with gout?” joked Mitch, a patient of mine who suffered from occasional attacks. “The guy with the broken leg is driven nuts by the fly buzzing in the room. The guy with gout is in a cold sweat at the thought of the fly landing on his toe.” Gout is an arthritic inflammation of certain joints, usually the big toe. But not your ordinary arthritis. Gout is an accumulation of uric acid crystals inside the joint. Uric acid crystallizes into incredibly sharp daggers which slice at surrounding tissue with every movement or pressure, making gout a rather acutely painful condition.
Black cherry juice was Mitch’s salvation. There are a number of good medicines to help with gout symptoms and to dissolve the uric acid, but according to Mitch nothing worked as quickly or as well as fresh black cherry juice. After a few days of steady sipping his pain would be greatly lessened, and he could get on with life. He always had a case of the stuff in his basement. As it turns out, modern research backs him up on these claims.
Colored fruits and vegetables contain many interesting compounds, which are coming to the fore in natural medicine research as being vital for their abilities to maintain our health, and bring us out of disease states. Flavonoids have received their share of press as antioxidants and vitamin helpers; coming into prominence now are substances like queritrin and anthocyanins. The dark, rich juice of black cherries is rich in these powerful natural chemicals.
Anthocyanins in particular have been rated highly in studies of their anti-inflammatory qualities. Drinking juices rich in anthocyanins is proven to decrease markers of inflammation and tissue damage in both test tubes and human subjects, leading to its recommendation as a complementary therapy for cancer, diabetes, and arthritic conditions. Drinking good black cherry juice can readily reduce the inflammation and associated pain of gout, it would seem.
Stopping uric acid from collecting and removing the formed crystals is the other side of gout treatment. Black cherry juice’s enzymes do a good job of both. Dietary changes to reduce uric acid formation, and increased fluid intake, complete the flush. A caveat here: some people are predisposed to excess uric acid retention, and will need the help of their doctor and a pharmacy.
Mitch’s gout seldom bothered him, and when it did his home remedy of black cherry juice quickly banished the pain. It has been proven to work, and it is sweet medicine to take.