About Sea Buckthorn
The Sea Buckthorn is a fruit or berry that has been known for 1000’s of years for its amazing health and skincare benefits, when ingested or applied topically. Typically, folk medicine calls it “The Oil of Life” or “The Medicine Sent by God”. Legends about the potency of the berry as an inside-out body healer date back to ancient Greece, when the mythical Pegasus was said to have eaten the berries to gain the power to fly. More recently, the Sea Buckthorn was a sponsored drink at the Beijing Olympics and a tool used by Russian Cosmonauts for nutrition and radiation protection in space.
Brief Sea buckthorn Profile
• Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 3, 6, 9 and the rare Omega 7
• Vitamins & Minerals – Almost everyone the body needs
• Antioxidants – Including Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), the most powerful antioxidant
• Over 190 Phytonutrients – Incredible, isn’t it?
Sea Buckthorn offers just about everything the body needs. Add some protein and fibers to it and you have a balanced, healthy diet!
The Sea Buckthorn Berry and Its Health Benefits
In folk medicine and traditional use, Sea Buckthorn is often considered a cure for many health problems. You drink your sea buckthorn juice in the morning for energy. Skin issues? Rub the Sea Buckthorn oils on your skin. You burn or wound yourself? Apply berry or seed oil and let it sit. You want to look younger? Eat your daily miracle berries and watch the process slow. The Sea Buckthorn can be the answer to many, many health concerns.
This berry is best known, however, for its applications in the beauty industry. The Sea Buckthorn has the rare Omega-7, a fatty acid that naturally occurs in the skin, and is the richest plant source known worldwide. Most information on this omega, and from real users, indicates that Omega-7 is fantastic for healthy, vibrant, and glowing hair, skin, and nails. Many personal care products have begun adding sea buckthorn to their formulas for this reason alone. And many consumers who enrich it with the oils are noticing these beauty effects on their own body.
Sea Buckthorn berries are among the most nutritious of all fruits. The fruit juice is rich in organic acids, amino acids, essential fatty acids, phytosterol, flavonoids, vitamins and mineral elements.
Rich in Vitamin C - Vitamin C represents a major nutrient of the Sea Buckthorn because of its presence in large quantities, ranging from 53-3,909 mg/100g. Considering that fresh lemon juice contains in average 53 mg/100ml, the value of Sea Buckthorn as a source of vitamin C is obvious. It is estimated that there is enough vitamin C in the berries of Sea Buckthorn plants across the world to meet the dietary requirements of the entire human population.
Rich in Vitamin A, E and Bs - Besides vitamin C, the juice also contains vitamin A, vitamin E, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, vitamin B and vitamin B6. The concentration in vitamins Bs, C and E is much higher than in other fruits such as apricots, bananas, mangos, oranges and peaches. The presence of these vitamins in high quantities indicates its strong antioxidant properties. The Sea Buckthorn leaves contain many nutrients and bioactive substances such as carotenoids, free and esterified sterols, triter enols, and isoprenols. It contains approximately 15-20% proteins. The flavonoids content in leaves ranges from 3122100 mg/100 g of air-dried leaves. It serves as a valuable ingredient in animal feed, its therapeutic agent having antiviral activity against a wide spectrum of viruses and can be used as a source of unconventional protein for human food.
Sea Buckthorn is mentioned in the writings of ancient Greek scholars and it’s a staple of Tibetan medicine. In Ladakh region, even today, the Amchies (local traditional doctors) often prescribe preparations from Sea Buckthorn for treating common problems like indigestion, throat infection, gynecological problems, ulcers, gastritis, bronchitis, acidity, diarrhea, hypertension, blood disorder, fever, tumors, gallstones, cough, cold, food poisoning etc. There are more than a hundred popular sea buckthorn-based formulations in Tibetan medicine. In the Western world, one can often see in supplements stores a series of products based on different form of this berry: oil, extract, powder.
Sea Buckthorn legends and myths are exciting to read but in today’s modern world we value more scientifically backed information. Fortunately, there is a lot of science today behind the sea buckthorn and its incredible nutritional profile is known to be robust and comprehensive for human healthcare.
Antioxidant activity - The Sea buckthorn has been shown to have a potent antioxidant activity, mainly attributed to its flavonoids and vitamin C content. Both the flavonoids and the oils extracted from Sea Buckthorn have several potential applications. There are five areas of research that have been focal points for their use: as an aid to patients undergoing cancer therapy; a long-term therapy for reducing cardiovascular risk factors; treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers; internal and topical therapy for a variety of skin disorders; and as a liver protective agent (for chemical toxins) and a remedy for liver cirrhosis.
Cancer therapy - most of the work done in this area has been with laboratory animals. A group in India, headed by HC Goel (at the Department of Radiation Biology, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, in Delhi) has published several reports on the potential of a hippophae extract (an alcohol extract, which would mainly contain the flavonoids) to protect the bone marrow from damage due to radiation; his group also showed that the extract may help faster recovery of bone marrow cells. In China, a study demonstrates faster recovery of the hemopoietic system after high dose chemotherapy (with 5-FU) in mice fed with the Sea Buckthorn Oil. The seed oil has been found to enhance non-specific immunity and to provide anti-tumor effects in preliminary laboratory studies .
Cardiovascular diseases - In a double-blind clinical trial, 128 patients with ischemic heart disease were given total flavonoids of Sea Buckthorn at 10 mg each time, three times daily, for 6 weeks. The patients had a decrease in the cholesterol level and an improved cardiac function; also, they had fewer anginas than those receiving the control drug. No harmful effect of Sea Buckthorn flavonoids was noted in renal functions or hepatic functions. The mechanism of action may include reduced stress of the cardiac muscle tissue by regulation of inflammatory mediators.
Gastric ulcers - Hippophae is traditionally used in the treatment of gastric ulcers, and laboratory studies confirm the efficacy of the seed oil for this application. Its functions may be to normalize output of gastric acid and reduce inflammation by controlling pro-inflammatory mediators.
Liver cirrhosis: A clinical trial demonstrated that Sea Buckthorn extracts helped normalize liver enzymes, serum bile acids, and immune system markers involved in liver inflammation and degeneration. In addition, the Sea Buckthorn oil protects the liver from the damaging effects of toxic chemicals, as revealed in laboratory studies.
Skin - An ingredient of the oil, the palmitoleic acid, is a skin component. It is considered to be a valuable topical agent in treating burns and healing wounds. This fatty acid can also nourish the skin when taken orally, if adequate quantities of Sea Buckthorn or its oil are consumed; this is a useful method for treating systemic skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis. The only other major plant source of palmitoleic acid is macadamia nuts; the oil is used to nourish the skin. The Sea Buckthorn oil is already widely used, alone or in various preparations, by being topically applied for burns, scalds, ulcerations, and infections.
Valuable ingredient of the sunblock - hippophae oil has UV-blocking activity as well as emollient properties- and it is an aid in promoting regeneration of tissues.
Hair health - The fruit may also be used for benefiting the hair: the name hippophae, means shiny horse, and refers to the good coat developed by horses feeding off the plant.
You can read more about sea buckthorn in the following sources:
- https://doi.org/10.1080/23311932.2015.1128519 - Bioactive profile, health benefits and safety evaluation of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.): A review Touseef Ahmed Wani, S.M. Wani, Mukhtar Ahmad, Mudasir Ahmad, Adil Gani & F.A. Masood
- Seabuckthorn, Hippophae Rhamnoides L, A Whole Food Answer to Better Nutrition. Marcus C.C.W. Elliott, M.D. – 2005
- THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF SEA BUCKTHORN BERRIES AND OIL PETRA LARMO (Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry, University of Turku Turku 2011)