The black currant is often found growing in damp woods as far north as the middle of Scotland, but is considered to be a true native only in Yorkshire and in the Lake District. When black currant is found growing wild in other parts of the country, it is usually a result of birds eating its berry and depositing the seed where the plant is now growing. This shrub shows the only instance of a process by which double flowers may become single, by changing petals into stamin. It has a solitary, one-flowered peduncle at the base of the raceme, and its leaves are dotted underneath.
The valuable oil of the black currant plant comes from the seeds. Black currant seed oil contains gamma linolenic acid (gla), a fatty acid that the body converts to a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin.
Prostaglandin offers anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to also have blood thinning and blood vessel dilation properties. It has also been reported that black currant oil supplementation provides significant benefits to people with rheumatoid arthritis.