For a long time, blackcurrants (Ribes nigrum) were called “the forbidden fruit” in the United States. Farmers thought that the tart berries, native to Europe and Asia, helped spread a fungus that killed pine trees. Due to the ban, many Americans have missed out on these nutritious berries.
Blackcurrants have a high concentration of:
- polyphenolic substances
- vitamin C
- gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
Many health foods and drinks in the United Kingdom use these berries. Their tartness also lends itself to mixing with other fruits, especially in jams and juices.
People use the whole blackcurrant plant, from the leaves to the seeds, for many conditions. The most common form is blackcurrant seed oil, but you can also make infusions and teas out of the plant’s leaves, fresh or dried.
People take blackcurrant to help their:
- blood flow
- immune system
- eye health
- gut health
- kidney health
Blackcurrant extracts are shown to reduce risk factors for metabolic conditions such as type 1 and 2 diabetes.