Background and general
Blackcurrant is very strong in antioxidants.
Native to northern Europe, the blackcurrant or blackcurrant is a shrub measuring between 1 m and 1.50 m. Blackcurrant was unknown to the ancient Greeks andRomans. The word « blackcurrant » can be confusing since the shrub and its fruits both have the same name. Blackcurrant has been cultivated since the 16th century. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Abbé Bailly de Montaran in his treatise entitled « The admirable properties of Cassis », praises its multiple medicinal virtues, more or less real elsewhere. It is then euphoria in France throughout the 18th century to find a much more modest place in the French pharmacopoeia of the time. Blackcurrant has long been used in herbal medicine, but the first written records of its use are relatively recent and date from the 12th century with Hildegard of Bingen, a German nun and botanist who advocated the use of blackcurrant in the treatment of gout.
For medicinal use, the buds are harvested in early spring, the leaves in June and the fruits are ripe. The fruit is used for circulation (venous return) and the leaf for the treatment of joint problems. In herbal medicine, blackcurrant supplements are mainly used to relieve rheumatism. Blackcurrant can be used internally or externally. It has leaves with five lobes and serrate edges, flowers in corollas and, of course, small fruits falling in clusters.
The leaves of blackcurrant
The leaves are the part of blackcurrant most used in herbal medicine. To do this, they are dried and finely crushed. Very strong in antioxidants, they are granted antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects. Anti-hypertensive and vasodilatory activity is also reported. These activities allow blackcurrant to alleviate joint pain, rheumatism, arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout. Its phenolic compound also helps lower blood pressure and helps regulate blood circulation. It also reduces the risk of osteoarthritis. Blackcurrant leaves help fight against certain allergic phenomena such as asthma and hives.
In the 1990s, extensive pharmacological studies were conducted to prove the interest of blackcurrant leaf in the field of painful joint manifestations. In 2003, the European Scientific Cooperation in Phytotherapy recognized the traditional use of blackcurrant as a « complementary treatment to relieve pain due to rheumatism ». In 2010, the European Medicines Agency recognized the traditional use of blackcurrant leaves and berries « to relieve minor joint pain and to increase the amount of urine as a complementary treatment for urinary tract infections.
Buds and fruits
Buds, on the other hand, participate in the elimination of waste and toxins and can help with weight loss. Blackcurrant is also an anti-bacterial. Berries contain four times more vitamice C than orange. By stimulating the immune defenses, berries (juice, syrup) help to treat us from flu-like conditions and colds. Fruits further improve visual acuity and the presence of pectins allows them to be good anti-diarrheals. The seeds being very rich in gamma-linoleic acid, they have a real interest in the treatment of deficiencies in polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega 6. The consumption of blackcurrant seed oil can thus bring an improvement, certainly moderate but not negligible, of the immune system as well as a reduction in blood pressure. Blackcurrant seed oil can also be used as a moisturizer when applied to the skin. Fruits further improve visual acuity and the presence of pectins allows them to be good anti-diarrheals. The seeds being very rich in gamma-linolenic acid, they have a real interest in the treatment of deficiencies in polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega 6.
The medicinal virtues of Blackcurrant
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic effects: blackcurrant reduces joint pain, rheumatism, arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout
- Diuretic effect: the buds participate in the elimination of waste and toxins; they can help with weight loss.
- Blood thinner: blackcurrant leaves lower blood pressure and regulate blood circulation
- Anti-stress effect: by promoting the secretion of cortisol, the leaves facilitate the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and help fight against fatigue and depression.
- Antibacterial effect: Blackcurrant berries contain a lot of vitamin C (four times more than orange), which stimulates immune defenses and cures flu and colds.
Calming properties: in gargles, blackcurrant leaves treat canker sores and other throat ailments (hoarseness, sore throat). Floral water calms skin irritations and allergies.
USUAL THERAPEUTIC INDICATIONS
Joint pain, osteoarthritis, arthritis and gout, by the action of flavonoids. Fatigue, depression: blackcurrant is a general tonic. Flu-like conditions, colds, sore throat and mouth ailments, thanks to vitamin C and tannins from the berries.
OTHER PROVEN THERAPEUTIC INDICATIONS
Mild diarrhea, thanks to the tannins contained in the berries; skin irritations; allergic reactions.