Black Currant Seed Oil, Cassis, European Black Currant, Groseille Noir, Grosella Negra, Kurokarin, Nabar, Paper, Ribes Nigri Folium (Black Currant Leaf), Ribes Nero, Ribes nigrum.
Overview InformationBlack currant is a plant. People use the seed oil, leaves, fruit, and flowers to make medicine.
Black currant seed oil is used for high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Black currant berries are used for a group of eye disorders that can lead to vision loss (glaucoma). Black currant seed oil, berries, and dried leaf are also used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
In foods, black currant berry is used to flavor liqueurs and other products such as jams and ice cream. People also eat black currant berry.
How does it work?Black currant seed oil contains a chemical called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Some research suggests that GLA might improve the immune system, making it more able to fight off disease. GLA might also help decrease swelling. Black currant also contains chemicals called anthocyanins, which have antioxidant effects. There is interest in these chemicals to prevent skin aging and wrinkles.
Uses & Effectiveness
Possibly Effective for
- A group of eye disorders that can lead to vision loss (glaucoma). Early research shows that black currant might lower eye pressure in people with open-angle glaucoma who are already taking medicine for glaucoma. It seems to work best in people with glaucoma who are using only one other glaucoma medication. In these people, black currant might lower eye pressure by about 1.5 mmHg. But black currant doesn't seem to lower eye pressure in people with glaucoma who are already taking more than one glaucoma medication.
- High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Some research suggests that taking black currant seed oil can reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol, and blood fats called triglycerides. It also seems to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol.
Insufficient Evidence for
- High blood pressure. Early research shows that taking black currant seed oil by mouth does not reduce blood pressure in adults with borderline high blood pressure. But it appears to reduce stress-related increases in blood pressure in adults with borderline high blood pressure.
- Allergy to Japanese cedar pollen. Early research shows that taking black currant by mouth does not improve allergy symptoms in people with Japanese cedar pollinosis.
- Muscle fatigue. Early research shows that taking black currant by mouth reduces muscle fatigue or stiffness after doing repetitive tasks.
- Narrowing of blood vessels that causes poor blood flow to the limbs (peripheral arterial disease). Early research shows that drinking a mixture of black currant juice and orange juice reduces markers of swelling in people with peripheral arterial disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research shows that taking black currant seed oil by mouth reduces joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Poor circulation that can lead to varicose veins and other conditions (venous insufficiency). Early research shows that taking black currant by mouth reduces pain and swelling in women with circulatory problems associated with taking birth control.
- Alzheimer disease.
- Bladder stones.
- Breast pain (mastodynia).
- Convulsions (seizures).
- Fluid build-up (edema).
- Insect bites.
- Liver problems.
- Lung infections.
- Menopause symptoms.
- Painful menstrual periods (dysmenorrhea).
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Whooping cough.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & SafetyWhen taken by mouth Black currant is LIKELY SAFE when used as food, or when black currant berry, juice, extracts, or seed oil is used appropriately as medicine.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if black currant leaf is safe or what the side effects might be.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if black currant is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Bleeding disorders: Black currant might slow blood clotting. There is some concern that it might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
Low blood pressure: Black currant can lower blood pressure. In theory, taking black currant might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.
Surgery: Black currant might slow blood clotting. There is concern that it might increase the risk of extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking black currant at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
We currently have no information for BLACK CURRANT Interactions.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For a group of eye disorders that can lead to vision loss (glaucoma): 50 mg of black currant anthocyanins has been taken daily for up to 24 months.
- For high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia): Up to 3.6 grams of black currant seed oil has been taken daily for up to 6 weeks.
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- Ohguo H, Ohguro I, Yagi S. Effects of black currant anthocyanins on intraocular pressure in healthy volunteers and patients with glaucoma. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 2013;29(1):61-7. View abstract.
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- Yoshida K, Ohguro I, Ohguro H. Black currant anthocyanins normalized abnormal levels of serum concentrations of endothelin-1 in patients with glaucoma. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 2013;29(5):480-7.View abstract.
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