For centuries, cultures across the world have lived generously from their land, as they cultivated new plant species and harvested various roots and fruits to use as part of their dietary needs. In some instances, such as with the case of sea buckthorn, the thorny plant with its golden berries has been carried through millennia, praised for its valuable medicinal and herbal properties.
Contrary to what the name might suggest, sea buckthorn is grown in the coastal regions of Asia and Northern Europe. In modern times, the berries of this tree have been considered a super fruit due to their valuable nutritional and therapeutic properties.
While there are few clinical studies to prove the effectiveness of sea buckthorn, whether it’s in the form of an oil, paste, topical cream, or even sea buckthorn pills, there are recorded instances where sea buckthorn provided sufficient herbal and therapeutic treatment with success.
If you’re looking to know more about sea buckthorn and its various uses, then you’re at the right place.
Nutritional and Medicinal Properties
Since the 1940s, Russian scientists have conducted hundreds of experiments and tests on sea buckthorn berries to better understand its nutritional and bioactive structure. In one study, researchers found that sea buckthorn berries contain nearly 200 different bioactive compounds, and are considered to be a “nutritional vitamin treasure house”, according to one study.
Sea buckthorn contains a wide variety of vitamins, including A, B1, B2, B6, B12, and most importantly Vitamin C. These active ingredients have been traditionally used to slow the aging process, and further serve as a natural remedy to prevent or reduce cardiovascular disease.
Moreover, the leaves, berries, and seeds of the plant contain various other important nutrients, including carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds, phenolic acids, and some flavonoids.
Other important minerals include phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, and boron. There is also the presence of several critical amino acids that are considered crucial for cardiovascular, vaginal dryness and skin health.
Omega Fatty Acids
Apart from containing a generous amount of vitamins, other nutrients that have been found in sea buckthorn oil include Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid content. In some cases, such as with external wounds, the presence of both Omega-3 and 6, tocopherols, and carotenoids significantly helped to improve skin structure and elasticity.
Other organic fatty acids, such as phytosterols, amino acids, and minerals are present in sea buckthorn, and play an important role in cell proliferation, helping to promote the growth of keratinocytes and fibroblasts. These are all important building blocks used in skin care products, such as topical creams and lotions.
The main bioactive ingredients and antioxidant compounds of sea buckthorn are what make it a super fruit with multiple uses. Bioactive ingredients such as anticancer, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and dermatological activities, among various others, have been found within the fruits of the sea buckthorn plant, according to some studies.
The presence of carotenoids has been found to reduce the risk of certain diseases such as some cancers and eye diseases, however, this is largely dependent on the species of sea buckthorn.
When developed into a consumable product, such as yogurt, sea buckthorn berries are significantly rich in fat, protein, carbohydrates, and antioxidants, including Vitamin C, E carotenoids, and phenols, among others. This would make sea buckthorn a valuable source of vitamins and minerals, and further help consumers meet their nutritional needs when consumed regularly.
The therapeutic potential of sea buckthorn, whether in the form of an oil, liquid, or supplement has been recorded to provide significant improvements, however, this is subject to compound extractions and the presence of different bioactive compounds in various types of sea buckthorn species.
- Skincare and Skin diseases: Sea buckthorn berries are host to a rare palmitoleic acid, often known as Omega-7 fatty acid. This element is important in the use of skin rejuvenation and further stimulates the regenerative process of the epidermis.
In one study, researchers found that when sea buckthorn is used as an oil or topical lotion, active ingredients can stimulate wound healing and potentially heal necrotic tissue. Other external therapeutic treatments for different types of skin diseases such as eczema, dermatoses, ulcers, and atopic dermatitis.
- Pharmacological use: There is evidence that supports the idea that sea buckthorn may be used for various pharmacological activities, including cytoprotective, anti-stress, and immunomodulatory. Other uses may include the use of sea buckthorn extract as part of anti-tumor, anti-microbial, and tissue regeneration. There have been reported uses for it as a radioprotective element.
- Cardiovascular disease: Several studies have revealed that sea buckthorn berries may contain high doses of Vitamin C and E. Among this, researchers have discovered that sea buckthorn may be a potential use to protect humans against cardiovascular disease, including alleviating symptoms and further risks associated with cardiovascular disease.
- Ulcers: In another clinical study, sea buckthorn oil has been shown to provide significant positive improvements for health problems related to damaged mucous membranes. This includes the regeneration of mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, such as in the case of mouth ulcers, gastric ulcers, and stress-related ulcers.
Take A Look At Sea Buckthorn Benefits, Uses and How to Take It | Guide to Sea Buckthorn:
Application and Usage
Due to advancements in modern medicine and related healthcare products, sea buckthorn can be applied through multiple methods, with the most popular among them being supplements and topical lotions, common in skin care ranges.
One of the most frequented forms of sea buckthorn is in the form of dietary supplements. In this case, some supplements that may contain sea buckthorn extract would either be in the form of an oil or powder. These dietary supplements may work to promote physical health and well-being of certain bodily functions, including skin, eyes, hair, and the cardiovascular system.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that in the United States, dietary supplements are not tested for safety and efficacy by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before being sold on the public market. It’s advised that when possible purchase or use supplements that have been tested and approved by third parties, examples include United States Pharmacopeia (USP); NSF International, or ConsumerLabs.
Another possible use and application of sea buckthorn is through a topical lotion. These lotions can be used to alleviate symptoms on external parts of the body, including inflammation, redness, skin discoloration, scars, and redness.
There may be some topical lotions that contain pure sea buckthorn extract, which in some instances has proven to be the most effective. However, not all lotions may only contain sea buckthorn, and there may be lotions or creams that have been formulated with a mixture of other ingredients.
It’s advised to only use a sea buckthorn lotion that has been tested and approved by a third party. However, there may be cases where even tested products may not be as effective as originally intended. A further suggestion is to consult with a healthcare provider beforehand and to establish whether a sea buckthorn lotion would be most suitable depending on the intended use.
Is Sea Buckthorn a Phytoestrogen?
There has been evidence to show that sea buckthorn leaves may be phytoestrogen. Depending on the level of concentration of sea buckthorn, the estrogenic and anti-estrogenic properties may be different. In some clinical studies, there has been evidence to prove that sea buckthorn leaves may help to improve the expression of certain genes in specific organs, i.e. increased ADSL gene expression in the liver through estrogenic activity.
Who Should Not Take Sea Buckthorn
Depending on the application or concentration of sea buckthorn there may be other harmful activities that can further increase health-related risks. For instance, as a medicine, sea buckthorn could further increase the risk of bruising or bleeding, especially in patients who have known bleeding disorders. This could elevate additional risks in patients that are undergoing surgery, or consuming sea buckthorn as a medicine.
Can You Take Sea Buckthorn Daily
Side effects of sea buckthorn may vary from person to person, however, there is some evidence that has shown sea buckthorn may provide positive benefits when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. This may either be in the form of dietary supplements or as a food item, i.e. yogurt. When consumed as a medicine, it’s advised to continue use for a maximum of six months, depending on the type of prescription and advised daily use.
Is Sea Buckthorn Good for Hair Growth
Sea buckthorn's combination of concentrated nutrients and minerals has shown it to be beneficial for hair growth and regenerative properties to promote hair strength and thickness.
What Are the Side Effects of Common Buckthorn?
There have been reported instances of common and severe side effects of sea buckthorn. When consumed as a fruit, sea buckthorn is generally safe, however, it’s advised to consult with a healthcare provider if you’re considering taking sea buckthorn pills or supplements.
Other sea buckthorn supplements may include gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming a minimal dose of sea buckthorn over a period of three months. Other severe symptoms may be that sea buckthorn causes blood-thinning, which could potentially be a risk of patients taking blood-sugar medication or suffering from bleeding disorders.
Sea buckthorn is considered to a super fruit and has been used for years as a therapeutic and herbal remedy. As more research is being conducted surrounding the efficacy of sea buckthorn, researchers could potentially establish additional properties that may be beneficial to humans.
However, limited clinical studies and available research create a seemingly opaque view of sea buckthorn. Although there are some reported positive improvements in patients taking sea buckthorn oil or extract, further research is required to properly understand the overall benefits of sea buckthorn and how various formats thereof can help improve human health and well-being.
As a precaution, it’s advised to consult with a healthcare provider before taking or using sea buckthorn products, including supplements or as a medicine. Additionally, healthcare providers will assign specific sea buckthorn doses, depending on the intended use. While sea buckthorn has multiple uses and countless health benefits, more research is needed to fully prove and support its overall efficacy when used as a supplement or medicine.