The Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is a species of the genus Ribes in the family Grossulariaceae. It is a berry that ripens early, is easy to cultivate and is valued for its high vitamin C content. It is common throughout Europe (mainly in northern and central areas), the Caucasus, Siberia, Central Asia and Mongolia. It mostly grows in damp mixed forests, in coastal undergrowth, on riverbanks and in stream valleys. The soils it prefers are usually deep and rich in humus. It withstands the cold of winter and grows well in shaded areas, but does not like draughts or low humidity. It has been cultivated for its berries since the 17th century. The berries are eaten raw or used to make syrup, jam, wine, juice and more. The leaves are used to preserve a variety of vegetables.
What do blackcurrants contain?
2.5 dl of blackcurrants contain as much vitamin C as a small orange. Research has shown that the quantity of vitamins remains more or less the same when the blackcurrants are processed and preserved. They also contain antioxidants, which improve resistance to illness.
What are the benefits of blackcurrants?
Blackcurrant berries and leaves are used to treat colds, kidney stones and kidney and bladder infections. Blackcurrants improve blood pressure and remove the salts created by joint inflammation. The skins of the berries contain anthocyanin, which gives the berries their red, purple or blue colour and slows down the development of cancer cells. Blackcurrant seeds are rich in vitamin C, carotenoids and phytoncides. The latter are antimicrobial allelochemic volatile organic compounds derived from plants.