White Currant

Ribes niveum

Herbs gallery - White Currant

Common names

  • Snow Currant
  • Snowy Gooseberry
  • Whitecurrant
  • White-flowered Gooseberry

White currant is a species of shrub belonging to the gooseberry family. White currants come from the eastern part of North America.

Currant (Ribes L.) is a type of shrub with approximately 150 species found in temperate areas throughout the Northern Hemisphere. These are both fruit and ornamental plants. Some have other uses in horticulture or biotechnical plantings.

White currant is a highly branched shrub reaching a height of up to 3 meters (depending on the variety). White currant has small, light green leaves and bisexual, cup-shaped, yellow flowers.

It blooms in April. Its fruits are white with yellow stripes from top to bottom, gathered in clusters. There can be from 24 to over 43 berries in one cluster. White currant fruits have a sweet and sour taste. The fruits ripen in July and early August.

White currant is as rich in vitamins and minerals as blackcurrant.

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Parts used

Berries, leaves.

Uses

White currant fruit is worth eating not only for its taste, but also for health. It turns out that these inconspicuous fruits support the functioning of the heart, so they can also be consumed as part of the prevention of heart attack, atherosclerosis or stroke.

White currant fruits, rich in rutin, have a positive effect on the condition of blood vessels, cleanse their walls of deposits, strengthening them.

White currant fruits also support the immune system and stimulate cell regeneration in the body. Thanks to antioxidant properties, white currants improve visual acuity and prevent aging.

It is worth mentioning that the B vitamins contained in white currant strengthen the nervous system and have a beneficial effect on the condition of the brain's blood vessels.

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They also participate in the metabolism of fats and proteins. The pectin they contain supports digestive processes and lowers cholesterol. This is why the fruit is considered a mild laxative.

Thanks to the content of glutamic acid, white currant has a very beneficial effect on the functioning of the human nervous system. This is because this amino acid is one of the most important neurotransmitters. Thanks to it, the processes of remembering and learning proceed very quickly.

The large amount of aspartic acid (first isolated from asparagus; currently a popular addition to dietary supplements for men) in white currant means that this fruit may contribute to ensuring the optimal level of testosterone in the male body.

White currant fruits are one of the best sources of rutin, which means that they have a very positive effect on the condition of blood vessels (they increase their elasticity and cleanse them of deposits).

Frequent consumption of white currant fruits can reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood and thus reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Compounds present in white currant support the functioning of the immune system. The high content of antioxidants means that these small sweet and sour fruits protect us against cancer and delay the aging process.

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The presence of large amounts of vitamin A has a positive effect on the condition of our skin, protects the body against the harmful effects of tobacco smoke, and ensures good eyesight.

White currant fruits also have diuretic properties, so they have a beneficial effect on the kidneys and accelerate the cleansing of the body of toxins. They may also be useful in the treatment of anemia and rheumatism.

White currants are safer for allergy sufferers than black and red currants.

It is worth emphasizing that not only white currant fruits have health benefits. Its leaves (an infusion is prepared from them) have diaphoretic and antipyretic properties.

White currant fruit is recommended on a reducing diet. They are low-calorie - 100 g provides us with about 40 kcal. The compounds contained in them accelerate metabolism, regulate digestive processes, and help get rid of excess toxins from the body.

The presence of fiber makes us feel full after eating white currant fruits.

Of great importance for people who want to get rid of excess weight is the fact that white currant has a beneficial effect on the nervous system. Thanks to it, we can improve the quality of sleep and reduce stress.

White currant contains potassium, which is responsible for the water and electrolyte balance in the body. Its appropriate amount allows us to quickly get rid of problems with swelling or unsightly cellulite.

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Culinary uses

White currant is widely used in cooking. We can use it to prepare juices, compotes, jellies and even tinctures. It is worth adding them to various types of cakes and desserts.

White currants can be given to children from the age of nine months.

As in the case of blackcurrant or raspberry - you can use the dried leaves to prepare an infusion.

Habitat and cultivation

White currants should be planted in sunny or slightly shaded positions. A completely shady place is not a good solution, because the plant will not bear abundant fruit and its growth will be slower.

The soil for growing white currants should be fertile, humus and slightly acidic. A Ph of 6-7 will be ideal. However, the soil cannot be too clayey and water-retaining, even though these shrubs require constantly slightly moist soil. White currant will not grow on heavy and clay soils.

Immediately after planting white currant seedlings, the bushes should be watered very abundantly. White currant needs quite a lot of water, so do not forget to water it regularly - especially during drought.

White currant seedlings can be transferred to the ground in autumn (until November) or spring (until early April). When planting larger numbers of bushes, we must remember that the distance between them should be from 1 to 1.5 meters.

In the case of white currants in containers, planting can take place throughout the entire growing season.

It is very important to water the soil thoroughly after planting the white currant. Mulching is also necessary.

Remember to prune white currants. Cutting currants should always be done with a clean and sharp tool. Scissors, a knife or pruning shears work best for this purpose.

Pruning is always carried out in early spring, immediately after frost, before the beginning of the growing season or immediately after picking the currant fruit. A bush that started releasing its first buds in early spring may start to get sick if we start cutting it then.

White currant should be pruned regularly. For the first three years, it is enough to cut out diseased or damaged shoots and shape the bush as you wish. The following years, however, require more decisive steps from us.

In the fourth year of cultivation, many branches should be cut off so that sunlight can reach the deeper parts of the plant. However, it is not worth interfering too much with old shoots - this is where currants fruit most willingly and abundantly.

White currant will work well in amateur cultivation because it is less susceptible to diseases and pests than, for example, black currant.

The pests most frequently attacking currants include: aphids, caterpillars, the red currant midge (shoot, flower, leaf), the red currant leaf mite, the red currant beetle, and the hop spider mite.

When it comes to currant diseases, we usually deal with gray mold, white leaf spot, and American gooseberry powdery mildew.

You can recognize the presence of a plant disease or pest by unhealthy-looking lesions on the leaves, fruits and shoots of plants. You may also notice the bush dying or the fruit falling - react to any disturbing symptom.

Constituents

White currant contains a lot of protein, fats, carbohydrates, but also fiber, pectin, rutin, organic acids and cellulose.

White currant fruit is also rich in significant amounts of glutamic and aspartic acid and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and B vitamins (B1, B2 and B9).

They also contain minerals: phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, cobalt and molybdenum.

Side effects and cautions

Contraindications to eating white currants include hypersensitivity or allergy to these fruits. They should also not be consumed in case of inflammation of the gastric mucosa, as well as with stomach and duodenal ulcers (they may worsen the symptoms of these diseases).

Other diseases in which white currants should be excluded from the menu are inflammation of the liver and gallbladder.

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