Currant Health and Nutrition
Blackcurrants have been used to affect human health since at least the Middle Ages in Europe and have a long history in Russia and North America as well. Native American tribes used various parts of the blackcurrant plant to treat swellings as well as kidney, uterine and stomach ailments. There is record of German apothecaries administering cordials for lung conditions and recommending wild blackcurrants for use in treating bladder stones and liver disorders. Interestingly, there is at least one scientific study that suggests substantiation for this use. In the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, European physicians intuitively recognized the benefits of blackcurrants’ high vitamin C content in preventing scurvy and as a useful tonic. During this period, blackcurrant was also indicated for various infections, including urinary tract infections, inflammation and intestinal ailments. Research surrounding the high anthocyanin content and specific polysaccharide composition of blackcurrant is now turning up evidence that may support some of these traditional uses.