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The healing power of tart cherry

  1. The sour cherry tree is closely related to the common cherry tree but the fruits of this tree are, as the name suggests, a lot more sour in taste. A sour cherry tree can reach four to ten meters in height and it is cultivated all over the Northern Hemisphere. It can withstand very cold conditions, the tree is also grown in Finland and can grow at an altitude of 1600 meters in the Alps. Tart cherry appears to be a naturally occurring hybrid. The exact origin is not known because it has been cultivated since time immemorial. The tree was also known in ancient times. In ancient Greece, under the ancient Romans and Persians, this was already a popular tree. In addition to being a nutritious tree, the sour cherry has medicinal properties. Instead of the fruit itself, the stems are used in phytotherapy. These stems are good for the kidneys, stimulate urine production and are an effective remedy for cystitis.

Contents:

  1. Traditional use Save the stems

Traditional use

  1. Sour cherry is used in cakes, pies, syrups, sauces, soups and desserts. In addition, it is used to sweeten the not very tasty alcoholic drink taste. For example, it is used to make kirsch and fruit beer such as kriek lambic. Traditionally, a sour cherry soup is made in Hungary. The ingredients of this from sour cherries, sour cream and sugar. The cherries are processed into a puree, and then made hot and mixed together with sour cream and sugar. Sometimes cloves or cinnamon are added to the soup. The soup can be eaten either beforehand to aid digestion or afterwards to 'fill the cavities'.

Save the stems!

  1. Prunus cerasus / Source: Prazak, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Naming

  1. In Latin, sour cherry is called Prunus cerasus. Cerasus comes from an ancient Greek name. In ancient Greece and present-day Turkey there is a city called Girasus. The first cherries were exported from this city to the rest of Europe. In French this fruit is called cerise. This name is close to the original Greek name, which is thus called cerasus in Latin. The Dutch cherry, the German Kirsch and the English word Cherry also stem from the original Latin word. Prunus is a word that actually means 'plum'. In the past people said 'cherry plum' instead of cherry. That word is still used in Afrikaans, sister language of Dutch.

Active ingredients

  1. The cherry stems of tart cherry are used for phytotherapeutic purposes. These cherry stalks contain the following active ingredients: prunetin, the isoflavone glycoside 5-O-beta-D-glucipyranosides, mucilages and tannins.

Sour cherry stems, good for the kidneys

  1. The stems of tart cherry have diuretic activity. That means that the body expels more fluid. In addition, it has a sedative or calming effect on the mucous membranes of the urinary tract. Due to these medicinal properties, tart cherry is prescribed by naturalists and phytotherapists for the following indications:

The sour cherry for sleeping problems

  1. A study from Northumbria University in Newcastle published in 2012 shows that tart cherry juice boosts melatonin levels in humans. This allows sleep to be better understood. In the small-scale study, 20 people were given a pill with melatonin from tart cherry or a placebo and it turned out that the tart cherry users slept a lot better. Melatonin is a phytonutrient that occurs naturally in tart cherry and is also available in synthetic form as a supplement.

Dose and Safety

  1. There are a number of ways to use cherry stalks as a herbal medicine.

Visit a doctor or herbalist

  1. Much of the information about the medicinal plant referred to in this article comes from Geert Verhelst's book Great Handbook of Medicinal Plants. That is a handbook in phytotherapy. However, it is not suitable for self-healing. Anyone who is bothered by something should visit a doctor or phytotherapist for a proper diagnosis and choice of the best remedies, tailored to your personal situation. The knowledge and science mentioned here is of a purely informational nature.



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