Black currant fruits
Specification & Spread
Black current — Ribes nigrum L.
Gooseberry family — Grossulariaceae
It is a branched shrub 1-1.5 (up to 2) m tall with alternate trifoliate or palmatilobate fragrant leaves with glands on the veins.
The flowers are small, widely bell-shaped, greenish-purple, gathered by 5-10 in drooping brush. The fruit is a spherical and multi-seeded berry which is purple-black in colour.
It blooms in May - June, the fruits ripen in July - August.
Spreading. It grows in forest zone of the European part of Russia, Siberia, the Caucasus. It is cultivated everywhere.
Habitat. It grows on moist rich soils in wet forests and on their outskirts, along the banks of rivers, lakes, outskirts of swamps, on floodplain meadows, singly or in groups.
Currant fruits are rich in ascorbic acid (up to 570 mg%). It contains vitamins of group B,
substances with P-vitamin activity (flavonoids) - up to 1.5%, carotenoids, sugar (mainly glucose, fructose), organic acids (citric, malic).
There are also found:
- tannins (up to 0.5%),
- pectins (up to 1%),
- anthocyanins (cyanidin, delphinidin) and its glycosides,
- essential oils.
There are a significant amount of ascorbic acid in currant leaves (up to 250 mg%).
Harvesting and storage of raw materials
Harvesting. The fruits are harvested in the summer in the ripening phase. It is picked with hands and put in small containers which protect from damage.
Security measures. The shrub is protected from breaking branches and bark damages as this inhibits the plant growth.
Drying. It is dried on a hot day - in attics under an iron roof, spreading fruits in a thin layer on bedding or on frames covered with gauze. Besides, it is dried in special dryers. The first drying is for 4-5 hours at a temperature of 35-40 °C, then it is dried at 55 -60 °C. Storage. It is stored in a dry, well-ventilated place.
External signs of raw materials
The raw material consists of wrinkled rounded berries up to 1 cm in diameter. At the apex it has a cone-shaped calyx residue. There are numerous small angular seeds in the pulp of the fruit.
The colour is black or dark purple.
The smell is weak, peculiar and fragrant.
The taste is sour.
Properties and application
The pharmacological properties of black currant
In medicine the application of black currant and its preparations is associated with the presence of vitamins, organic acids, pectins and essential oil.
Vitamins C and P are used for the treatment and prevention of scurvy and other hypo-and avitaminosis and in the complex of therapeutic measures for various diseases which is associated with bleeding.
The fruits have diaphoretic, diuretic action, stimulate the activity of the gastrointestinal tract.
Application of black currant
When diseases of the circulatory system atherosclerosis, catarrhal and other infectious diseases and exhaustion, the fruits of black currant are used as a multivitamin agent, also as a decoction or in a fresh way.
Black currant leaves are applied as:
- with urolithiasis,
Fresh berries of black currant possess:
- astringent action,
- whet the appetite, apply when:
- peptic ulcer disease,
Vitamins are well-preserved in frozen black currants.
Contradicted with individual intolerance, thrombophlebitis, increased acidity, hepatitis, suffered strokes and heart attacks.