黑醋栗 (hēi cù lì)
Relative within the gooseberry family, blackcurrant is a real concentrate of Vitamin C. In July and August the blackcurrant shrubs are heavy with clusters of shiny black, dark purple or dark red juicy, sour berries. The leaves are beautiful too, with the intricate shape as if cut out from the paper. Moreover, the leaves are as good for health as the berries.
The berries are high in pectins, tannins, carotene, iron and phosphorus, besides tones of Vitamin C and high concentration of vitamins B and P. It is enough to have 20 blackcurrant berries for a daily intake of vitamin C.
Redcurrant shrubs were brought to Europe from Asia, and it was in Russia and Ukraine where the blackcurrant has started to be cultivated as early as in 11 century.
Originally discovered for its fragrance (berries and leaves have unique aroma), the wild blackcurrant shrubs were taken from forests and grown first in monastery gardens of Kiev, Novgorod, Moscow. It was said that some of the Eastern European immigrants tried to transplant the plant in North America, but it did not adjust as well as at home.
European part of Russia, East Siberia, Central Asia.
Blackcurrant berries and leaves are highly valued for their medicinal qualities. The vitamin-rich berries are powerful boost for immune system. It was shown to alleviate anemia, to strengthen heart and brain function and to enhance eye sight. Blackcurrant berries and leaves are natural remedy colds and coughs. The infusion of leaves is taken to reduce fever, and the black current juice is a great recovery elixir after illness, operation, general exhaustion or strong cough.
Also both leaves and berries have strong antibacterial and detox qualities due to high concentration of pectins. Pectin acid helps to flush out heavy metals and radioactive elements along with cholesterol .
Also, due to its sweet and sour taste and really refreshing aroma, blackcurrant is one of the favourite berries in Russia to make the jams from. The fresh leaves add wonderful flavour to pickled foods and dried leaves make a great vitamin tea in combination with other herbs for cold winter months.
Full of antioxidants blackcurrant is great for tired, dull skin and also has a lightening and balancing effect on complexion.
Blackcurrant seed oil is highly valued as anti-acne skin care ingredient. It is very high in essential fatty acids (Omega 6) and has shown benefits for sensitive, dry, aging and irritated or problem skin.
Leaves of blackcurrant when used as herbal infusion, nourish skin with vitamin C and energize blood circulation.
Very concentrated black currant juice can cause allergic reaction in small children. People with gastro problems, should use blackcurrant in moderation.
Nettle Herb & Blackcurrant Leaf with Manuka Honey & Evening Primrose Oil treatment from Autumn’s Nourishing Line.