Black currant, also known as black currant or black sarsaparilla, is a shrub that produces very tart berries used in many beverages and foods. It has been used in traditional medicine for its many properties and benefits for the body, for example, in colds or flu and for premenstrual syndrome pain, among others. It has a bittersweet taste, and you can use it in many preparations or even take its fruits alone. Although it is very beneficial and has been used for a long time in Europe to cure some diseases, it also has contraindications for some of its components.
In this FastlyHealarticle, we tell you everything you need to know about the properties and contraindications of black currant.
Table of Contents
Properties of black currant
Nutritional composition of black currant
In the black currant, everything is usable, the most common is the fruit, but the seeds are also used, from which the oil and the leaves are extracted.
For every 100 grams of black currant, there are 63 calories and 15 carbohydrates, and in its composition, we can find many vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamin C, E, and B5, minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. In addition, it contains essential fatty acids, flavonoids, tannins, and pectin.
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is one of the best natural antioxidants. For their part, essential fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the body and, therefore, have to be acquired through food. It contains vitamins of group B, especially B5 (pantothenic acid), which helps in the metabolism of fats and the maintenance of the nervous system, among other properties, and B3 (niacin), which also acts in the production of energy, but also improves the circulation.
Properties and benefits of black currant
Therefore, black currant has a very beneficial composition for the body and therefore has multiple health properties, such as the following:
- Antioxidant: the antioxidant effect can be found in both the leaves and the berries since both are rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid), a natural antioxidant. In addition, it protects the body against damaging toxins.
- Antiviral: since it has numerous antioxidants in its composition, this also makes it a solid antiviral that acts against viral or bacterial infections such as the flu. In addition, it inhibits pathogens related to diseases of the upper respiratory tract, such as streptococci.
- Cancer prevention: although they are called black currants, their color is a dark purple with some bluish tone instead. This characteristic color is given by anthocyanins that slow the growth of cancer cells.
- Anti-inflammatory: it has anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties very similar to cortisone. It is very effective in sore throats, fever, or even prostate problems.
- Counteracts High Blood Pressure: Blackcurrant seed oil can lower blood pressure and help people suffering from hypertension.
- Eliminate circulation problems: it can improve circulation and help regulate blood flow. It protects the blood capillaries and is used as a natural remedy for phlebitis (inflammation of the veins in which blood clots form). It also helps prevent heart attacks and helps in diseases such as chronic venous insufficiency. Improves blood circulation.
- Energizing and anti-fatigue: ascorbic acid (vitamin C) also helps against fatigue, lowering defenses or asthenia due to the change of season. In addition, both vitamin B5 and B3 help in energy production.
- Control diarrhea: the tannins it contains help control diarrhea. In addition, it also improves the digestive tract in general and helps in gastrointestinal diseases.
- Improves immunity: vitamin C helps the immune system and increases defenses. In addition, it also acts as an antiallergic.
- It prevents mental deterioration: it helps decline age, and according to some studies, it can also prevent Alzheimer’s.
- Improves vision: improves vision, especially night vision, due to the action of counteracting capillary fragility.
- Heals wounds: applied topically, the berries can help heal some wounds or even treat insect bites.
How to take black currant
As we have seen, you can take advantage of everything from the current: its leaves, fruit, and seeds. You can use it only medicinally or in some meals. We will see some ways in which you can take black currant.
Its fruits can be used in fruit salads adding other variants. Please do not add more than a handful; it is better to add something less. If you take it this way, you can eat this salad three times a week. Some prepare salty salads and add some loose berries since their taste is not entirely sweet.
As with most fruits, a natural blackcurrant juice can be prepared. To extract the juice, you will need a machine or crush them. It is better not to add sugar and take it on an empty stomach. You can also mix it with other fruits and prepare a very healthy fruit smoothie.
For breakfast, you can make yogurt with black currants or add them to a bowl of porridge (a type of porridge with milk) made with fruit.
The tea blackcurrant is a straightforward recipe to prepare. Boil a liter of water and add 10 to 50 grams of the leaves. Let it rest until cool or warm, and take it to room temperature to take advantage of its properties. If you prepare this infusion, you should not take it more than once a day.
In addition, you can find both capsules and blackcurrant extract in herbalists. In this case, follow the instructions of the specialist or prospectus.
It is recommended that before taking it, you consult with your doctor if you have any disease or condition or are taking other medications.
Contraindications of black currant
Although the properties of black currant are very beneficial, it also has some contraindications. These are the following:
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as gastritis or some gastroduodenal ulcer, can irritate the tannins’ gastric mucosa. It can be alleviated with mucilages. Even if you have heartburn, it is not an excellent option to take it.
- It can cause allergies, so before any symptoms or signs, it is essential to see a doctor.
- In people suffering from hepatitis or thrombophlebitis, excessive and prolonged use can cause blood clotting. In the face of any heart disease, such as severe heart disease, hypertension, or kidney problems, the ingestion should be avoided and, above all, its diuretic use, as it could produce serious consequences.
- In some children depending on their composition. Some gooseberry preparations contain alcohol. Before acquiring them, read the piece well.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.