Red Currant

Ribes rubrum

Herbs gallery - Red Currant

Common names

  • Red Currant

Red currant (Ribes rubrum), just like blackcurrant and white currant, is a plant belonging to the gooseberry family.

This shrub is found mainly in Europe and Asia. It is not very tall - the maximum height it can reach is 2 meters.

Red currant is one of the most popular currant species available in the markets.

The fruits are edible and can be eaten raw, in the form of juice, jam or candied. They have a bright red color, soft skin and juicy flesh.

Red currants are grown in many countries, including Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America.

Parts used

Berries, leaves.

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Uses

Red currant is one of the most frequently cultivated varieties of berries. It is valued for its unique taste and high content of vitamins and nutrients.

Eagerly consumed and used in cosmetics, red currant contains a lot of goodness! Its health properties are extraordinary. 100 grams of fruit contains only 56 kcal, so we do not have to limit ourselves in consuming them.

Eating red currants has a positive effect on the body's immunity, fights infections, improves the appearance of the skin and hair, supports the functioning of the kidneys and the digestive system, and lowers cholesterol.

Improves the appearance of our skin: Red currant is rich in vitamin C, which supports the production of collagen, helping to maintain the healthy, firm appearance of the skin.

Boosts Immunity: Red currant contains many antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system.

Improves eyesight: Red currant is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect against eye diseases such as cataracts.

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Improves heart health: The vitamin C and folic acid in red currants help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension.

Improves sleep quality: Red currant contains melatonin, which helps regulate sleep-wake cycles.

Scientific research shows that drinking red currant juice several times a week can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which translates into a healthier heart and a well-functioning circulatory system.

Red currant is one of the most popular fruits that you can find in the market. There are many reasons why red currant is so good for the digestive system.

First of all, it is rich in vitamins C and K, which are beneficial for the digestive system. Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, which is responsible for the health of the mucous membranes and the body's immunity.

Vitamin K is necessary for the proper functioning of the coagulation system, which is responsible for blood clotting.

Red currants are also rich in antioxidants, which are important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Antioxidants are responsible for fighting harmful free radicals that can damage the cells of the digestive system.

Red currant is also rich in fiber, which is important for the optimal functioning of the digestive system. Fiber helps regulate digestion and ensures a healthy and regular bowel movement.

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Culinary uses

Red currant preserves are an excellent choice. Of course, processing means that we will not be able to enjoy such a vitamin bomb - but thanks to this, the currants will remain fresh for a very long time.

A great idea is to turn fruit into liquid or jam. The best options are:

  • red currant juice,
  • frozen fruit,
  • red currant wine,
  • jams,
  • red currant compote.

You can also add other favourite fruits to each of them.

Of course, red currant is a great addition to various dishes and snacks, e.g. cakes and even salads.

You can also use dried red currant leaves. To make them perfect, they should be picked at the turn of August and September, in the morning, when the morning dew has completely subsided.

They should be dried flat, in a dark and airy room. Just pour boiling water over the herb and it's ready. It is worth trying enriching the infusion with currant or raspberry juice.

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Habitat and cultivation

When looking for a suitable location, we should exclude all heavily shaded places and let it grow in full sun. Light shading may also be a good idea - but there will not be as much fruit there.

Red currant will do best when planted in slightly acidic soil - a pH of 5.5 - 6.5 will be appropriate. It is worth using fertile and humus soil to support the bush.

It is worth remembering about pruning red currants. Pruning red currants is one of the mandatory points in the care of these fruit bushes. Neglected plants take on unsightly shapes, and the sun is unable to reach the deeper branches.

The first quite intensive pruning should be carried out immediately after planting the red currant. The bush should then be shortened to a maximum height of 3 eyes above the ground.

In subsequent years, it is worth ensuring that the bush has a maximum of 3 to 5 strong shoots, which should also be shortened by approximately half of their length.

We must also remember to remove all unhealthy-looking plant parts, thanks to which we can stop the development of diseases. The ideal time for these treatments is before vegetation or immediately after picking the fruit.

In the fifth year, it is worth reaching for pruners and removing all old shoots. This treatment will stimulate the bush to produce young, strong branches, which will bear delicious red fruits in abundance.

Unfortunately, red currant is not a pest-free shrub. Uninvited guests may appear on this plant, such as:

  • aphids,
  • hop spider mite,
  • currant beetle.

Pests are not the only problem that red currants have to deal with. Diseases also happen. These are among others:

  • leaf spots,
  • gray mold,
  • yellow or green variegation,
  • American gooseberry powdery mildew,
  • spoon-shaped leaves of red currant,
  • European gooseberry powdery mildew,
  • alleged flowering of currants,
  • white leaf spot.

How should you water red currant? Systematically! These fruit bushes require quite a lot of water, and grow best in moderately permeable soil. The soil should always be slightly moist.

To provide these shrubs with adequate hydration and protection against weeds, it is worth trying to create special covers for them (e.g. mulching).

How should red currant be fertilized? For this purpose, it is worth using compost or manure, or opting for less natural options - fertilizers for fruit bushes. However, it is worth paying attention to their composition, red currants do not tolerate chlorides, which are sometimes present in them.

Constituents

Red currant is rich in vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, as well as thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and niacin, and minerals such as calcium, sodium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium.

Additionally, it contains large amounts of anthocyanins and flavonoids, which have a beneficial effect on our health. Red currant is an ideal source of energy because it contains a lot of simple sugars.

Red currants can be eaten raw, added to desserts or juices, and also used as an ingredient for preparing jams or sauces.

Side effects and cautions

Who shouldn't eat red currants? Contraindications mainly include people who have problems with:

Due to its high content of phenolic compounds and vitamin K, red currant significantly affects blood clotting. Anyone struggling with clotting problems should first consult a doctor whether they can eat these fruits.

Collection and harvesting

It is difficult to notice when a red currant blooms - its inflorescences are almost invisible. However, this happens in spring - if you look really closely, you will notice tiny, yellow-green inflorescences. These are the ones that will transform into delicious red fruits.

Red currants usually bear fruit in the second half of July or early August. The swollen, red balls should be gently picked off so that they do not burst under pressure. They stay fresh for a slightly shorter time than blackcurrants, so you should be especially careful not to let them rot after harvesting.

Ripe red currants are a delicacy for birds - if you notice this problem, act. All you need to do is protect the bush or individual fruits against flying intruders with a net.

Purifying currant mask for oily and damaged skin

Crush a handful of red currants into a pulp. Add a teaspoon of liquid honey and a few drops of rapeseed oil. Apply the paste to the forehead, nose, chin and places where pimples appear. Keep the mask on the skin for about 20 minutes. Then rinse with boiled lukewarm water and dry gently. Use the mask twice a week.

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