Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) hardy shrub with edible small berry, sweet and sharp taste. Ribes nigrum grows abundant under preferable full sun and a rich well — drained soil, but does well in partial shade. The grapes are native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia. The stems and leaves of blackcurrant have an indigent smell similar to a cat’s urine (ebroadcast.com – Web Guide: Encyclopedia – Contents (Blackcurrant). Flowers of the blackcurrant are four to six millimeters in diameter with five reddish — green to brownish petals. (Wikipedia – Blackcurrant). Plant harvest time is two years and yields nine pounds per bush. Blackcurrant fruit known stain easily and not very easy to get out of clothes (Try using a vanish stain remover or oxy clean). Blackcurrants traditionally used for pies, jam, puddings and ice cream (sometimes mixed with other fruit, including apples). Stimulate berry growth, do not prune the first year but in the future do prune in the winter months. Blackcurant prefer slightly acid soil — around pH 6 to 6.5. During late frost, yield berries diminished and flowers of the plant can be damaged. Dry regions of the United Kingdom offers optimal growing environment for blackcurrant (GARDENACTION website – Growing Blackcurrants).
Blackcurrant was prohibited to be grown in the United States, until 1966, concern spread tree disease – White Pine Blister Rust (Most destructive disease of five needle pines in North America which threatened lumber industry – During the next growing season, an infection spreads down the needle and into the twig, where slight swelling and yellowing develops.), federal ban on growing currants was shifted to individual States. In 2003, several states, including Vermont, New York, Connecticut and Oregon lifted the ban on growing blackcurrant (Wikipedia – Blackcurrant).
Blackcurrant contain nutritional properties including high level of natural antioxidants compounds (anthocyanins), attributed to treat a range of illnesses from heart disease to cancer. During the middle – Ages (medieval period) herbalists recommended blackcurrants to treat bladder stones, liver disorders and coughs. During World War Two, children given cordial (sweet non — alcoholic fruit flavored drink) composed of currants containing high Vitamin ‘C’ content (Substituting oranges which were almost impossible to obtain). British fruit drink Ribene contains blackcurrants to increase Vitamin ‘C’ content. Blackcurrants contain more Vitamin ‘C’ then oranges, ensuring tissue growth and repair. Blackcurrant seed oil contains polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma — linolenic acid (GLA) (pdrhealth.com – Blackcurrant Seed Oil), beneficial as cholesterol — lowering agent or cardio-protective. Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children should avoid use of blackcurrant oil unless recommended by a physician because of possible health concerns. Naturally caffeine free drinks made from the leaves and fruit of the blackcurrant bush. Tea made from leaves of blackcurrant increase flow of urine and induces heavy perspiration and affective to treat rheumatic diseases (health.learninginfo.org/herbs/blackcurrant.htm). According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, blackcurrant compared to blueberry contains three times more Vitamin ‘C,’ six times that of calcium, three times that of potassium, and magnesium, and twice that of zinc. Also, blackcurrant contains much more Vitamin ‘A,’ folic acid and iron than blueberry. In Russia, Blackcurrant leaves are infused with slightly sweetened vodka make deep yellowish — green beverage with a sharp flavor and an astringent taste. In the United Kingdom, blackcurrant juice drinkers often prefer to add Cider to make a drinker called Cider Black. Some beer — drinkers prefer to add blackcurrant to Guinness beer provide a sweeter taste (Answers.com – topic – blackcurrant).
Published January 31, 2007, (Stuff.com.nz) ‘Are blackcurrants edible superstars?’ by Tim Cronshaw – Dave Eder: A blackcurrant grower had a mate with Parkinson disease who could not write his name and shuffled unsteadily on his feet. After taking blackcurrant — extract pills for eighteen months, he could write legibly and walk without a problem. Mr. Eder said: “He’s cleared to fly and can travel anywhere in the world”. In the article by Tim Cronshaw wrote according to scientists: ” What we believe is happening, and there is evidence in rat trials, is that new neurons are being created in the brain akin to a brain cell. We are creating new brain cells. That’s the only explanation because they are getting better on it.” According to GlaxoSmithKline blackcurrant consultant, Barrie Abernethy said the company is not prepared to “fly the flag high yet” until science has validated some of the claims. Also, researchers in Japan are studying the effect of orally extract blackcurrant, beneficial on the skin and may reduce sun damage (freshplaza.com – New Zealand: Food for through over blackcurrants). Reported in the online edition of Daily Mail (2007) -Scientists at Scottish Crop Research Institute near Dundee in Scotland analyzed the blackcurrant, and evaluated the compound of the dark fruit known to help prevent ailments including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, eye strain, and diabetes. Compared to blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and pomegranates, the blackcuranat most nutritious. Researcher Derek Stewart said: “The combined beneficial composition and impact in health — related studies mean the blackcurrants can claim to be the number one super fruit.”