Name: Black currant – black currant
Black currant (Ribes nigrum); black currants; Saxifragaceae family; black currant
Wild blackcurrant is the progenitor of all cultivated varieties and forms of this species. This wonderful plant is grown almost everywhere: in private plots, vegetable plots and front gardens. And how else? Blackcurrant fruits are useful as a medicine and delicious as a dessert. The berries taste sweet and sour, but there are varieties with a high sugar content, aromatic. True, not everyone likes the smell of black currants, but this is a matter of taste. Fruits are harvested in reserve: jam is made, jelly, syrup, jelly, pastille are made. Ripe berries are dried by pre-immersing them for 1-2 minutes. in acidified boiling water. Currant leaves are indispensable for salting and pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, for flavoring various drinks.
The height of the currant bush is 0.6-1.8 m. The leaves of the plant are alternate, petiolate, three- or five-lobed, serrated at the edges. They are bare on top, with golden speckled glands on the bottom. The flowers are bisexual, regular, bell-shaped, lilac-pink or white-pink, in drooping 5-10-flowered panicles. They bloom in May-June. The fruit is a black (sometimes brown-green, brown, brown-purple) berry that ripens in July. In natural conditions, black currant grows scattered and in small groups, usually along streams and rivers, in coastal thickets, and also among bushes in wet places. It is widespread in Western and Eastern Siberia (from the steppes to the forest tundra). Occurs in Yakutia and Transbaikalia. In the middle zone of Russia, the plant in its wild form occurs much less often. In Ukraine, it grows in the Carpathians and the Carpathians, in Polissia, in the forest-steppe zone.
Black currant has been known since ancient times, more than 100 varieties of this plant are cultivated.
Leaves, buds and berries are used for medicinal purposes. The buds are harvested in the spring, the leaves are harvested before the fruits ripen, and the berries are harvested when they are fully ripe. Leaves and buds are dried at a temperature of 30-35 °C, then gradually raised to 60-65 °C. Berries are used fresh or dried, avoiding overdrying.
All types of medicinal raw materials obtained from black currant are used only in folk medicine.
The chemical composition of the leaves and fruits of the plant is very rich. The leaves contain tannins, essential oil (up to 0.7%), flavonoids, organic acids, vitamin C, emulsin enzyme, other complex organic substances and mineral salts. Buds have almost the same composition. Berries are rich in sugars (up to 16%), contain fatty oil, almost 4% organic acids (malic, citric, tartaric and others), vitamin C (up to 400 mg%), B vitamins, vitamins D, E, K, P , A, emulsin enzyme, pectin substances and trace elements (boron, iodine).
All types of plant raw materials have astringent, diuretic, diaphoretic properties and are good tonics. As an auxiliary, black currant is recommended for gout, rheumatism, various arthritis, atherosclerosis, urolithiasis, gastritis, diarrhea. It helps with migraines, coughs, colds and sore throats, and it is also useful for chronic tonsillitis. A mixture of leaves of black currant, common blueberry, raspberry and hanging birch (equally) in the amount of 2 teaspoons per glass of boiling water is brewed as tea and drunk in the morning and in the evening. It is an excellent remedy after serious illnesses and with spring hypovitaminosis.
Fresh and dried blackcurrant berries are prescribed for hypochromic anemia, periodontitis, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, glomerulonephritis, heart rhythm disorders and cardioneurosis. Drinks made from berries are useful for colds and infectious diseases. The essential oil contained in the leaves helps to remove uric acid and purine bases from the body.
Russian Siberia is not yet fully covered by the harvest of these healing berries. Specialists-resource scientists calculated that the average yield of black currant in natural places of growth ranges from 50 to 300 kg from 1 hectare, and in the best conditions – up to 1850 kg. Bees collect up to 100 kg of honey from 1 hectare of blackcurrant thickets.
Infusion of leaves. 50 g of raw material per 1 liter of boiling water. Insist for 4 hours. in a closed vessel (porcelain, glass, earthenware), filter. Take 1/2 cup 4-5 times a day for inflammation of the bladder.
Infusion of leaves on wine. 20 g of fresh leaves per 1 liter of dry white wine. Insist 2 weeks. Take 100 ml for gastritis with reduced acidity.