Sour cherry with the scientific name of Prunus cerasus is specie of Prunus genus and is from rose family. This plant is native to the Caucasian mountains and it is possibly the birds took its seed to the other parts of the world including Europe. Some people believe that sour cherry is native to the parts of east Europe. Seed bases of Gisela and Mazard types of prunus genus have spread extensively throughout Europe and North America. Sour cherry was very popular for Iranian and for the first time the Romans imported this fruit into England before the first century. In the sixteenth century Henry VIII introduced sour cherry for cultivating in England. For the first time, English immigrants imported seed of sour cherry into America in 1629 AD. Then, the French sour cherry`s cores of Normandy (a region in north west France) brought with them to America and planted along the Saint Lawrence river. Sour cherry trees consist of a large part of the French immigrant gardens in cities like Detroit and Vincennes.
1. Improving Cardiovascular System Function
Researches have shown that quercetin of sour cherry prevents oxidative injury and oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) by removing free radicals. Oxidation of low-density lipoprotein causes plaque formation in the arteries and finally leads to heart diseases and stroke. A published research in American journal of physiology in 2006 has shown that consumption of 10 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg of sour cherry extract significantly improves heart function (including blood flow and blood pressure) in rats.
Based on the other research that has been published in journal of diabetes and metabolism of Iran in 1385 solar years, effect of consumption of sour cherry was investigated on reducing some risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in 16 women with type-2 diabetes. They used sour cherry juice concentrate for 6 weeks. Body weight, blood lipids and systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels were measured at the beginning and end of the study. The findings of this study showed that at the end of the experiment weight, total cholesterol level, LDL cholesterol level and systolic and diastolic blood pressure significantly reduced. The results of this study showed that use of sour cherry juice helps to improve risk factors of cardiovascular diseases in patients with type-2 diabetes.
2. Alleviating Arthritis Inflammation
A published research in journal of Science Daily in 1999 has shown that anthocyanin and quercetin of sour cherry like ibuprofen and the other anti-inflammatory drugs prevent secretion of inflammation enzymes of cyclooxygenase 1 and 2. Another research has shown that antioxidants of sour cherry help to treat inflammation in joints by decreasing nitric oxide level. At Boston University a study was conducted to evaluate the effect of sour cherry on gout disease on 633 individuals in one year. The results of studies have shown that the consumption of sour cherry in a two-day period reduces the risk of this disease by 35%. Also when sour cherry blended with allopurinol (a medicine used to treat gout), it reduced the risk of developing the disease up to 75%. Antioxidants of sour cherry reduce amount of protein C in blood flow so they help to treat inflammation in body. Protein C is synthesized in the liver and increases the time of inflammation access and rheumatism in blood.
3. Regulating Blood Glucose Levels
The research in Michigan University showed that anthocyanin of sour cherry increases production of insulin up to 50%. The other research in order to investigate effect of anthocyanin of sour cherry on blood sugar control was done in diabetic samples. In this study the effect of oral use of sour cherry juice on level of glucose indicators in women with type-2 diabetes was investigated. In this study 17 patients with type-2 diabetes daily used 240g of natural sour cherry juice for 6 weeks. At the end of this study glucose level and pressure of systolic and diastolic reduced. The results of this considering have shown that the consumption of sour cherry juice reduces blood sugar therefore the consumption of this fruit is recommended to patients with type-2 diabetes.
4. Improving Sleep Quality
Consumption of sour cherry juice before sleeping increases the overall sleep time and its quality. Melatonin of sour cherry adjusts the body`s biological clock and sleep and wakefulness cycles. In a research the sour cherry sleepy effects on the human body were studied. The results of this study have shown that the use of sour cherry juice in the morning and at night helps to improve sleep quality. Researchers from the university of Pennsylvania and Rochester studied sleep habits in 15 adults who used sour cherry juice twice a day for two weeks. The results showed that consumption of sour cherry significantly helps to treat insomnia and increase sleep quality.
In a randomized double-blind study, the effect of sour cherry consumption on sleep quality was investigated. In this study 20 volunteers used sour cherry juice for 7 days. Urine samples of these individuals were collected and the amount of sulfatoxymelatonin (a major metabolite of melatonin) was evaluated. The results have shown that consumption of sour cherry significantly increases the total melatonin content (the sleep and wakefulness adjustment hormone) and as a result increases the time and improves of sleep quality.
5. Regulating Blood Pressure
In a research (the published research in American journal of clinical nutrition) the effect of sour cherry juice concentrate on 15 individuals with high blood pressure was investigated. The blood pressure of these individuals at least was 130.90 MmHg. Use of 60 ml (4.1 of a cup) sour cherry concentrate reduced blood pressure of these individuals up to 7% after 3 days. Earlier researches have shown that reducing pressure in patients with high blood pressure reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 23% and 38% respectively.
The researches have shown compounds of perillyl alcohol, limonene and ellagic acid of sour cherry protect body against cancers of breast, lung, liver, skin and large intestine. The findings of published research in journal of Cancer Letters in 2003 have shown anthocyanin of sour cherry inhibits growth of intestine tumor in mice. These compounds also inhibit growth of cancer cells in some types of intestinal cancers of human in laboratory conditions. Based on this consumption of sour cherry reduces the risk of cancers especially intestinal cancer.
7. Increasing Antioxidant Activity
A clinical research at university of Michigan for the first time investigated the antioxidant property of sour cherry in human body. In this research 12 people, 18 to 25 years old randomly used 1.5 cup to 3 cups of sour cherry. Bloods and urine of volunteers were examined after consumption. The results have shown that 12 hours after the use of sour cherry antioxidant activities in body of these volunteers increased. The published research in journal of nutrition (in 2002) has also shown that the antioxidants of sour cherry fruit play an important role in strengthening immune system.
Flavan-3-ols, Anthocyanins (Cyanidin 3-Glucosylrutinoside, Cyanidin 3-Rutinoside, Cyanidin 3-Sophoroside, Cyanidin 3-Glucoside), Hydroxycinnamic acids, Oleic acid, Linoleic acid, Palmitic acid, Stearic acid.
The nature of sour cherry is cold and dry. This plant is traditionally used to treat the diseases of kidney stone and bladder and heal urinary tract ulcers (wounds). Sour cherry is anodyne of thirst and its syrup is the best drug for great thirst. Sour cherry is anti-bile, anti-nausea and anti-kidney stone. Syrup of sour cherry is useful for reducing fever.