Thursday, March 29, 2012

Black Currant/Blackcurrant

Other names: Cassis, quinsy berries


Black currant is a shrub with edible berries that can be found in Northern/Central Europe and Asia.  It has woody branches that grows to a height of 2 meters.  The leaves are deeply lobes and used to improve the
taste and color or Vodka.  The flowers are small and white.  During summer the black currant berries are formed which are small (1 cm in diameter), dark purple to black in color, glossy skin and contains several seeds.

Black currants are added to make cordial, liqueur and beer.  It is very sweet and made into jellies, jams, juice and ice cream or added to desserts, sauces, and salad dips.

Parts used:
Fruits, leaves and seeds (for oil).

Medicinal properties and uses:

Black currants are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and vitamins especially Vitamin C. It also contains essential fatty acids like Gamma Linoleic Acid(a very rare Omega-6 essential fatty acid), flavonoids,
proanthocyanidins, cassis polysaccharide (CAPS) and anthocyanins that inhibit the enzymes Cyclo-oxgenase 1 and 2, and reduce inflammation and gives relief to arthritis. Black currants are also rich in potassium having
twice the potassium of bananas.

The oil from the seed of the black currant has linoleic, alpha-linolenic, gamma-linolenic, which are essential fatty acids the our body cannot produce on its own.

Black currant leaves is known for its diuretic property. The leaves are dried to make a tea and used againsts:

Urinary problems
Bleeding gums

Black currant juice are high in Vitamin C and is used to treat:

Sore Throats

Black Currant Seed Oil (BCSO) contains gamma-linolenic acid which is a powerful anti-inflammatory used to treat:

Pain Relief

The black currant seed oil is also effective for treating a wide variety of disorders like:

High Blood Pressure

Black currant may also help prevent cancer.