You may have never heard of sea buckthorn oil but is has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. There are references to the sea buckthorn plant in Greek and Tibetan medical texts.
The sea buckthorn plant, Hippophae rhamnoides, is native to Central Asia and parts of Europe. It is among the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet.
The sea buckthorn plant has been called the holy fruit of the Himalayas. The oil from the plant can be ingested or applied topically to the skin making it very versatile for health purposes.
The plant contains over 190 nutrients that help prevent disease. Before we discuss the heath benefits of sea buckthorn, let’s discuss talk some about these nutrients.
What’s in Sea Buckthorn?
Sea buckthorn is a plant that produces a berry. An oil can be extracted from the plant. The plant is filled with antioxidants which fight disease and aging. It contains high concentrations of vitamins A, C, and E. The plant also contains biotin, folate, and vitamins B1, B2, and B6.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that accelerate aging and trigger dieases.
The plant is rich in flavonoids and quercetin.
Sea buckthorn oil contains all four omega fatty acids being one of the few plants that contains omega-3, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids. Omega-7s are relatively rare but easily absorbed through the skin. Omega-7s are heart healthy, GI tract healthy, and skin healthy fatty acids.
Minerals are found in abundance in sea buckthorn. These include potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
Sea Buckthorn Oil: Heart Health
Sea buckthorn oil promotes heart health in several ways. First, its antioxidant reduces risk for heart disease, improves blood pressure, lessen risk for blood clots, and improves cholesterol levels.
Diabetes and Sea Buckthorn
At least in animals studies sea buckthorn improved insulin sensitivity and in one human study sea buckthorn oil did minimize blood sugar spikes after a carbohydrate-rich meal.
Sea buckthorn oil is applied directly to the skin stimulating skin regeneration and wound healing. In some, sea buckthorn reduces skin dryness and can help with healing from burns, frostbite, and bed sores.
Immune System Benefits
Sea buckthorn is high in flavonoids which boost the body’s immune system reducing risk of infection. In the lab sea buckthorn has been shown to prevent growth of E. coli bacteria.
The antioxidants is sea buckthorn also defend against microbes including influenza and herpes and HIV viruses.
The healthy omega fatty acids and vitamin A and E concentrations protect the liver from damage. A healthy liver is needed to process fats and sugars.
Individuals with non-alcoholic liver disease saw improvements in blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and liver enzyme levels after taking sea buckthorn.
Sea Buckthorn and Cancer
Anything that provides antioxidants and boosts the immune system can help prevent or control cancer. The flavonoids and quercetin in sea buckthorn or potent cancer killers, but should not be taken in lieu of chemotherapy agents to treat cancer.
Other Health Benefits
Sea buckthorn can minimize development of stomach ulcers, reduce symptoms of menopause especially vaginal dryness, treat dry eyes, reduce inflammation, and may have antidepressant effects.
How Much Sea Buckthorn Oil to Take?
The dosage of sea buckthorn is not firmly established and how much sea buckthorn you should take depends on the reason for taking it. But, here are what human studies have shown.
Five grams of sea buckthorn was shown to reduce markers of blood clots. Reduce blood pressure was shown with taking 0.75 ml of the oil daily for 30 days.
For non-alcoholic liver disease 0.5 to 1.5 grams one to three times a day showed liver benefits.
Sea buckthorn is a plant with the potential to be used for many medicinal purposes. The plant contains several nutrients that fight disease and promote health. Though it has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes relatively few human studies have been conducted but those that have been completed show promise. As result more and more studies on sea buckthorn are being conducted.