Blood Thinners and Cherry Juice

Cherries are a tart fruit that is used in dishes around the world. The juice of cherries has also been linked to a number of medical uses, including reducing the inflammation of gout and arthritis. No interactions have been noted between cherry juice and blood thinners. However, consult your physician before changing your diet or taking any herbal supplements while taking blood thinners.

Cherries may help with chronic pain.
Credit: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Benefits of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice contains a high level of antioxidants which, according to New York University Langone Medical Center, is the basis for many of the claims of the fruit's health benefits. Cherries are believed to help joint inflammation and muscle pain. One small study published in the "British Journal of Sports Medicine" found that tart cherry juice reduced pain after excessive strength exercises. Cherries may also help to relieve pain associated with gout. However, the research behind these claims is very limited and more research needs to be completed before any health benefits of cherry can be verified.

Cherry Juice and Blood Thinners

No interaction between cherry juice and blood thinners has been noted in peer-reviewed journals. Most types of cherries are low in vitamin K, the vitamin that should be avoided in high doses while on blood thinners. However, wild cherry as a dietary supplement may interfere with blood thinners. The cherry extract affects the enzyme, 3A4 inhibitor, which absorbs certain blood thinners. Cherry juice has been linked to cardiovascular health in rats by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center, but the exact process in which cherries work on the cardiovascular system is unknown. (ref #6)

Natural Blood Thinners

Some food and herbs may naturally thin your blood, however should not be used as replacement for prescription medications. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, garlic, ginger and vitamin E have some anticoagulant properties. Herbs such as gingko, dong quai, feverfew and fish oil may also help to thin the blood. Although these natural substances may thin the blood, the effectiveness is not known. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so you can't be sure that you are taking what the package advertises.

Precautions

Consult with your physician before making any changes to your diet, especially if you are on a blood thinning medication. Other fruit juices, such as mango, papaya and cranberry have been linked to interactions with anti-coagulants, like warfarin. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, avoid cherry extracts because there is no information on how these supplements may affect you or the baby. No side effects has been reported with cherry juice, however there is potential for an allergic reaction.

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