Black Currant, Kitchen Confection or Cancer Fighter?

BLACK CURRANT: Is an edible berry of a shrub which is exceptionally high in antioxidants and vitamin C.  This shrub usually grows from 1-2 meters and can be found in Northern/Central Europe and Asia.  The berry itself is around 1 cm in diameter, has a very distinctive black color and glossy skin.  The berry was used in the UK during World War II because of their richness in Vitamin C as many foods that were rich in Vitamin C such as oranges were nearly impossible to find.

Black Currants are often favored in kitchen usage because of their astringent taste, which adds flavor to many dishes and beverages.  It is often used for jellies and jams as well as the leaves being used to improve the taste and color of Vodka in Russia.

Black Currants also contain many rare nutrients like GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid) which is a very rare Omega-6 essential fatty acid and MAOI (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) which make it useful in therapy for depression.

The berry has phytochemicals in the fruit that have been demonstrated in laboratory experiments to inhibit inflammation mechanisms suspected to be at the origin of heart disease, cancer, microbial infections and some neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The seed oil is also rich in Vitamin E and several unsaturated fatty acids.  Black Currant seed oil ingestion by mothers reduced atopic dermatitis in their breast-fed newborns that were supplemented with the oil over two years in a human pilot study.

Used for reducing fever, stomachache, diarrhea, treating migraine headaches, fatigue, gingivitis, tonsillitis, gout, Fibromyalgia, sore joints, arthritis and renal disorders of the kidney and bladder.  It neutralizes, dissolves and flushes away acid crystals and debris in the joints while at the same time repairing the joints. Black Currant is very useful in treatment of kidney and bladder infections along with urine retention.

COMMON NAMES: Ribes nigrum, Quinsy Berry.

PARTS USED: Berries.

Ribes nigrum, Quinsy Berry

Scientific classification

Kingdom:        Plantae

(unranked):      Angiosperms

(unranked):      Eudicots

(unranked):      Core eudicots

Order:             Saxifragales

Family:            Grossulariaceae

Genus:             Ribes

Species:           R. nigrum

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