Sour cherries, also called tart cherries, are the fruits with a light red color of the Prunus cerasus. They contain mineral salts such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and iron, and vitamins such as vitamin B, PP, C, useful to strengthen the body defenses, and provitamin A, very important for the health of the eyes. These fruits have a beneficial effect also thanks to the antioxidants they contain, the anthocyanins, which, in addition to giving the red color, are able to reduce inflammations and improve tissue elasticity with great benefits for the cardiovascular system. A few years ago, a team of researchers of the Michigan University studied the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the sour cherries and found that drinking a glass of sour cherry juice for a month is able to significantly lower the levels, in blood, of inflammation markers, but they also revealed that the intake of sour cherries can lower in many cases the levels of triglycerides, with beneficial effects for the heart, and of uric acid as a prevention to gout. Sour cherries, thanks to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, prevent stroke and thrombosis, strengthen the capillaries, fight aging processes but, first of all, help to counteract colon inflammations.
Moreover, a 2003 study published in the Cancer Letters magazine by a team of researchers from the University of Michigan, highlighted the preventive role of sour cherries in colon cancer. Finally, these incredible fruits have also laxative properties, thus helping to counteract constipation, have a depurative effect since they stimulate the elimination of toxins, can attenuate the formation of lactic acid and muscle cramps and result diuretics. You can eat the fruits and drink the juice but you can also use the sour cherries stems to prepare a decoction with a diuretic action, ideal to counteract the formation of kidney stones, against arthritis, constipation, intestinal fermentation but also water retention and kidney problems. Soak for two hours in half a liter of cold water a handful of stems, then boil for ten minutes, remove from heat, filter and drink up to three glasses a day.