The fruits of the currant nigrum are rich in beneficial properties. Let’s see how to use them for food and as a natural supplement.
Ribes nigrum is a spontaneous shrub, which grows especially in humid and shady woods, in central-northern Europe and Asia. Its fruits , small, black and round, are used both for food purposes and to produce supplements and herbal remedies. In addition to the fruits, the seeds and leaves of the black currant are also used. From the former a very nourishing oil is extracted, also used in cosmetics, while the leaves are used as a phytotherapeutic remedy and to produce the yellow dye.
Ribes nigrum: properties
Like all berries, black currant is very rich in vitamin C and anthocyanosides, water-soluble pigments, which belong to the flavonoid family. Vitamin C is also very useful for improving microcirculation and therefore counteracting capillary fragility, varicose veins, venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids, water retention and cellulite. In addition, it improves vision and prevents the worsening of diseases such as myopia.
The fruits of black currant also contain vitamins of group B (B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6), vitamin E, and mineral salts, especially potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium , but also, in smaller quantities, sodium, iron manganese and zinc. These small but powerful fruits have diuretic, anti-inflammatory, purifying, astringent and anti-allergic properties.
The oil obtained from the seeds, used for both food and cosmetic purposes, is very rich in vitamin E and essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is therefore excellent for lowering LDL cholesterol, the “bad” one , and raising HDL, the “good” one . The oil also has anti-inflammatory and hypotensive properties.
The benefits of black currant: when to take it
What is ribes nigrum used for and how much to use it? The fruits and seeds can be used on many occasions to improve the well-being of the whole organism. They are a cure-all in case of seasonal allergies and, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties, they help in cooling situations. But let’s see better when to take it:
- Seasonal allergies . As just mentioned, black currant almost acts as a natural antihistamine. It strengthens the immune system and manages to control allergic reactions. The advice is to consult your doctor and start taking it (seeds or fruits) some time before the onset of seasonal allergies in order to minimize the symptoms.
- Inflammations . The quality of currants is that of being able to replace cortisone (of course not at the same dose and intensity). The anti-inflammatory characteristics of the fruits and the oil cause the currant to stimulate the creation of natural blood cortisol which soothes the inflammatory states of the body.
- High cholesterol. Black currant purifies the blood and promotes the elimination of toxins, thanks to this characteristic it also helps to counteract the creation of bad cholesterol.
- Dermatitis. The composition of the currant with flovonoids and quercetin, added to the anti-inflammatory characteristic makes it perfect for relieving skin problems such as dermatitis. Also in this case the currants must be taken by mouth and not applied to the skin, however it is always better to ask the doctor for the right prescription.
- Hypertension. Its characteristic as a good diuretic also helps in controlling blood pressure. Taking it daily is the secret to having visible results, however you must be very careful not to exceed the dosage.
Ribes nigrum: contraindications
The side effects of ribes nigrum occur only if the quantities are exceeded. In fact, it could cause problems in case of low blood pressure, because it helps to lower it further.
More attention should be paid to supplements and phytotherapeutic products, which have a very high concentration of active ingredients. For dosages it is always necessary to contact the doctor, who must also be informed about any pathologies and drugs in use. Furthermore, supplements and herbal teas should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Ribes nigrum: uses and how to take it
Black currant fruits can be eaten like any other berries. Currant oil can also be used for food purposes , as well as cosmetic (of course, it must be pure).
Furthermore, in herbal medicine there are many products based on fruits, seeds and leaves, such as black currant in drops, currant nigrum mother tincture or black currant juice, used to combat diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol, allergies, circulatory problems and many other diseases already mentioned above.
The red currant belongs to the same family as the ribes nigrum: a fruit with many other properties to discover!