During high school and early college years, I was an avid runner. I usually averaged thirty to forty miles on a weekly basis. Not too long ago I began to have some discomfort in my left knee. The pain was intermittent, but I noticed a difference in how I was walking and how I began to try to compensate and bear more weight on my right knee. I had an iridology examination and during that examination I was asked if I had any discomfort in my left knee. Amazed, I said yes. I was told that I had findings consistent with early osteoarthritis in that knee.
I needed to take steps and wanted to do everything I could to not only try and decrease the stress and weight on that knee but also help with the pain. I began to change my diet to a more alkaline based diet and started a strengthening program to work on the muscle groups around the knee including the quadriceps and the hamstring muscles.
While I noticed a modest level of improvement, I was still having twinges of pain. I needed to do something more to try and help with the pain. While I was aware of the abundance of natural alternatives to help me with my pain issues, I noted several of my patients were having good results with tart cherry extract for their arthritis pain, and others who were taking Noni also reported a decrease in their level of pain. For my own situation, I thought that the prudent thing to do was combine the two together deciding to use the liquid form of both.
Using a small shot glass, the first thing I did in the morning was consumed a “shot” consisting of 1 ounce of tart cherry extract and two ounces of Noni. I did this twice a day. After about four or five days of this concoction, I noticed a significant improvement in my knee discomfort as well as overall sense of feeling better. As with any nutritional supplement, the benefits of both are much more than pain relief.
Montmorency tart cherry extract (MTCE) is an excellent anti-oxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it has heart protective benefits. MTCE also does not raise blood glucose levels, so this can be taken if you have diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with any “inflammatory condition” such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or Lupus, then you definitely need to consider adding this to your daily treatment regimen to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Noni juice has many benefits in addition to pain relief. It helps decrease the formation of xanthine oxidase, which is the enzyme responsible for producing uric acid, responsible for gout. I find that many of my patients with OA also have other forms of arthritis, gout being one of them. It can help lower blood glucose levels, which can really help if you have diabetes. It can also help improve your gut motility, which improves digestion and absorption of nutrients. I tend to recommend on average 1 ounce twice a day, and then slowly increase. There is one aspect of Noni to be aware of – it has high potassium content. If you have kidney disease you may need a lower dose. This is something to speak with your healthcare practitioner if this pertains to you.
Note that the taste of liquid Noni is an acquired one. One of the reasons I like mixing the tart cherry with the Noni is that the cherry extract for me does an excellent job of masking the bitterness of the Noni. If you have OA, consider adding this “liquid combo” to your regimen. The dosing schedule is easy to remember: 1 ounce (a shot) of each twice a day to start.
by Dr. Rich Snyder, DO
- Kuehl KS, Perrier ET et al. “Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010 May 7;7:17.
- Palu A, Deng S et al. “Xanthine oxidase inhibiting effects of noni (Morinda citrifolia) fruit juice.” Phytotherapy Research. 2009 Dec;23(12):1790-1
- Schumacher HR, Pullan-Mooar S et al. “Randomized double-blind crossover study of the efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.” Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Aug;21(8):1035-41.
- Wang MY, West BJ et al. “Morinda citrifolia (Noni): a literature review and recent advances in Noni research.” Acta Pharmologica Sinica 2002 Dec;23(12):1127-41.