Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a shrub that grows in a range of climates and soil types. It has been used for centuries as medicine in Asia, Europe and North America to support conditions, including: arthritis and joint pain, lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure, reducing eye strain from computer use, strengthening the immune system against allergies (such as hay fever), improving vision (especially night vision), preventing dental cavities, reducing menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms including bloating and mood swings. It also could help balance hormones during menopause.
What is Sea Buckthorn?
Sea buckthorn is a shrub that grows wild in the Himalayan mountains. It has small, yellow flowers and red berries. The berries have been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine, but they are also edible and have many other uses.
Fun fact: Did you know the sea buckthorn plant can grow up to 20 feet high? The leaves are green with white edges, while the stems are reddish brown or purple when young, much like a lot of human hair, they turn grey as they mature.
Active Ingredients and Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
Sea buckthorn is a fruit-bearing plant with many health benefits. It’s known as a “superfood” because of its high concentration of vitamins and minerals, which promote optimal health. Sea Buckthorns impressive nutritional profile includes:
- Vitamin C: an essential nutrient for your body, as it helps to build collagen. Collagen is a protein that supports the structure of bones and connective tissues. Collagen is important for maintaining the elasticity of your skin and keeping your hair strong and healthy. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that helps heal wounds and protects against free radicals in your cells. Vitamin C also supports immune system function by increasing the production of white blood cells.
- Vitamins A & E: along with vitamin C, these are considered antioxidant vitamins. Antioxidants help to protect against free radicals in your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and tissues, which may contribute to the development of chronic diseases.
- Omega-7: a fatty acid that has been linked to a range of health benefits, including hair health and skin care. On the skin, sea buckthorn acts as an effective moisturizer and can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There is also some evidence to show that sea buckthorn can protect your skin from sun damage and can also help to reduce acne. Additionally, some practitioners use sea buckthorn for digestive complaints such as constipation; the fatty acid content helps to provide lubrication to the digestive tract.
- Essential fatty acids are abundant in sea buckthorn. These EFAs also help balance hormones naturally while preventing dry skin and also contribute to sea buckthorn’s anti-inflammatory properties. Sea buckthorn has been used to treat inflammatory conditions like rheumatism, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. It may also be helpful for stomach ulcers due to its high antioxidant content that can decrease damage to the intestinal wall caused by free radicals.
- Plant-based nutrients, such as phytosterols and quercetin, found in sea buckthorn may also be able to support heart health by limiting the absorption of cholesterol and reducing blood clots and blood pressure.
How to Use Sea Buckthorn
Sea buckthorn oil is extracted from the seeds of sea buckthorn and can be used topically or taken orally. Sea buckthorn oil is available in the form of pure juice, seed and berry oils, capsules, and creams. Here’s how you can use each format:
Topically: Sea buckthorn oil is an excellent moisturizer for your skin. It contains vitamins A, C and E, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also acts as an antioxidant that may protect your skin from sun damage, making it useful for reducing signs of aging like wrinkles or age spots. Sea buckthorn oil has also been shown to be effective at treating acne when applied topically. Sea buckthorn oil may also help treat rosacea by helping to calm inflammation in the face. A high-quality sea buckthorn body cream is Sea Buckthorn Body Cream by Sibu Sea Berry Therapy. This cream is 100% natural and combines sea buckthorn and shea butter to leave your skin feeling radiant, soft and hydrated while protecting it from environmental elements.
Orally: There are few specific dosing recommendations available, although 500 mg/day of the juice has been recommended for constipation, as has 5 g of the fruit or seed oil/day for a variety of other health concerns. It is also available in softgels which may be more convenient. It’s important to note, the use of seabuckthorn is not advised during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Additionally, if you are taking anti-coagulant medications, it is advisable to speak with a naturopathic doctor before using sea buckthorn orally.
Sea buckthorn is an amazing superfruit that has potent antioxidants and does wonders for your skin inside-out. Whether you choose to take it internally or use topical products, your skin will thank you.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.