Black Currant

Other Name(s):

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.

Women use black currant seed oil for treating symptoms of menopause, premenstrual syndrome, painful periods, and breast tenderness. It is also used for boosting immunity.

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.


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Uses & Effectiveness

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.
  • Arthritis.
  • Gout.
  • Alzheimer's disease.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Liver problems.
  • Mouth and throat inflammation.
  • Coughs.
  • Colds.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Bladder stones.
  • Wounds.
  • Insect bites.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate black currant for these uses.

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).

Side Effects

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.

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.


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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.

Some phenothiazines include chlorpromazine (Thorazine), fluphenazine (Prolixin), trifluoperazine (Stelazine), thioridazine (Mellaril), and others.


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.

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