Black Currant Tea is a herbal tea made of the fruits and leaves of the black currant plant. It is dark purple in color and has the taste of fresh black currant berries. The benefits of this tea like high vitamin content as well as therapeutic uses and lack of caffeine have made the drink quite popular amongst the health conscious people.
History of Black Currant Infused Tea
The exact origin of black currant tea is not known, but black currants have been used in various parts of the world for their medicinal properties since historical times. Cultivation of black currants gained popularity after the World War II, when most citrus fruits like oranges were very difficult to find in England. Black currant berries, being rich in vitamin C, and easily grown in the climatic conditions of England became the favored choice for cultivation.
Black currant was also cultivated in the United States at some point in history, but was banned in the early 20th century, as its cultivation was considered to be harmful to the logging industry. The ban was lifted from various regions in the latter part of the 20th century.
Common Black Currant Tea Benefits
Black currant is a species of berries that is native to parts of Asia and Europe. It is a small shrub with a unique and bold fragrance in its leaves and stems. Black currant leaves and berries are known to have a range of health benefits, which are in turn shared by black currant tea-
- Rich Source of Nutrients: Black currant is a rich source of essential nutrients like Vitamin C, Gamma-Linoleic acid, tannin, potassium salts, antioxidants and polynutrients. The tea prepared from it shares most of the benefits and is hence beneficial for healthy functioning of various body parts.
- Relief in Inflammations and Arthritis: Anthocyanins present in black currant help in reducing inflammations and providing relief in condition of arthritis. The tea is hence considered to complement anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen and aspirin.
- Diuretic Properties: Black currant tea has diuretic properties and is hence beneficial for people suffering from kidney ailments and conditions like oliguria.
- Digestive Stimulant: The tea stimulates digestion and improves ability of body parts like kidneys, liver, pancreas and spleen in carrying out their respective functions.
- Relief from Other Diseased Conditions: The tea is beneficial for functioning of the heart as well as for menopausal health. It is helpful in conditions like dysentery, diarrhea, asthma, cancer and various types of allergies.
Preparation and Serving Suggestions for Maximizing Black Currant Tea Benefits
The tea is prepared by infusing leaves or berries of the plant. The chopped leaves are soaked for a few minutes in boiling water and then sieved. When the berry is used, it is added to water which is heated till boiling point, and then allowed to stand for about half an hour before straining. A mixture of the leaves and fruit may also be used to prepare the tea.
The tea is served hot, often with the addition of a sweetener. Black currant tea may also be served chilled, over ice cubes.