Prunus cerasus, “Sour cherry” or “Tart cherry” in English and “Griottier” or “Cerisier acide” in French, belongs to the Rosaceae botanical family. Native to Europe and Southwest Asia, it is a tree growing to 5-10 m.
The sour cherries are mainly cooked for culinary purposes and make the Belgian kriek beer.
As a drug, the fruit has been widely used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines to treat urinary diseases. Today, it is said to alleviate pain and accelerate strength recovery after exercise, to decrease blood markers of inflammation/oxidative stress, and to enhance sleep quality. Sour cherry extracts are used in sports medicine to prevent muscle damage.
Among the fruit main constituents are polyphenolics including cyanidin derivatives (mostly cyanidin-3-glucosylrutinoside, cyanidin-3-rutinoside, cyanidin-3-sophoroside), peonidin-3-glucoside; kaempferol, quercetin, and isorhamnetin and their derivatives, as well as alkaloids and melatonin.