Why have a cup of Black Currant Tea?
Well, it's the perfect tea to ward off inflammations, fight the onset of cold symptoms and provide you with the many benefits that vitamin C has to offer.
But what else can a berry full of vitamin C do for you?
Black currants (in Latin, ribes nigrum), popular in Eastern Europe and Russia, come from a perennial plant native to central and northern Asia.
This small shrub grows to 1-2m in height and it has alternate leaves, 3-5cm long and broad, with a serrated edge. Resistant to cold, you can find black currant shrubs growing spontaneously in woods. Its flowers are yellow green on the outside and reddish on the inside, with 4-6mm in diameter.
Black currant fruits and leaves are harvested after complete maturing of the fruits, small edible berries presenting a very dark purple colour.
Black Currant tea infusion first brought to the public attention in Europe by the abbot Bailley de Montaran of the Dijon Monastery, and so has been used since the Middle Ages as a medicinal tea.
During World War II, in the UK, it was hard to find most fruits rich in vitamin C, such as oranges. Since black currant berries are very rich in vitamin C and are well suited to the British climate, it only made sense that the government should promote its prodution during wartime.
In the US, currant farming was banned in the early 1900’s and so black currants became a rare fruit. This ban was enforced because black currant farming was considered a threat to the logging industry.
Nowadays, in some states the ban has been lifted and as a result black currants can once again regain their lost popularity.
In Russia, black currants leaves are used to flavour preserves and teas, but you are more likely to come across products made directly from black currant berries such as juice, syrup, jelly, and liqueur.
But don’t be fooled by some black currant teas that you may find on sale. Most varieties actually include black tea leaves and black currant flavour. If you wish to find a caffeine free beverage, you should make this tea made from the leaves and fruit of the black currant bush.
With fruity sweet taste, black currant tea has the potential to inhibit inflammation mechanisms that may originate heart disease, cancer and microbial infections.
Let’s find out what other health benefits black currant tea can offer you.
This berry has very high levels of vitamin C, even higher than oranges, and has good levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B5. With a range of other essential nutrients it helps your body to perform its basic functions.
Tea made with black currants contains tannins, salts, antioxidants and anthocyanins which are compounds that are naturally found in these berries.
Get Your Immune System Boost
Promoting a Healthy Heart
Solve Your Digestion Problems
Cold Symptoms and Fevers
Improving Your Mental Health and Stress Levels
Other Benefits of Black Currant Tea
Try some wonderful black currant
and black tea blends here!
Are you pregnant? Then, again, be careful with blends that have black tea leaves due to high caffeine content that may be harmful to the baby. As for black currant infusions that are made purely from leaves or berries, they too are not safe for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Also, it’s best not to give black currant tea to children or elderly people.
It should be avoided by people with haemophilia or on anticoagulants (blood thinners), and blood pressure medication as this increases the effects of the medication. If you love the taste of this tea so much that you simply can’t live without it, then just make sure to check with your doctor first.
On cold winter days, this tea will seem like the best thing on Earth, however, do not drink too much as it may cause diarrhea and mild gastrointestinal symptoms.
Ready to make this wonderfully tasting tea? Should you make your tea from leaves or from black currant berries? Well, the benefits of black currants are greater when leaves are dried and used in tea. However, you can also use dried fruits.
Berries are ready for picking when almost black, they ripen in August. Leaves, on the other hand, should be picked in early spring, before the insects can damage them. Try to avoid picking when it damp or wet out, because this may spoil your leaves when stored for later use.
Time to put the kettle on...
How to make black currant tea from leaves: Use 2 teaspoons of chopped leaves to 250ml of boiled water and let rest for a few minutes.
How to make it from dried fruit: Add a teaspoon of dried fruits to 250ml of water and then put it over the stove until it boils. As soon as the water starts bubbling, turn off heat and then let your tea rest for 30 minutes.
You can always try the option of infusing dried fruit and leaves together.
This tea may be served hot, sweetened with sugar as it has a sharp taste, more astringent than that of blueberries. It is purple in colour so it can also make quite a festive and tasty iced tea.
Take this tea 3 times a day between meals for periods of 5-6 months.
Black currant tea is so tasty and what can be better than such a wonderful source of benefits of vitamin C?
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”While there's tea there's hope.” - Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934), British actor