Blackcurrant, whose botanical name is Ribes nigrum, is a thornless, perennial shrub that is found mostly in northern Asia, central and northern Europe. The blackcurrant plant produces round, purple-black colored berries called blackcurrants. Though all parts of the plant are used in making supplements, it is the oil extracted from the seeds that has the maximum benefits on the overall health of an individual.
Apart from the oil, blackcurrant juice is also taken as a supplement as it also has a number of health benefits. There are also many uses of blackcurrant seed oil as a health supplement since it is a rich source of essential fatty acids like GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid), flavonoids, rulin and vitamin C.
The oil extracted from the seeds of this fruit is loaded with many essential nutrients and compounds that are necessary for the overall health and proper functioning of the body.
- Blackcurrant oil contains anthocyanins (a component that gives color to the fruit), which are a type of antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce the effect of the free radicals in the body.
- This oil also has anti-inflammatory properties which help in treating the pain and swelling caused due to rheumatoid arthritis. Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) is also effective in treating gastritis, which is the inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach.
- Using this oil aids in boosting the immune system of the body. It also helps in the production of prostaglandin, a hormone which keeps a check on blood pressure and reduces the risk of organ inflammation.
- With the regular use of this essential oil, the signs of aging can be reduced, since it is said to have certain anti-aging properties. This oil tends to reduce the production of a hormone called prostaglandin E2. As the body ages, it tends to produce this hormone in excess. Though this hormone is beneficial for other bodily functions, high levels of prostaglandin E2 make the individual look older than his age and more prone to age related disorders.
- It reduces the constriction of blood vessels, keeps a check on the level of cholesterol, thus reducing the chances of heart diseases.
- Another benefit of using this herbal oil is that it acts on the thromboxanes, thus preventing the formation of blood clots.
- Blackcurrant seeds oil is also anti viral in nature thus preventing viral infections like influenza. It also curbs the spread of this harmful virus.
- Certain studies have proved that this oil helps prevent the onset of cancer by controlling the unnecessary growth of cells. The anti-cancer properties in this oil reduces tissue inflammation and stabilizes free oxygen radicals. It is quite effective in controlling breast and colon cancer.
- There are also many benefits of blackcurrants on women's health as it alleviates the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, relieves menstrual cramping, backache and the pain caused due to breast tenderness.
Though there are no reported cases of serious side effects from using this essential oil, some individuals may show certain allergic reactions to this oil: Any changes in the body should be reported to a physician
- Individuals who are on medication like blood thinners, aspirin, and epilepsy medications should avoid using blackcurrant supplements as these may aggravate the condition.
- Blackcurrant oil may also create unwanted interactions with medications for schizophrenia which may increase the chances of seizures.
- Certain individuals may also experience irritation when the oil comes in contact with the skin. To reduce this possibility, the oil can be diluted in sweet almond oil, olive oil or sunflower oil before using.
- Men who are prone to prostate cancer must avoid taking any of the blackcurrant supplements, since omega-6 fatty acids may trigger the uncontrolled growth of prostate tumor cells.
- Some other side effects of using this oil are breathing difficulties, skin rash, swelling and tightening of the throat, etc.
Blackcurrant oil is also considered a perfect supplement for weight loss as it tends to increase the rate of metabolism and helps burn excess fat in the body. However, before consuming any nutritional supplement, always consult an expert or a physician.