Black Currant

Medicinal Uses and Indications

 

Black currants carry significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins. Scientific studies suggest that consumption of black currants can have potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.

Black currants have high anti-oxidant value (one of the highest value for fruits).They are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C. Research studies have shown that consumption of fruit rich in vitamin C helps the human body develop immunity against infectious agents and also help scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals from the body.

Black currants carry small but significant amount of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such asbeta-carotene, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin levels. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A (vit. A) is essential for normal differentiation and maintenance of epithelial tissues in skin and mucous membranes, vision (retinaldehyde), reproduction (retinol), and embryonic morphogenesis. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Fresh blackcurrants are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1).

They also carry good amounts of mineral iron. Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome oxidase guided cellular metabolism and red blood cell (RBC) production in the bone marrow.

Additionally, the berries are also a very good source of other important minerals like copper, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism.

 

References:

1. Get the facts: Rheumatoid arthritis andcomplementary health approaches. (2012, August) 

2. Potassium and high blood pressure (n.d.) 

3. Rosenblat, M., Volkova, N., Attias, J., Mahamd,R., & Aviram, M. (2010, January). Consumption of polyphenolic-richbeverages (mostly pomegranate and black currant juices) by health subjects fora short term increased serum antioxidant status, and the serum’s ability toattenuate macrophage cholesterol accumulation. Food & Function, 1, 99-109.

4. Vitamin C: Fact sheet for health professionals.(2013, June) 

5. Wu, D., Meydani, M., Leka, L. S., Nightingale, Z., Handelman, G. J., Blumberg, J. B., & Meydani, S. N. (1999, October). Effect of dietary supplementation with black currant seed oil on the immune response of healthy elderly subjects. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(4), 536-543