Black Cherries

Black cherries are originally from North America. Nowadays they are also found in North Mexico, Canada and even Europe, where they grow in the wild. They are often used as a pioneer plant to turn barren ecologies into more suitable habitats for other plants. As a tart cherry tree the fruits and its benefits are of interest, however the timber from black cherries is of high quality and is used for furniture. In earlier times, their wood simply served for making cooking utensils. Many gardens cultivate black cherries as and ornamental tree.

Black cherries can be consumed fresh and added to various food products such as desserts, smoothies, jellies, pies and so on. However the content and taste is usually dilute so most people prefer black cherry juice concentrates, where the best from these cherries is extracted and concentrated. The way this works is that cherries are immersed in an extraction solution. There the important components plus a few others are made into a  black cherry extract. This extract then undergoes a filtration step, where essential and unwanted components are further separated. Depending on the producer, preservatives may be added or not and this is what is sold as cherry concentrate in  supermarket or online stores.

As a tart cherry, black cherries contain important vitamins, helpful nutrients, antocyanins and antioxidants. Antioxidants participate in free radical elimination, thus preventing them from doing damage to tissues. Anthocyanins have been shown to block certain receptors responsible for inflammation. Apparently black cherry juice also helps with healing by reducing damage caused during fitness training. Another interesting property is its ability to reduce uric acid, the main cause for painful gout, therefore black cherry juice for gout is an optimal solution. Aside from prevention, black cherries have supportive agents such as melatonin to promote better sleep.

So far black cherry juice benefits have been discussed, but in certain people side effects can occur. There have been reports of allergic reactions happening in relation to these tart cherries. If too much is consumed people have been shown to feel sick and unwell. Attention must be paid to the fact that only clean and pitted cherries may be put into the mixer.  The stone or cherry pit, leaves and the bark can contain cyanogenic glycosides, which get converted into the highly toxic hydrogen cyanide inside our body. In miniscule amounts these cyanogenic glycosides are also found in the fruit itself, but apparently it is not high enough to be dangerous the same amount being also found in other normal fruits and like apples and apricots.