BLACKCURRANT (Ribes nigrum L)
Bush of up to 2 m high; pale and hard branches. Fresh leaves very aromatic, palmeate, alternate, biserrate, divided in 3-5 triangular lobes of toothed edges and plenty of resinous glands on the back. Flowers originated in the leave axil, green outside and reddish-yellow inside and 5 petals, form terminal hanging dense racemes, hermaphrodite and sometimes, unisexual, epigynous with a tubular hypanthium. Fruits are black berries, sweet and sour flavored, and have pieces of the calyx adhered. It belongs to the Saxifragaceae (Grossulariaceae) family.
It is indigenous of central and western Europe and northern Asia. In Spain, its natural habitat are the mountains in the north, northeast and center of the Iberian Peninsula. It grows spread through riverside forests, muddy, rich soil. It is cultivated in mild weather zones gardens. Black currant blooms in spring. Leaves are harvested with medicinal purposes in June and fruits are harvested ripe and when black in summer. Fruits can be eaten fresh or in jellies and jams or their juice in syrups.
Leaves. Fruits are also employed and sometimes sprouts and essential oil from the seeds, too.
> Rheumatism, arthritis, arthralgia and bone-joint inflammation.
> Hyperuricemia, gout, hyperazotemia (excess of nitrogen substances in blood).
> Kidney disorders that require diuresis increase: urinary infections (cystitis, urethritis, uretheritis, pyelonephritis) urinary lithiasis prevention, renal lithiasis (kidney stones), etc.
> Oliguria, edemas and overweight due to water retention.
> Depurative therapies.
> Arterial hypertension.
> Unproductive cough, laryngitis, common cold.
> In folk medicine it is recommended in case of: gastritis, biliary dyskinesia.
> Leaves were used in ancient times as a substitute of tobacco. Before grinding them, it is recommended to pick out the healthiest and driest ones.
> Skin lesions, wounds, skin or buccal ulceration, paradontopathy, burns, pharyngitis, dermatitis, erythema, itching.
> Corneal ulcerations, blepharitis, conjunctivitis.
> Insects bites (rubbin leaves on the bite).
> Vein deficiency, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, phlebitis prevention and thrombophlebitis, lower limbs edema by venous statis.
> Capillary permeability, capillary fragility.
> Retinitis pigmentosa, progressive myopia, hemeralopia (vision degradation during day-light).
> Improves night-vision (prescribed along with blueberry).
> Cerebral-vascular accidents.
> Loss of appetite, febrile and infectious diseases convalescences.
> Rheumatism, gout and kidney stones.
> Common cold and cough.
> At high dosages, the fruit extract might accelerate intestinal transit.
> Atherosclerosis prevention.
> Premenstrual syndrome and menopause symptoms.
> Dermatitis, ichthyosis, dryness and skin aging.