Many people use black currant oil for its high vitamin and antioxidant content, which can have a variety of great health benefits.
What is Black Currant Oil?
Black currant oil is made from the seeds of the black currant plant scientifically known as Ribes nigrum. This widely used oil is extracted through a cold-pressing extraction method. The berries of the plant are known to be rich in polyphenols and vitamins, as well as certain active components that can affect neurological and cardiovascular health. More specifically, this seed oil contains gamma-linolenic acid, a very important omega-3 fatty acid that has numerous effects on overall health.
The oil is bright yellow, but it doesn’t have any odor, which is somewhat unique for a seed oil. It is often used as a medicinal oil, rather than as a culinary ingredient, primarily because it can be expensive, and the excessive intake of the oil can have negative side effects. However, when used responsibly, this oil should deliver positive results to most users.
Black Currant Oil Benefits
The major benefits of black currant seed oil relate to its ability to do the following:
- Treat arthritis
- Strengthen immunity
- Reduce severity of menstruation symptoms
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve skin health
- Boost hair health
- Treat acne
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Improve heart health
Let us discuss them in detail below.
The rich anthocyanin content, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and omega 6 fatty acids in the oil help in reducing inflammation, joint pain, and pain related to arthritis. It is also effective for reducing stiffness, soreness, and damage to the body.
With high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, this oil is an ideal remedy for the skin. Gamma-linolenic acid is well known to reduce inflammation in the skin, while also minimizing the signs of aging, thanks to its antioxidant quality. This can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and blemishes.
When you apply this oil to your hair, the various antioxidants and moisturizing components will make your locks full and healthy again. It can reduce inflammation and cure any infections that may be causing hair loss, while also strengthening the hair you have and reducing symptoms of split ends.
Black currant oil is rich in potassium and GLA, which helps in reducing blood pressure, thereby promoting heart health. The GLA present in this oil helps lower platelet clumping in the blood vessels and also prevents cell damage in the heart. It also helps in improving the heart blood flow and reduces overall peripheral resistance.
Many people who suffer from dry eyes have a lack of healthy fatty acids in their diet. By occasionally using this oil in your health regimen, you can relieve yourself of dry itchy eyes once and for all.
This oil is able to impact the hormonal balance in the body, which is particularly important for women who are going through the menstrual cycle. Premenstrual symptoms can include mood changes and painful cramping or bloating, but this oil can help to ease those common side effects.
Topically applying this omega-3-rich oil to the face is one of the best ways to reduce the inflammation of acne. Be sure to dilute the oil in a carrier oil, and then dab the oil onto the inflamed patches of the skin. This can speed healing and eliminate any underlying bacterial infections.
When consumed in moderate quantities, this oil can help to lower blood pressure, due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. This will help protect you against atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes, as well as coronary heart diseases.
This oil is known to lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the body, which can add another layer of cardiovascular protection, and also reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome.
Black Currant Oil Dose
There are various uses of black currant oil, but when it is used medicinally, the typical dose is approximately 500 milligrams twice a day for no more than 2 months. Children should take half the dose of adults, and only under the supervision and permission of a doctor.
While there are obvious benefits to using the oil, research on extended, regular use is lacking, and generally not advised, due to the possible side effects. The omega-3 fatty acids found in this oil are certainly healthy, but an excessive amount will lead to unpleasant side effects.
Black Currant Oil Side Effects
As mentioned, there are some side effects especially associated with excess consumption of this oil, including the following:
- Complications of pregnancy
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Bleeding problems
- Increased risk of prostate cancer
These side effects are primarily experienced by people who consume more than the recommended amount, but in some cases, this can occur. The blood-thinning qualities of this oil are good, except when used in conjunction with other blood thinners, as this can cause bleeding problems.
Don’t use this oil prior to having surgery or if suffering from low blood pressure. And due to a lack of research on the subject, it is not believed to be safe for pregnant or nursing women.