Other Names of Redcurrant: Red currant, Ribes rubrum

Useful Parts of the Plant: Fruit

Redcurrant plant is a deciduous shrub, native to the western parts of Europe. Redcurrant belongs to the genus Ribes and family Gooseberry. The redcurrant bush grows up to a height of 1-1.5 meters. Its leaves are yellowish-green in color and are arranged spirally on the stems in bunches of five. The redcurrant berries are most popularly used in making jams and jellies. Raw fruit has a characteristic delicious taste and is an essential part of salads in many kitchens in European countries. In addition to its culinary uses, redcurrant is also known for its excellent health benefits and medicinal properties.

Nutritional Information and Properties

Redcurrant fruit is a good source of dietary fiber and several other essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin E, beta-carotene, iron, phosphorus, copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and manganese. The facts and figures for the nutritional values of redcurrant berries (per 100 gm) are as listed below:

  • Energy: 56 calories
  • Total fat: 0.2-0.25 gm
  • Total sugar/carbohydrate: 8 gm
  • Protein: 1.25 gm
  • Vitamin C: 20-22 mg
  • Dietary fiber: 3.5 gm
  • Iron: 1.25 mg
  • Sodium: 1.5 mg
  • Calcium: 30-33 mg
  • Phosphorus: 40-44 mg
  • Potassium: 270-275 mg

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses

  • Being a rich source of several antioxidant minerals, regular intake of raw redcurrant fruit helps in the detoxification of your body as well as in the elimination of the free radicals produced as a result of biochemical reactions in the body. This, in turn, helps prevent the initiation of chain reactions, thereby averting certain serious diseases, including cancer.
  • As the redcurrant berries contain dietary fiber, regular consumption helps in keeping your digestive system healthy and prevents the disorders such as constipation. It adds bulk to your food and prevents irritable bowel syndrome, by regulating the bowel movements.
  • Redcurrant helps control blood pressure by regulating the circulatory system, and thereby reduces the risk of heart attack and other coronary disorders.
  • Eating redcurrant berries regularly is known to prevent epileptic seizures in chronic patients.
  • Intake of tea made of dried redcurrant leaves is very beneficial in relieving the symptoms of gout and arthritis.
  • Redcurrant also helps prevent gum diseases that cause loosening, reddening, and inflammation of gums. It also prevents tooth decay. Intake of redcurrant also helps in the treatment of mouth ulcers and mouth infections. It may be used as a gargling solution.
  • Redcurrant, being a rich source of vitamin C, helps boost the immune system of the body, thereby preventing a host of ailments. It helps maintain the general health of the body.
  • Redcurrant is also known to induce perspiration, which helps remove waste materials, excessive salts, and toxins by way of sweating.
  • Redcurrant has also proven effective in relieving certain skin ailments including eczema and acne.
  • Redcurrant helps purify blood and enhance the texture of the skin.
  • Redcurrant, being a rich source of fiber and being low on calories, helps in the prevention and management of obesity.
  • Redcurrant is also a potent appetizer. If eaten before meals, it prepares the stomach for digestion by promoting the secretion of digestive juices.
  • Redcurrant is also an emmenagogue. It regulates the menstrual cycle and also helps relieve the pain and bloating experienced during menstruation.
  • Redcurrant is also a diuretic which helps in removal of waste materials from the body by inducing frequent urination. As such, it helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Redcurrant berries are supposed to be anti-inflammatory in action and are effective against ailments like the common cold, flu and fever.
  • Redcurrant may be used to heal wounds, thereby preventing septic infections. It may also be used to cure mild burns.
  • Redcurrant is also a mild relaxing and soothing agent.