Black Currant Seed Oil, Cassis, European Black Currant, Feuille de Cassis, Gadelier Noir, Groseille Noir, Grosella Negra, Huile de Pépins de Cassis, Nabar, Paper, Ribes Nigri Folium (Black Currant Leaf), Ribes Nero, Ribes nigrum.
Black currant is a plant. People use the seed oil, leaves, fruit, and flowers to make medicine.
Black currant berry is used for coughs and Alzheimer's disease.
Black currant dried leaf is used for arthritis, gout, joint pain (rheumatism), diarrhea, colic, hepatitis and other liver ailments, convulsions, and disorders that cause swelling (inflammation) of the mouth and throat. Black currant dried leaf is also used for treating coughs, colds, and whooping cough; disinfecting the urine; promoting urine flow; treating bladder stones, and as a cleansing tea.
Some people apply black currant leaf directly to the skin for treating wounds and insect bites.
In foods, black currant berry is used to flavor liqueurs and other products. 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 effectiveness of the immune system, making it more able to fight off disease. Black currant seed oil and leaves might also help decrease swelling.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- High cholesterol. Some research suggests that taking black currant seed oil can reduce total cholesterol and blood fats called triglycerides. It also seems to increase “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
- High blood pressure. Early research suggests that taking black currant seed oil by mouth does not reduce blood pressure in adults with borderline high blood pressure. However, it appears to reduce stress-related increases in blood pressure in adults with borderline high blood pressure.
- A specific type of seasonal allergies (Japanese cedar pollinosis). Early research suggests that taking black currant by mouth does not improve allergy symptoms in people with Japanese cedar pollinosis.
- Muscle fatigue. Early research suggests that taking black currant by mouth reduces muscle fatigue or stiffness after doing repetitive tasks.
- Artery disease (peripheral arterial disease, PAD). 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). Some research suggests that taking black currant seed oil by mouth reduces joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
- Circulatory problems (venous insufficiency). Early research suggests that taking black currant by mouth reduces pain and swelling in women with circulatory problems associated with taking birth control.
- Menopause symptoms.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Painful menstrual periods.
- Breast pain.
- Boosting the immune system.
- Alzheimer's disease.
- Liver problems.
- Mouth and throat inflammation.
- Fluid retention.
- Bladder stones.
- Insect bites.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Black currant is LIKELY SAFE when used as food, or when black currant berry or seed oil is used appropriately as medicine. Not enough is known about black currant dried leaf to be able to rate its safety.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking black currant if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
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.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Black currant may decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking black currant along with medications used for lowering high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low. Do not take too much black currant if you are taking medications for high blood pressure.
Some medications for high blood pressure include nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), isradipine (DynaCirc), felodipine (Plendil), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others.
Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Black currant might slow blood clotting. Taking black currant along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Medications used during surgery (Anesthesia)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
There is concern that black currant might interact with medications used during surgery. There is one report of seizure during surgery in someone who took a supplement containing the fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid. Black currant also contains gamma-linolenic acid. Be sure to tell your healthcare professional what natural medicines you are taking before having surgery. To be on the safe side, you should stop taking black currant at least 2 weeks before surgery.
PhenothiazinesInteraction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Taking black currant with phenothiazines might increase the chance of having a seizure in some people.
The appropriate dose of black currant for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for black currant. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Agostoni, C., Riva, E., Biasucci, G., Luotti, D., Bruzzese, M. G., Marangoni, F., and Giovannini, M. The effects of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on plasma lipids and fatty acids of treated phenylketonuric children. Prostaglandins Leukot.Essent.Fatty Acids 1995;53(6):401-404. View abstract.
Allaert, F. A., Vin, F., and Levardon, M. [Comparative study of the effectiveness of continuous or intermittent courses of a phlebotonic drug on venous disorders disclosed or aggravated by oral, estrogen-progesterone contraceptives]. Phlebologie. 1992;45(2):167-173. View abstract.
Byars, M. L., Watson, J., and McGill, P. E. Blackcurrant seed oil as a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of inflammatory disease. Biochem.Soc.Trans. 1992;20(2):139S. View abstract.
Carmen Ramirez-Tortosa, M., Garcia-Alonso, J., Luisa Vidal-Guevara, M., Quiles, J. L., Jesus, Periago M., Linde, J., Dolores, Mesa M., Ros, G., Abellan, P., and Gil, A. Oxidative stress status in an institutionalised elderly group after the intake of a phenolic-rich dessert. Br J Nutr 2004;91(6):943-950. View abstract.
Deferne, J. L. and Leeds, A. R. Resting blood pressure and cardiovascular reactivity to mental arithmetic in mild hypertensive males supplemented with blackcurrant seed oil. J.Hum.Hypertens. 1996;10(8):531-537. View abstract.
Diboune, M., Ferard, G., Ingenbleek, Y., Bourguignat, A., Spielmann, D., Scheppler-Roupert, C., Tulasne, P. A., Calon, B., Hasselmann, M., Sauder, P., and . Soybean oil, blackcurrant seed oil, medium-chain triglycerides, and plasma phospholipid fatty acids of stressed patients. Nutrition 1993;9(4):344-349. View abstract.
Garbacki, N., Angenot, L., Bassleer, C., Damas, J., and Tits, M. Effects of prodelphinidins isolated from Ribes nigrum on chondrocyte metabolism and COX activity. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch.Pharmacol. 2002;365(6):434-441. View abstract.
Knox, Y. M., Suzutani, T., Yosida, I., and Azuma, M. Anti-influenza virus activity of crude extract of Ribes nigrum L. Phytother.Res. 2003;17(2):120-122. View abstract.
Larsen, T. O., Frisvad, J. C., Ravn, G., and Skaaning, T. Mycotoxin production by Penicillium expansum on blackcurrant and cherry juice. Food Addit.Contam 1998;15(6):671-675. View abstract.
Lengsfeld, C., Deters, A., Faller, G., and Hensel, A. High molecular weight polysaccharides from black currant seeds inhibit adhesion of Helicobacter pylori to human gastric mucosa. Planta Med. 2004;70(7):620-626. View abstract.
Leventhal, L. J., Boyce, E. G., and Zurier, R. B. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with blackcurrant seed oil. Br.J.Rheumatol. 1994;33(9):847-852. View abstract.
Matsumoto, H., Nakamura, Y., Hirayama, M., Yoshiki, Y., and Okubo, K. Antioxidant activity of black currant anthocyanin aglycons and their glycosides measured by chemiluminescence in a neutral pH region and in human plasma. J.Agric.Food Chem. 8-28-2002;50(18):5034-5037. View abstract.
Moller, P., Loft, S., Alfthan, G., and Freese, R. Oxidative DNA damage in circulating mononuclear blood cells after ingestion of blackcurrant juice or anthocyanin-rich drink. Mutat.Res. 7-13-2004;551(1-2):119-126. View abstract.
Mulleder, U., Murkovic, M., and Pfannhauser, W. Urinary excretion of cyanidin glycosides. J Biochem Biophys Methods 2002;53(1-3):61-66. View abstract.
Nakaishi, H., Matsumoto, H., Tominaga, S., and Hirayama, M. Effects of black current anthocyanoside intake on dark adaptation and VDT work-induced transient refractive alteration in healthy humans. Altern Med Rev 2000;5(6):553-562. View abstract.
Netzel, M., Strass, G., Janssen, M., Bitsch, I., and Bitsch, R. Bioactive anthocyanins detected in human urine after ingestion of blackcurrant juice. J Environ.Pathol Toxicol Oncol 2001;20(2):89-95. View abstract.
Nielsen, I. L., Dragsted, L. O., Ravn-Haren, G., Freese, R., and Rasmussen, S. E. Absorption and excretion of black currant anthocyanins in humans and watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits. J.Agric.Food Chem. 4-23-2003;51(9):2813-2820. View abstract.
Norred, C. L. and Brinker, F. Potential coagulation effects of preoperative complementary and alternative medicines. Alt Ther 2001;7(6):58-67.
Suzutani, T., Ogasawara, M., Yoshida, I., Azuma, M., and Knox, Y. M. Anti-herpesvirus activity of an extract of Ribes nigrum L. Phytother.Res. 2003;17(6):609-613. View abstract.
Watson, J., Byars, M. L., McGill, P., and Kelman, A. W. Cytokine and prostaglandin production by monocytes of volunteers and rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with dietary supplements of blackcurrant seed oil. Br.J.Rheumatol. 1993;32(12):1055-1058. View abstract.
West, N. X., Hughes, J. A., Parker, D. M., Moohan, M., and Addy, M. Development of low erosive carbonated fruit drinks 2. Evaluation of an experimental carbonated blackcurrant drink compared to a conventional carbonated drink. J.Dent. 2003;31(5):361-365. View abstract.
Young, J. F., Nielsen, S. E., Haraldsdottir, J., Daneshvar, B., Lauridsen, S. T., Knuthsen, P., Crozier, A., Sandstrom, B., and Dragsted, L. O. [Polyphenolic antioxidants in fruit juice. Urinary excretion and effects on biological markers for antioxidative status]. Ugeskr.Laeger 3-6-2000;162(10):1388-1392. View abstract.
Anon. EPOGAM Capsules. G.D. Searle (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd. January 1990. Available at: http://home.intekom.com/pharm/searle/epogm.html
Bitsch I, Janssen M, Netzel M, et al. Bioavailability of anthocyanidin-3-glycosides following consumption of elderberry extract and blackcurrant juice. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 2004;42:293-300. View abstract.
Dalgård C, Nielsen F, Morrow JD, et al. Supplementation with orange and blackcurrant juice, but not vitamin E, improves inflammatory markers in patients with peripheral arterial disease. Br J Nutr 2009;101:263-9. View abstract.
Dejima K, Ohshima A, Yanai T, et al. Effects of polysaccharide derived from black currant on relieving clinical symptoms of Japanese cedar pollinosis: a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 2007;71:3019-25. View abstract.
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
Erlund I, Marniemi J, Hakala P, et al. Consumption of black currants, lingonberries and bilberries increases serum quercetin concentrations. Eur J Clin Nutr 2003;57:37-42. View abstract.
Fa-lin Z, Zhen-yu W, Yan H, et al. Efficacy of blackcurrant oil soft capsule, a Chinese herbal drug, in hyperlipidemia treatment. Phytother Res 2010;24 Suppl 2:S209-13. View abstract.
Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal, 4th ed., Binghamton, NY: Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
Furse RK, Rossetti RG, Seiler CM, Zurier RB. Oral administration of gammalinolenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties, modulates interleukin-1beta production by human monocytes. J Clin Immunol 2002;22:83-91. View abstract.
Guivernau M, Meza N, Barja P, Roman O. Clinical and experimental study on the long-term effect of dietary gamma-linolenic acid on plasma lipids, platelet aggregation, thromboxane formation, and prostacyclin production. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 1994;51:311-6. View abstract.
Kenny FS, Pinder SE, Ellis IO, et al. Gamma linolenic acid with tamoxifen as primary therapy in breast cancer. Int J Cancer 2000;85:643-8. View abstract.
Lyall KA, Hurst SM, Cooney J,et al. Short-term blackcurrant extract consumption modulates exercise-induced oxidative stress and lipopolysaccharide-stimulated inflammatory responses. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2009;297:R70-81. View abstract.
Matsumoto H, Takenami E, Iwasaki-Kurashige K, et al. Effects of blackcurrant anthocyanin intake on peripheral muscle circulation during typing work in humans. Eur J Appl Physiol 2005;94:36-45. View abstract.
Menendez JA, Colomer R, Lupu R. Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (18:3n-6) is a selective estrogen-response modulator in human breast cancer cells: gamma-Linolenic acid antagonizes estrogen receptor-dependent transcriptional activity, transcriptionally represses estrogen receptor expression and synergistically enhances tamoxifen and ICI 182,780 (Faslodex) efficacy in human breast cancer cells. Int J Cancer 2004;10;109:949-54. View abstract.
Menendez JA, del Mar Barbacid M, Montero S, et al. Effects of gamma-linolenic acid and oleic acid on paclitaxel cytotoxicity in human breast cancer cells. Eur J Cancer 2001;37:402-13. View abstract.
Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.
Rose DP, Connolly JM, Liu XH. Effects of linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid on the growth and metastasis of a human breast cancer cell line in nude mice and on its growth and invasive capacity in vitro. Nutr Cancer 1995;24:33-45. . View abstract.
Shaw D, Leon C, Kolev S, Murray V. Traditional remedies and food supplements: a 5-year toxicological study (1991-1995). Drug Saf 1997;17:342-56. View abstract.
Tahvonen RL, Schwab US, Linderborg KM, et al. Black currant seed oil and fish oil supplements differ in their effects on fatty acid profiles of plasma lipids, and concentrations of serum total and lipoprotein lipids, plasma glucose and insulin. J Nutr Biochem 2005;16:353-9. View abstract.
Traitler H, Winter H, Richli U, Ingenbleek Y. Characterization of gamma-linolenic acid in Ribes seed. Lipids 1984;19:923-8.. View abstract.
Wu D, Meydani M, Leka LS, et al. Effect of dietary supplementation with black currant seed oil on the immune response of healthy elderly subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:536-43. View abstract.