Save your skin with sea buckthorn

Sea buckthorn berry (Hippophae rhamnoides) has been known as a European, Mongolian and Chinese food and medicine for centuries. Supposedly, the ancient Greeks used it as food for race horses, thus the botanical name Hippophae (“shiny horse”).Sea buckthorn is the Swiss Army knife of supplements. More than 200 products are manufactured from sea buckthorn berry, including body oils, creams, soaps and shampoos, juices, jams, candies, elixirs, wine and beer. Seed and fruit “pulp oil” is the main active ingredient, but the whole fruit is also used in some preparations.

Rub It In, Why Don’tcha?

Sea buckthorn seed oil, with qualities very similar to evening primrose oil, is popular in high-end European skin-care lines. As a cosmetic and skin-care ingredient, sea buckthorn’s nourishing and tissue-healing properties stem from healthful compounds called phytosterols, which have been researched since the 1920s. Rich in various essential fatty acids, sea buckthorn oil also has a high content of the rare palmitoleic acid, which is also a natural component of skin fat.

Sea buckthorn seed oil is used for dry skin, abrasions, burns, sunburns, acne, eczema, hemorrhoids, ear infections, genital inflammation, radiation burns and even cataract prevention.

A 2005 Indian animal study discovered that a water extract of the leaves promotes wound healing, apparently because of increased antioxidant levels in the tissues as they heal. Another 2005 paper from the same group of Indian scientists concluded that sea buckthorn reduced inflammation in animal arthritis. Sea buckthorn berry extract reduced radiation damage to mouse cells in another study.

The oil has a long folk history for burns. It helps block UV rays, is emollient and helps heal tissues, making it ideal for preventing and treating sunburn. A 2006 controlled study of 151 burn patients found that topical oil accelerated healing time and reduced swelling, weeping, redness and pain.

Not Hard to Swallow

In an older study from 1999, researchers gave dermatitis sufferers 5g (10 capsules) of oil daily for four months, and their dermatitis improved significantly.

You may also want to try capsules of the oil for stomach ulcers: a recent animal study found that the remedy has preventive and curative effects against gastric ulcers.

The fruit juice is a good source of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD), making it a promising antiinflammatory and antiaging remedy.

Anecdotal reports and other findings suggest that sea buckthorn (particularly extracts of the oil, juice, leaves and bark) may help improve a range of health conditions, including heart disease, cholesterol balance, high blood pressure, stroke, gingivitis, eye diseases, immune function and red blood cell production after chemotherapy. Always check with your doctor first if you are taking any medication.


What’s the best way to benefit from sea buckthorn? The oil is available as a liquid, for internal or external use, and in lotions. Take 1500-3000mg of soft-gel capsules daily. About 50-100g of sea buckthorn fruit supplies 500mg of vitamin C. Bottled sea buckthorn berry juice is now available at health food stores (try Pure Fruit Technologies SeaBuck7). See some personal care products containing the oil. Also, be aware that sea buckthorn may be listed as an ingredient under its Latin name, Hippophae rhamnoides.

The bright orange fruits are intensely sour, with up to 16 times as much vitamin C as kiwifruit, plus flavonoids, vitamin E, vitamin A and several other carotenes, including beta-carotene, lycopene and zeaxanthin. “To these, add essential fatty acids and vitamins B1, B2 and K.

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Sea Buckthorn Oil Benefits


Sea buckthorn is a deciduous, thorny plant that grows primarily in Europe and Asia. The oil of the sea buckthorn berry is extracted from either the pulp of the fruit or from the seeds. Clinical trials and scientific studies during the 20th century confirm a number of medicinal, nutritional and topical benefits of sea buckthorn oil that have been recognized around the world for centuries.

Historic records indicate that the ancient Greeks as early as 212 B.C. knew about the healing properties of sea buckthorn, including the fruit, seed and oil. The Greeks used it in a diet for racehorses and thus it gets its name hippophae, which means “shiny horse.” References to sea buckthorn are also found in classic Tibetan medicinal texts, dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).


The small, yellow-orange to red berry is an abundant source of vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids and 27 trace elements. Seabuckthorn oil contains 106 known nutrients and bioactive substances, including vitamins A, C, and E, polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, essential fatty acids and trace elements including zinc, selenium, manganese and iron. Many of these constituents help build, restore and improve immune function.
Anti-Cancer Properties

The combined action of nutrients in sea buckthorn oil provides integrative anti-cancer properties, according to a description on the website. It blocks the carcinogenic effects of certain substances and prevents the growth of cancer cells. The antioxidants in the oil prevent free-radical damage and cancer-cell formation. The seed oil increases antibodies and strengthens the body’s resistance to cancerous mutations.
Gastrointestinal Health

Sea buckthorn oil also contains numerous anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer substances, providing benefits for gastrointestinal health. Laboratory studies confirm the efficacy of the seed oil for the treatment of gastric ulcers. The oil also provides a protective coating inside the stomach and intestines, preventing the damaging effects of pathogens.
Cardiovascular Benefits

Cardiovascular disease is closely related to free-radical damage of the arteries and high blood fat. Sea buckthorn oil minimizes the effects of free radicals and reduces blood fat levels. It is a rich source of fatty acids that are conducive to heart health, especially oleic and linoleic acids. Both are known to reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and inhibit blood platelet aggregation.
Skin Health

Sea buckthorn oil is also widely used to treat various skin conditions, including burns, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, sunburn, wounds, frostbite, radiation treatment and cosmetic laser surgery. The oil contains a high content of nutrients essential for metabolism and regeneration of skin cells. Thus it is also effective to help minimize wrinkles and other symptoms of aging skin.

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The Nutritional Benefits of Seabuckthorn

Known as the “Holy Fruit of the Himalayas,” seabuckthorn has been cherished by native Tibetans for centuries for its incredible nutritive qualities. Seabuckthorn grows high in the Himalayan region and has been used in Asia over the centuries as an herbal medicine to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation, and alleviate pain.

Today, over one hundred and twenty specific studies on seabuckthorn and countless studies on the biological properties found in the plant have shown that this small berry promotes good health. Seabuckthorn has been called the superfruit, and given its nutritional profile, it is no wonder. This fruit has a high abundance of some of the rarest and most powerful antioxidants in the world. Not only that, but it is the only plant known to contain essential fatty acids 3, 6, 7, and 9.

Seabuckthorn contains more than 190 biologically active compounds. Included in these 190 nutrients are the following:

o Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D, K, and P
o Omega 3, 6, 7 & 9 (Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs)
o 42 Lipids
o Organic Acids
o Amino Acids
o Folic Acid
o Tocopherols
o Flavonoids
o Phenols
o Terpenes
o Tannins
o 20 Mineral Elements

These inherent nutrients translate into seabuckthorn’s many documented health benefits, including

o Strong antioxidant network
o Reduced inflammation
o Cellular rejuvenation
o Improved cardiovascular health
o Improved brain and nervous system function
o Natural energy boost
o Help in scald and burn wound repair
o Improved nervous system health
o Improved skin complexion, anti-acne treatment

As these benefits demonstrate, seabuckthorn could possibly unlock your body’s ultimate health potential. This seemingly insignificant berry gives you a natural way to protect yourself from the wear and tear of everyday life.

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Medical Application of Seabuckthorn Oil

A clinical study in Huaxi Medical University reported seabuckthorn oil improved lipid profile for hyperlipemia patients. Seabuckthorn oil were given to patients for 1-3 months at the dosage of 12ml/day. The decrease of cholesterol and triglyceride were observed.

Flavonoid isolated from seabuckthorn was studied by Dr. Zhang Peiyun, et al. Total cholesterol reduced from 238±79mg% to 180±36mg% in 77 patients and HDL increase to 86.8±28mg% from 56.5±13mg% in 30 cases (P<0.001). Triglyceride decreased to 125±99mg% from 200±183mg% in 52 patients (P<0.001).

Russia doctors gave patients 15g/day of seabuckthorn oil. The reduction of cholesterol and triglyceride were observed in most patients after 30 days.

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Sea Buckthorn Oil and its Benefits

Sea buckthorn oil is extracted from the seeds of the berry as well as its pulp. Linoleic acid is found in the oil extracted from the seeds, while palmitoleic acid and palmitic acid is found in the oil extracted from the pulp. All these types of acids are fatty acids and are essential to keep the human skin healthy. The benefit of using sea buckthorn oil on the human skin is that it does not cause any kind of abnormal reaction. Hence, it does not have any kind of side effects. The oil develops a very powerful network of antioxidants and minimizes the harm done by inflammation of the skin. Though oxygen is essential for the human body to survive, free unstable molecules of oxygen oxidize in the presence of pollution or radiation, and damage the human skin. The oxidants are also supplemented by pollutants and particulates. Sea buckthorn oil prevents the process of oxidation near the skin, and also prevents the pollutants from settling on the skin.

Sea buckthorn oil is an excellent agent for the process of cellular rejuvenation. Hence, most cosmetic manufacturers have products like anti-aging creams and lotions that contain sea buckthorn oil. The importance of including the sea buckthorn oil in creams and lotions has increased even more because of the phenomenon of ozone depletion. The oil extracted from the sea buckthorn berry also has the property of absorbing the harmful ultraviolet rays. The oil’s radiation reduction ability has made it an even more important ingredient in the many of the creams and lotions. The ability of the oil to minimize the effect of radiation on the skin was even reported by Russian astronauts.

Sea buckthorn oil as well as the sea buckthorn berry are excellent sources of vitamin C and provide superior support to the immune system of the human body. It is also a very good source of vitamin A, needed by the human body to keep the eyes, skin and the bones healthy.

The sea buckthorn berry is considered a very healthy fruit and its consumption is recommended by many health experts and doctors. Recent studies about the berry have suddenly increased its importance and consumption.

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Nutrients and potential health effects of sea buckthorn

Sea-buckthorn berries are edible and nutritious, though very acidic (astringentAstringent
An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word “astringent” derives from Latin adstringere, meaning “to bind fast”…
) and oily, unpleasant to eat raw, unless ‘blettedBletting
Bletting is a process that certain fleshy fruits undergo when, beyond ripening, they have started to decay and ferment. There are some fruits that are either considered at their best after some bletting, such as Nashi pear, or for which most varieties can only be eaten raw after bletting, such as…
‘ (frostFrost
Frost is the solid deposition of water vapor from saturated air. It is formed when solid surfaces are cooled to below the dew point of the adjacent air as well as below the freezing point of water. Frost crystals’ size differ depending on time and water vapor available. Frost is also usually…
ed to reduce the astringency) and/or mixed as a juice with sweeter substances such as appleApple
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family and is a perennial. It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans.The tree originated in Central Asia, where…
or grapeGrape
A grape is the non-climacteric fruit, botanically a true berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, drugs, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, and grape seed oil…

When the berries are pressed, the resulting sea-buckthorn juice separates into three layers: on top is a thick, orange cream; in the middle, a layer containing sea-buckthorn’s characteristic high content of saturated and polyunsaturated fatPolyunsaturated fat
In nutrition, polyunsaturated fat, or polyunsaturated fatty acid, are fatty acids in which more than one double bond exists within the representative molecule. That is, the molecule has two or more points on its structure capable of supporting hydrogen atoms not currently part of the structure…
s; and the bottom layer is sedimentSediment
Sediment is naturally-occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently transported by the action of fluids such as wind, water, or ice, and/or by the force of gravity acting on the particle itself….
and juice. Containing fat sources applicable for cosmetic purposes, the upper two layers can be processed for skin creams and linimentLiniment
Liniment, from the Latin linere, to anoint, is a medicated topical preparation for application to the skin. Preparations of this type are also called balm…
s, whereas the bottom layer can be used for edible products like syrupSyrup
In cooking, a syrup is a thick, viscous liquid, containing a large amount of dissolved sugars, but showing little tendency to deposit crystals. The viscosity arises from the multiple hydrogen bonds between the dissolved sugar, which has many hydroxyl groups, and the water…

Nutrient and phytochemicalPhytochemical
Phytochemicals are chemical compounds such as beta-carotene that occur naturally in plants. The term is generally used to refer to those chemicals that may affect health, but are not yet established as essential nutrients…
constituents of sea-buckthorn berries have potential value to affect inflammatory disorders, cancerCancer
Cancer is a class of diseases in which a group of cells display uncontrolled growth , invasion , and sometimes metastasis…
or other diseases, although no specific health benefits have yet been proven by clinical researchClinical research
Clinical research is a branch of medical science that determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for human use…
in humans.

The fruit of the plant has a high vitamin CVitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species, in which it functions as a vitamin. In living organisms, ascorbate is an anti-oxidant, since it protects the body against oxidative stress…
content—in a range of 114 to 1550 mg per 100 grams with an average content (695 mg per 100 grams) about 15 times greater than orangesOrange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. The orange is a hybrid of ancient cultivated origin, possibly between pomelo and mandarin…
(45 mg per 100 grams)— placing sea-buckthorn fruit among the most enriched plant sources of vitamin C. The fruit also contains dense contents of carotenoids, vitamin EVitamin E
Vitamin E is a generic term for tocopherols and tocotrienols. Vitamin E is a family of α-, β-, γ-, and δ- tocopherols and corresponding four tocotrienols. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of reactive oxygen species formed when fat undergoes oxidation…
, amino acids, dietary minerals, β-sitosterol and polyphenolic acids.

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