BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL (RIBES NIGRUM):
The Black currant (Ribes nigrum) is a woody shrub in the family Grossulariaceae grown for its piquant berries. It is native to temperate parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia.
The Black currant is native to northern Europe and Asia. It was in cultivation in Russia by the 11th century when it was present in monastery gardens and also grown in towns and settlements. Cultivation in Europe is thought to have started around the last decades of the 17th century.
Back in the early 1900’s the Black currant was banned from growing. The ban was enacted when it was discovered that Black currants helped to spread the tree disease White Pine Blister Rust, which threatened the then booming U.S. lumber industry. In 1966 the ban was lifted so individual states could ban or not. Since the ban took place Black currant is not abundantly known like in Europe or the UK. In the 19th Century it was used widely in the US. It was found that many of the Native Americans used Black currant for many issues.
Ribes nigrum, the Black currant, is a medium sized shrub, growing to 1,5 metres. In midsummer the green fruit ripens to an edible berry up to 1 cm in diameter, very dark purple in colour, almost black, with a glossy skin and a persistent calyx at the apex, and containing several seeds dense in nutrients (notably Vitamin C). An established bush can produce about 4.5 kilograms of fruit each year.
Black currant seed oil is an ingredient in cosmetics and skin preparations, often in combination with vitamin E.
The fruit has very high vitamin C content (several times the recommended daily dietary reference intake per 100 g), good levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and vitamin B5, and a broad range of other essential nutrients.
Black currant seed oil is also rich in many nutrients, especially vitamin E and several unsaturated fatty acids including alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid. Oil produced from Black currant seeds contains 13% omega-3 (ALA) and 17% omega-6 gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
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