Introduction of Black Currant:Quinsy berries or Ribes nigrum fruit.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Black Currant, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Ribes nigrum L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Black Currant berry and leaves, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Black Currant(Quinsy berries).

Ribes nigrum:several blackish Black Currant berries English Name: Black Currant.
 Latin Name: Ribes nigrum L.
 Common Names: European black currant, quinsy berries, Squinancy berries.
 Property and flavor: cool or neutral in nature, tastes sweet and sour.

 Brief introduction: This thornless shrub belongs to the red currant family. It has wrinkly lobed leaves with distinctive yellow dots on the underside, small campanulate (bell-shaped) flowers, and brownish-black fruits that are widely used in jams, liqueurs, and juices. The leaves and berries are used medicinally.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Black Currant as the fruit of the species (1). Ribes nigrum L. It is a plant species of the Ribes genus, the Grossulariaceae family (currant family). The fruit and leaves are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Ribes nigrum L.


 Ribes nigrum:growing plant with blackish berries and green leaves Botanical description: Ribes nigrum is a deciduous shrub, it grows up to 1~2 meters high; Branchlets are dark gray or taupe, glabrous, the bark is usually indehiscent, young branches are brown or tan, pubescent with varying density, covered by yellow glands, spineless; Buds are long egg-shaped or oval, 4~7 mm long and 2~4 mm wide, with sharp apex, several tawny or brown scales, pubescent and yellow glands.

 Ribes nigrum:thin branch with light green leaves Leaves are orbicular (subrotund), 4~9 cm long and 4.5~11 cm wide, cordate at the base, dark green at the top, slightly pubescent when young, shedding when old, pubescent and yellow glands at the bottom, palmately 3-5-lobed, with wide triangular lobes, sharp apex, terminal lobes are slightly longer than lateral lobes, and irregularly coarsely jagged edges; Petiole is 1~4 cm long, pubescent, occasionally with sparse glands, sometimes with a few feather hairs at the base.

 Ribes nigrum:growing plant with small white flowers Flowers are hermaphroditic, 5~7 mm in diameter when flowering; The raceme is 3~5 cm long, drooping or curved, with 4~12 flowers; Inflorescence rachis and pedicels are pubescent, or mixed with sparse yellow glands; Pedicel is 2~5 mm long; Bracts are small, lanceolate or ovoid, 1~2 mm long, the apex is tapering, pubescent; Calyx is yellowish-green or pale pink, pubescent and yellow gland; Calyx tube is nearly campanulate (almost bell-shaped), 1.5~2.5 mm long and 2~4 mm wide; Sepals are tongue-shaped, 3~4 mm long, 1.5~2 mm wide, rounded apex, explanate or reflexed; Petals are egg-shaped or oval, 2~3 mm long, 1~1.5 mm wide, the apex is blunt; Stamens are nearly as long as petals, anthers are oval, with nectaries; Ovary is sparsely pubescent and glandular; Style is slightly shorter than stamens, apex 2-lobed, sparsely indehiscent.

 The fruit is orbicular (subrotund), 8~10 mm in diameter, black when mature, with sparse glands. Its flowering period is from May to June, the fruiting period is from July to August.

 fruiting plant of Ribes nigrum with blackish berries hanging on branch Ecological environment: Ribes nigrum is mainly distributed in the north of the Asia-Europe continent and north part of the American continent, and it is also cultivated in other regions, including Australia.

 Growth characteristics: Ribes nigrum are photophobic, tolerant of cold and barren soil, the root system is developed. It grows under spruce forest, larch forest, or mixed coniferous and broad-leaved forest in the wet valley bottom, ditch edge, or slope land. In the second year of planting, it will bear fruit, and in the fifth year, it will enter the full fruit period. Fewer diseases and insect harm. The main diseases are powdery mildew, and the main pests are clearwing moths and bud mites. Among them, powdery mildew is more harmful, which has a great influence on yield and quality.

 several black currant berries of Ribes nigrum Characters of herbs: Generally, the mature period of black currant berry is in the middle and late July, and the harvest time of different varieties is also different. Generally, the best harvest time is 53~58 days after flowering for thin-skinned fruits and 58~63 days after flowering for thick-skinned fruits. At this time, from the outside, the fruits are basically all colored. After harvesting, the fruit should be kept in a cool area to ensure its freshness and integrity. Black currant fruit is rich in vitamins, sugars, and organic acids, especially vitamin C, which is mainly used to make jam, fruit wine, and drinks.

 Black currant leaves are the leaves of Ribes nigrum collected during or shortly after the flowering season. Leaves are harvested from cultivated crops during or shortly after flowering. They are air-dried in the shade or carefully at a maximum temperature of 60 °C (Celsius, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit).

 Ribes nigrum:a cluster of black currant berries with several green leaves Pharmacological actions: ①.Antifungal property; ②.vitamin C and GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) source; ③.antioxidant; etc.

 Related studies found the flavonoid of black currant show antifungal properties, its treating diarrhea function is attributed to the presence of the astringent tannin and abundant vitamin C. It contains considerable quantities of vitamin C and is useful for treating flu, colds, and other illness associated with chilling, heating the juice directly will destroy the vitamins. As the seed oil contains gamma-linoleic acid, it can be converted into a precursor of the hormone prostaglandin in the body, and GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) can help to relieve conditions of arthritis, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), high blood pressure, and heart disease. Similar to the other two oil containing GLA (gamma-linoleic acid), Evening primrose oil and Borage oil. Other studies proposed the berry could protect teeth and gums, protect the liver, improve vision and eyesight, and anti-aging as it contains vitamin C and other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, flavonoids, phenolic components, quercetin, catechin, and polysaccharides.

 Black currant berry is rich in protein and carbohydrates, with glucose accounting for 43% and fructose accounting for 57% of the total carbohydrates. Glucose can directly supply energy to the human body, and fructose can not only supply energy but also inhibit the consumption of protein in the body.

 Anthocyanins from black currant berry can inhibit platelet coagulation caused by collagen, arachidonic acid, epinephrine, adenosine triphosphate, etc., thus preventing thrombosis and arteriosclerosis caused by platelet coagulation in blood vessels.

 The total phenolic content of black currant berry juice reaches 2,863 mg/100 g, and its antioxidant capacity reaches 27.86 TEAC mmol/100 g (TEAC: Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity: a method for the assessment of antioxidant activity), which endows it with the functions of scavenging free radicals and delaying aging.

 Black currant berry is rich in organic acids, mainly citric acid, which can excrete lactic acid accumulated in the blood and inhibit the production of new lactic acid. In addition, it can stimulate appetite, restore physical strength, improve fatigue, relieve constipation, soothe the nerves and relieve annoyance.

 Medicinal efficacy: Traditionally the herb was used in Europe in folk medicine for controlling diarrhea, as a diuretic, to reduce arthritic and rheumatic pains, and to induce perspiration in cases of cough, flu, and chills. Today the black currant juice is used as a nutritious and refreshing drink, or as a tonic for recovery from an illness, the black currant oil is used to treat a wide range of ailments for it is a source of gamma-linoleic acid. Black currant leaves were used in Europe in folk medicine for arthritis, gout and rheumatism, diarrhea, colic, jaundice and liver ailments, painful urination, urinary stones, convulsive coughs, and whooping cough, and externally used for wounds and insect bites; Black currant fruit was used in folk medicine to relieve colds, hoarseness and coughs, diarrhea and stomachache, other inflammations of the oral cavity, dried berries are used for bladder complaints, venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids, bruising and petechiae.

 Administration of Black Currant (Quinsy berries): 
 
Reference: Administration Guide of Black Currant (Quinsy berries)
Herbal classic books: The typical dosage is recommended 600 to 6,000 mg daily, black currant oil is recommended in 200~400 mg doses daily, and the oil contains 14~19% GLA (gamma-linoleic acid). Four 250 mg capsules are advised twice for atopic eczema, a cup of black currant juice several times daily is advised for diarrhea patients, and a tea made of 1~2 teaspoons of chopped leaves per cup of water is recommended several times a day. Black currant leaf tea is advised to prepare with 1 to 2 heaped teaspoons (about 2~4 grams) of black currant leaves in 150 ml boiling water, and strain after 10 minutes. Black currant leaf poultice is advised to prepare with freshly rubbed leaves or leaves soaked in warm water are dried and used as a compress, place dried herb on wounds and fresh rubbed leaves on insect bites, the herb should be protected from light and moisture for storage. Black currant fruit syrup is recommended 5~10 ml by tablespoon, several times daily, or eaten as jelly or sweets, fruit gargle is advised to take with the juice and equal parts of warm water.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Europeans have long been drinking black currant juice and taking other berry and leaf preparations, there is no apparent ill effect. But herbalists warned that people with fluid accumulation because of heart or kidney insufficiency should not take the leaf preparations. There are no studies on the safety of black currant oil over the long term, but other GLA-rich oils' preliminary findings suggest that these kinds of supplements are relatively safe. Black currant leaves are contraindicated in edema resulting from reduced cardiac and renal activity.

 

 
  

 

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References:
  • 1.Introduction of Black Currant:Quinsy berries or Ribes nigrum fruit.

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