Black current (Ribes nigrum) is a delicious fruit-bearing shrub found in Europe and northern Asia. The fruits are round, with a diameter of around 0.5-1 cm, black, perfumed, with a pleasant, aromatic, slightly sour taste.
The leaves, seeds and berries are used medicinally. The seeds are pressed to release oil.
Containing tannin, rich source of vitamin C, potassium salts, and essential oil, the black currant is a good diuretic, anti-sclerotic, pectoral, sudorific, stomachic, anti-diaretic, anti-colitic, anti-stringent, hypotensive, and anti-rheumatic. Its leaves have a great diuretic capacity; they have anti-rheumatic effects, favoring the elimination of uric acids.
Experts comment that black currants are one of the richest sources of anthocyanins (powerful antioxidants) that prevent cancer, joint inflammation, kidney stones, urinary infection and cardiovascular diseases. Anthocyanins are also responsible for giving color to the black currants. Other than anthocyanins, soluble and insoluble fibres, and energy.
- The fruits, leaves and buds of the black currant have multiple effects in treating and preventing various diseases. Because it contains vitamin C, the black currant is used in treating cardiovascular diseases, preventing cardiac insufficiency and vascular accidents, it increases the resistance of fragile sanguine capillaries, reduces arterial hypertension. Also, it intensifies weak peripheral circulation caused by menopause, cleans the blood of toxins, wastes and cholesterol.
- The black currant diet is useful against rheumatism, arthritis and gout. The plant stimulates digestion, stimulates the functioning of the liver, pancreas, spleen and kidneys. Because of its diuretic qualities, the plant is useful for people suffering from oliguria.
- Being astringent, this fruit is useful against diarrhea and dysentery.
- Black currants are also useful against tiredness and overwork.
- The diet with these fruits is also recommended to plethoric and lymphatic people and to women who suffer from circulation disorders due to menopause.
- Black currant is recommended as a systemic anti-inflammatory agent with actions similar to those of natural cortisone, in cutaneous, acute and chronic allergies, bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, and diabetic retinopathy.
- In external use, the mixtures from black currant fruits are used for treating abcess, dermatosis, eczemas, insect stings or hits. The mixtures from buds are used in urticaria.
- Black currant is used in juice and in cooking. Black currant fruits can also be consumed in form of syrup, jelly, jam, fruit jelly, marmalade or liqueur.
- Oil from the seeds can be used in cosmetics.
- The plant has been used for dyeing. The leaves produce a yellow dye and the berries produce a blue or violet dye.
- The black currant tea is prepared from 2 teaspoons of leaves cut into small pieces, soaked in 250 ml of boiled water. It is consumed 3 cups per day, between meals, in long diets of 5-6 months.
- Natural currant juice is obtained from 400 fruits and 4 big leaves. It can be consumed simply or diluted in 200-500ml water, 3-4 times a day. It has benefic effects against digestive inflammations and febrile states. Throat washes can be made with it more times a day for treating inflamed tonsils and throat aches.
- Black currant cream is prepared out of fresh fruits. In a glass bottle or jar, layers of fruit and sugar are alternately added. This is done until the receptacle is filled. It is then closed hermetically and kept macerating for a period of four months. It is agitated once per day. At the end of the four months it is filtered.
- Black Currant Cheese is delicious and is made by putting equal parts of stalked currants and loaf sugar into a pan; place over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time. Remove all scum and simmer for an hour, stirring often. Rub the fruit through a hair sieve, return the puree to the pan, and stir until it boils, then put it into small pots and cover like jam.
- Infusion of leaves is made from 10 grams to a liter of boiled water, it is consumed daily in the morning and evening, before going to sleep.
- Decoct made from fresh or dried leaves is prepared from 30 grams of leaves to a liter of cold water. It is boiled on a weak fire to the first bubbling; it is then infused for 10 minutes and consumed in 3-4 cups a day. Combined with cataplasms of fresh crushed leaves, it is applied as an external dressing against wounds and other ulcerations.
- Currant syrup is obtained through cold pressing of fruit, being consumed daily in doses of 4-6 tablespoons at intervals of 2 hours. It has energizing effects, assures the general fortification of the body, is good for children, senior citizens and ill persons in recovery.
Cautions: Pregnant women should not take blackcurrant without the guidance of an experienced care giver.