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Blackcurrant for health

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Blackcurrant, that little black berry so delicious in jam, is also a plant whose buds, leaves and fruit are packed with health benefits.

Can this plant make a positive contribution to your slimming regime? That’s what we’re going to find out in our article on blackcurrants and their virtues.

Blackcurrant identity card


Scientific name : ribes nigrum
Common names : blackcurrant, black currant
Botanical classification : Grossulariaceae family
Usual forms and preparations : juice, decoction, floral water, mother tincture, capsules

Botanical description of Blackcurrant

Blackcurrant is a shrub native to northern and central Europe, but also found in northern Asia.
This shrub is very common in France, and is found in large numbers, particularly in Burgundy.
Blackcurrant can reach 1m or even 1.50m in height, and produces 5-lobed leaves with serrated edges, on which grow corolla-shaped flowers that produce small, dark, almost black fruits that fall in clusters.


Blackcurrant history and traditional uses

The name blackcurrant derives from “Ribas”, a type of rhubarb grown in Lebanon with the same taste and properties as blackcurrant.

Over there, it’s called rhapontique, or “chelch el-roubas” or “ribes”, but it’s not from the same family as blackcurrant.

The latter, as we know it, is the result of human selection, whereas in ancient times, the plant, apparently quite different from today’s blackcurrant, was reputed to have a very unpleasant taste and smell. It was used in traditional medicine to cure many ailments, including fevers.

Composition and active ingredients

Blackcurrant is made up of numerous substances with multiple benefits.
1. Flavonoids:
Protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
2. Tannins (found mainly in leaves and berries):
Powerful antioxidants, they protect blood vessels and have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral and antidiarrheal properties.
3. Prodelphinidols:
Or prodelphinide, a substance with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral effects.
4. Proanthocyanidins:
Flavonoid compounds that not only play a protective role, but also have the ability to eliminate certain bacteria, particularly those responsible for recurrent urinary tract infections.
5. Vitamin C:
This vitamin is a powerful tonic with anti-oxidant, anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory properties. It also stimulates the immune system and helps regulate blood sugar, glycemia and cholesterol levels.
6. Linoleic acid:
Activates metabolism, increases muscle tissue synthesis, and helps reduce fat deposits in the body, particularly in the abdominal region.
7. Alphalinoleic acid:
This polyunsaturated fatty acid from the omega-3 family produces 2 other omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
They help protect the body against cardiovascular disease, regulate cholesterol and boost the immune system.
8. Gamma-Linoleic Acid:
This is a non-essential omega-6 acid, as it is synthesized by the body.
However, it is not produced in sufficient quantities by the body, and external supplements are necessary.
It contributes to immunity, skin hydration and suppleness, and has anti-infectious and anti-allergic effects.
9. Stearidonic acid:
An omega-3 fatty acid that, like its acolytes, protects the heart and blood vessels.

Blackcurrants also contain potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, niacin and folate.

Properties and medicinal uses of blackcurrant

Blackcurrant has recognized anti-inflammatory properties, and is used to treat respiratory tract infections such as pharyngitis, laryngitis, acute bronchitis, colds and sore throats, as well as inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Its anti-allergic properties make it an excellent remedy for allergic asthma and conjunctivitis caused by allergic viruses.

A cleanser, blackcurrant acts as a powerful diuretic and depurative, and stimulates liver and kidney functions.

Its vitamin C content makes it an excellent ingredient for stimulating immunity and boosting the whole organism.

Blackcurrant is also used to combat varicose veins, heavy legs and hemorrhoids.
It improves digestion, and encourages the proliferation of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which have a beneficial effect on healthy intestinal flora.
In parallel, blackcurrant helps reduce unwanted bacteria, improves transit, and is often recommended in cases of irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease.

Does blackcurrant have slimming properties?

We can start by mentioning blackcurrant’s diuretic and depurative properties, which stimulate and promote the elimination of toxins by natural means.

But it’s its high vitamin C content that really needs our attention.
In fact, vitamin C has the ability to limit fat storage and reduce stress, recognized as a major factor in weight gain.
What’s more, vitamin C contributes to the production of noradrenalin, a hormone that helps to flush fat from cells, increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation.

A 2005 study showed that taking high doses of vitamin C increased fat oxidation, particularly during exercise.
Regular intake of vitamin C is associated with a low BMI.
(Source : NCBI. Department of Nutrition, Arizona State University East, 7001 E. Wiiliams Field Rd., Mesa, AZ 85212, USA. Jonhston CS. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Jun;24(3):158-65).

Recommended dosage of blackcurrant

Blackcurrant juice is perfectly safe to consume in abundance.
However, because of its vitamin C content, it’s best to avoid taking it in the evening, to avoid the risk of insomnia.

To make an infusion, boil 10-20g of dried leaves in 500ml of water for 15 minutes. Take 3 cups a day.
As a macerate, take 50 drops on waking, then 15-50 drops before midday and evening meals. Leave them in the mouth for a few moments before swallowing.

Precautions and possible side effects

Blackcurrant is not recommended for people with high blood pressure.
These diuretic effects may add to the effects of other drugs or supplements with similar properties.
It is therefore advisable to stay well hydrated when taking a blackcurrant-based supplement.

Finally, as a precautionary measure, blackcurrant is not recommended for pregnant or breast-feeding women.

In conclusion

In conclusion, blackcurrant can be a good slimming aid, as part of a balanced diet and physical activity, of course.

In addition to its slimming properties, blackcurrant helps maintain energy levels during dieting, and prevents fatigue and low morale.

Last updated on 5 April 2024.
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