Black Currant

black currants growing in a branch. Shop is made in the garden.

Among the most nutritious of berries, Black Currants (Ribes nigrum) were once a forbidden fruit in the United States. Native to Europe and Asia, it was believed that the berries spread a fungus that killed pine trees. Fortunately, we know better today and have discovered the many health benefits of this herb. Important compounds and nutrients found in black currant include antioxidants, vitamin C and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

GLA is an unusual fatty acid that is not available in many other dietary sources. It works as an anti-inflammatory and has been used in managing several autoimmune disorders, as well as health conditions where inflammation plays a significant role. Because it’s an adaptogenic herb – meaning it helps support your adrenal system – it can work with your body to modulate the effects of stress.

For nutritional supplementation, black currant is available in tea blends, oil, pill and capsule form. When using black currant medicinally, it can take up to eight weeks to see changes.

Because it can impair blood clotting, produce soft stools and mild intestinal gas in some people, be sure to check with a holistic health provider before adding a black currant supplement to your health regimen.

Black Currant. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty. [Updated July 31, 2012; Reviewed Feb. 10, 2013; Accessed Jan 24, 2014].

Yoshida, Kaori et al. “Black currant anthocyanins normalized abnormal levels of serum concentrations of endothelin-1 in patients with glaucoma” J of ocular pharm & ther : the official journal of the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2013) 29,5: 480-7.Accessed 31 Jan 2019:

Basic report: currants, European black, raw. (2016, May) Accessed 14 Jan 2018:

Bonarska-Kujawa, D., Cyboran, S. Zylka, R., Oszmianski, J. & Klezcynska, H. (2014). Biological activity of blackcurrant extracts (Ribes nigrum L.) in relation to erythrocyte membranes. BioMed Research International. Retrieved 15 Jan 2018:

Duke, J. A. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, Second Edition. (2002, June). – v=onepage&q=blackcurrant diuretic&f=fal

Jankowska-Lech I., Terelak-Borys B., Grabska-Liberek I., Palasik W, Bik W., Wolińska-Witort E. “Decreased endothelin-1 plasma levels in multiple sclerosis patients: a possible factor of vascular dysregulation?” Med Sci Monit. (2015;) 21:1066-71. Published 2015 Apr 13.

Image Credit: Volff/

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