The Power of Black Currant Oil , 1 Comment

You might have noticed our article the other day on the nutritional powerhouses that are black currants (if you missed it, catch up HERE). To follow it, we've decided to share with you the powers of black currant oil. In Northern and Eastern Europe, this oil has been used for centuries, perhaps because this is where the black currant naturally grows. Besides the oil, which we are about to delve into, and the berries, which our previous article talked about, the plant is also cultivated for its leaves. They are a popular item in making teas and infusions, and can be used fresh or dried (the most common purpose of this tea is to ward off diarrhea). But the oil, which is pressed from the seeds of the berries, has many purposes.

The thing that makes black currant seed oil so effective is the presence of high amounts of an essential omega-6 fatty acid, called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This particular component is also found in more well-known oils, such as evening primrose and borage seed. GLA is beneficial for our bodies, not only as a beautifying agent, but also for health in general. Studies have shown that is quite effective in fortifying the immune system, because GLA curtails the synthesis of prostaglandin in our bodies (prostaglandin E 2 inhibits T cell function, resulting in a lowered immune response). Regular supplementation of black currant oil in our diets can significantly boost our body's natural abilities to fight off pathogens, as a result of a stronger immune system. It can also aid in dealing with inflammation in the body, specifically, with joint pain and stiff/sore muscles. The National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health conducted studies on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and found that GLA supplements were so potent in relieving the discomfort that these patients suffered, that some were even able to lower their pain medications!  

 And the boons don't stop there. Alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3) is also present in high quantities in black currant oil, enhancing its powers and making it well-equipped to remedy an abundance of beauty woes! Suffer from dandruff? Dry, thinning hair with split-ends? Black currant oil can help with that. Experience acne flare-ups? Black currant oil to the rescue! Have weak, brittle nails? You guessed it, black currant oil! Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it is suited to combat a host of problems. But, as with all things, proper care is needed when taking it as a dietary supplement. It is recommended that adults not exceed 1000 mg (or 1 gram) of it per day, and that children should be limited to 500 mg. It can be purchased at many health stores, and is often featured in Ukrainian/Polish/Russian markets. Perhaps those Slavs have been onto something all along? Try it, and unleash your most beautiful, healthy self!

- Maria Vasylivna