Berries are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, rich in antioxidants to support a healthy body inside and out. One such berry that's been gaining steam lately is black currant.
Native to northern Europe and Asia, the fruit of the black currant plant (Ribes nigrum) is a berry with a deep purple color that's almost black in appearance. The fruit and seeds along with the leaves and flowers of the plant are used to produce medicine.
If these violet-hued berries have peaked your interested, here are 10 great reasons to give black currant a try:
1. Immune System Booster -- This fruit is rich in antioxidants, also known as anthocyanins, which give the berries their dark color. These antioxidants strengthen the immune system, helping the body fight off free radicals that can damage cells as well as threats of viral and bacterial infection. This is especially important for older individuals, whose immune system may have weakened with age.
3. Cough Suppressant -- A common ingredient in throat lozenges, black currant can help calm a cough associated with the common cold or whooping cough by decreasing inflammation and irritation. Black currant seed is rich in gamma linoleic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that's responsible for this action.
4. Pain Reliever -- Due to its previously mentioned anti-inflammatory benefits, black currant seed oil is also recommended for those who suffer from gout, arthritis or other forms of joint pain. It can help reduce the swelling and discomfort caused by inflammation in the joints.
5. Urinary Tract Health Aide -- Black currant has been used for centuries to help protect the urinary tract from infection and operating properly thanks to its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also have a gentle diuretic/cleansing effect to promote healthy urine flow and treat painful stones in the bladder.
6. Oral Inflammation Reducer -- Individuals suffering from other forms of inflammation in the throat or mouth, like ulcers, can experience relief with black currant seed oil, to reduce the inflammation and help fight infection. You can find capsules, teas and juices.
7. Flavor Enhancer -- If you're not into adding another supplement, and able to find some in your area, you can certainly eat black currants. There are a variety of products made from them to enjoy, and the flavor is said to be similar to that of a grape, but pretty sour. That's why those lozenges taste so good! According to the New York Times, black currants go well with pork or game animals, for the foodies out there.
8. Hair Saver -- Dr. Andrew Weil suggested adding a black currant supplement to your routine if you're suffering from hair loss. The GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, may stop loss and encourage re-growth of healthy hair. He recommended 500 mg, taken twice a day, and giving the supplement between six to eight weeks to work.
9. Hypertension Corrector -- According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMM), the GLA found within black currant oil may also help lower high blood pressure. However, further tests are needed to determine if it's the oil on its own or whether it would need to be combined with a source of omega-3 fatty acids, like fish oil.
10. Skin Condition Fighter -- Also because of its anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antioxidant properties, black currant oil can benefit those suffering from inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, possibly reducing severity and occurrence of outbreaks.
While black currant doesn't have any known side effects, you should still consult your doctor before adding a supplement to your daily routine, especially if you're being treated for any of the medical conditions listed above, or are pregnant or nursing.
Shop for a variety of black currant products at eVitamins and we'll be back next week with another great supplement recommendation!
Products you may like:
New Chapter Immune Take Care Why you may like this product? Give your immune system an
added boost with the
combination of black currant
and elderberry found in this
product from New Chapter. Each
capsule provides 50 mg of
black currant fruit extract
and only needs to be taken
once a day for optimal
Solaray Black Currant GLA Hexane Free Why you may like this product? To reduce inflammation and
support healthy tissues like
the skin, hair and connective
tissues within the joints,
this product from Solaray
provides 600 mg of pure black
currant seed oil per softgel.
With twice as much gamma
linoleic acid (GLA) as evening
primrose oil, you can reduce
inflammation and improve a
variety of conditions.
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