WHAT EXACTLY IS BLACKCURRANT?
The Forbidden Fruit
The blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is a woody shrub, grown worldwide for its healthful berries. While blackcurrant is extremely popular in Europe, most Americans have never heard of this nutritious berry. In 1911, blackcurrants were federally banned in the United States as they were thought to be a vector for the white pine blister rust and thus threatened the timber industry. It came to be known as “the forbidden fruit” until 2003 when states individually started to lift the ban. Since blackcurrants weren’t available for almost a century, blueberries and strawberries became the berries of choice for Americans.
Sought out for their powerful health benefits, blackcurrants are rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals. They contain four times the vitamin C of oranges, twice the antioxidants of blueberries, and twice the potassium of bananas. As evident by their very dark purple color, blackcurrants contain anthocyanins which are potent antioxidants.
did you know THAT blackcurrants and elderberries offer similar health benefits? LABORATORY STUDIES HAVE SHOWN blackcurrant extract to possess antiviral activity (common cold and flu viruses) by inhibiting a virus’s ability to infect a cell and reproduce within it.*
- Knox, M.Y., Suzutani, T., Yosida, I., Azuma, M. Anti-influenza virus activity of crude extract of Ribes nigrum L. PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH 2003, 17: 120-122.
- Noguchi, A., Takeda, T., Watanabe, T, Yasui, H. Inhibitory effect of Cassis extract against influenza virus infection. JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE, SHINSHU UNIVERSITY 2008, 44 No. 1.2.
- Kazufumi Ikuta, Katsumi Mizuta and Tatsuo Suzutani. Anti-Influenza virus activity of two extracts of the blackcurrant (Ribes Nigrum L.) from New Zealand and Poland. Fukushima Journal of Medical Science 2013, Vol. 59, No.1: 35-38.*
These studies suggest that blackcurrant juices, syrups and jams can be used for the prevention of cold, influenza and other virus infections.
The taste of blackcurrant is like no other berry — sweet, earthy and tart, with a fresh and cleansing aftertaste. Once they try blackcurrant, our customers tell us they crave this unique SWEET-tartness!