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Black currant (Ribes nigrum)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Alpha-linolenic acid, anthocyanin, anthocyanidin glycosides, anthocyanoside, astragalin, BCA, BCSO, black currant, black currant berry, black currant juice, black currant power, black currant seed oil, casis (Spanish), cassis (French), cassistee, European black currant, European black currant, Feuilles de Cassis, gamma-linolenic acid, Gichtbeerblaetter, groselha preta (Portuguese), groselheira preta (f) (Bot.), Grossulariaceae (family), isoquercitrin, kurokarin extract, linoleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acid, phenolic compounds, polyphenolic antioxidants, proanthocyanidins, prodelphinidins, quercetin, Quinsy berries, red currant, Ribes nero, Ribes nigri folium, Ribes nigrum, Ribes rubrum, Ribis nigri folium, Rob, Saxifragaceae (family), schwarze Johannisbeerblaetter (German), schwarze Johannisbeere (German), Squinancy berries, solbaerbusk (Danish), stearidonic acid, svart vinbar (Swedish), tutin.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • The black currant shrub is indigenous to Europe and parts of Asia and is particularly popular in Eastern Europe and Russia. Traditionally, black currant fruit has been cultivated mainly for dietary and confectionary purposes. Today, it is grown across the northern hemisphere in areas with predominantly temperate climates. It is harvested and prepared for commercial sale for both dietary and medicinal purposes. Due to differences in soil, the vitamin and nutrient content of black currant may vary depending on where it was grown.
  • Few studies have been conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of black currant seed oil. For this reason, use and dosage are based primarily on traditional uses and anecdotal evidence. Efficacy results from studies and clinical trials have been mixed and safety concerns seem to be minor in non-allergic people.
  • Black currant is comprised of approximately 17% omega-6 gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is converted by the body into prostaglandins, and 13% omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Because of black currant's high essential fatty acid content, researchers believe that it may be effective in the treatment of inflammatory conditions and pain management, as well as in regulating the circulatory system and increasing immunity.
  • With a vitamin C content estimated to be five times that of oranges (2,000mg/kg), black currant has potential dietary benefits. Black currant is also rich in rutin and other flavonoids, which are known antioxidants.
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Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.