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Black currant leaf drink.

Botanical name: 

The black currant leaves are still very healthy-looking.

And they're fully grown, which makes for easy picking.

This is a traditional summer cooler in Finland, where we don't have black elder. (Black elder can be grown in southern Finland, but it'll die back to the ground in severe winters.) So no abundance of elder flowers, but a great abundance of black currant. Which is rare elsewhere: the Germans never talk about it, the 'mercans even had laws against growing it, and I haven't heard Brits talking about it either.

If you do have real black currant (Ribes nigrum) as opposed to the several plants that are sold as black currant because they're currants with dark berries, you can make this summer drink. Black currant leaves have a delicious scent; the others do not.

Here's how (the quick way):
5 l black currant leaves (about 10 pints)
8 l water (about 16 pints)
50 g citric acid (about 2 oz)
1 kg sugar (about 2 lbs)

Put leaf and citric acid in layers into a large kettle. Pour boiling water on top and let sit overnight.

Strain things out, bring the liquid to a boil, and add sugar.

Let cool and serve.

This is as good as elderflower syrup, if not better. I know, cos we did both last week, and served them side by side, and they were almost (but not quite) identical in taste. Yum!


Is there any medicinal use of the leaves of ribes nigrum L if combined with spirea ulmaria L. Please comment.
Do you know about ARTROSILIUM CREME which is said to benefit painful joints caused by arthritis.
Offered for sale for 198 Euro for 6 month treatment
Thank you.
Yours Henk

Ribes leaf is an astringent, there's nothing much to it.
Filipendula is of course a pain killer.
Dunno why you want to talk about a bandwagon scam ("organic silica cream" at 198 € for 6 months?) on my blog, though.

Rosalyn Blackwell recommends and uses Ribes bud glycerol/tincture as an adaptogen and for immune modulation. I've seen it work well in atopic eczema in a baby. I believe J.C.Lapraz did some research into it.

I just thought I would correct my name and add a comment! I wouldn't call Ribes buds an adaptogen, it has a direct effect on raising cortisol (not via ACTH) and thus is very useful when there is either a relative or absolute deficiency (not in Addisons) of cortisol. It is therefore not to be used in states where stress has lead to continuously elevated cortisol. Adaptogens such as Eleutherococcus are more suited to this. Clinical history gives information about whether Ribes is warranted but if in doubt the test that Dr Lapraz and colleagues researched using the algorhythm "Biology of Functions" , Rank 1, can be done from a full blood count by herbalists who have trained in Endobiogeny with Dr Lapraz and it will give the answers. Alternatively a salivary cortisol assay should be performed, however this will only show actual levels throughout a 16 hour period. The reason Ribes works well in atopy and inflammatory conditions is that there is invariably a relative insufficiency of cortisol but other aspects of the neuro-hormonal circuitry must also be addressed. Rosalind Blackwell ND MNIMH MCPP

Lovely, thanks for that, Rosalind!

Nigel Wynn used a black currant leafbud glycerite, too.
I don't do glycerites, so it's nice to hear that a tincture would work the same - thanks!

Blackcurrants are very common in the UK but usually only in the berry cordial form. I have some bushes at the allotment so I picked a few leaves today and smelled them... they smell slightly pine-like but also blackcurrant berry-like. Does that sound about right? Are they better as a fresh tea or dried? I only picked a few leaves since they're on their way out so probably not top quality leaf anyway.

Dunno about piney, it's more a sweet, aromatic, black-currant-leafy scent. It's difficult to describe really.
They're better fresh, but you can dry them too.
Top-quality leaf is the young leaf in spring and the top leaf of new growth later on.

"and I haven't heard Brits talking about it either"

I suggest you do some research before making such broad statements. It has been used in Britain for more years than you've had a history.