Sea buckthorn Berry (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) has been found to be an extremely rich source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, flavonoids, carotenoids, and essential fatty acids! Over the centuries sea buckthorn oil has been used as a folk remedy and food source by many Asian cultures. This amazing berry has numerous reported medicinal uses*. It has been used as a healing remedy for many ulcerative and inflammation-related disorders such as canker sores, sore throat, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and inflammation of the cervix. Russian cosmonauts have even taken the oil while in orbit.
Here is Why the Sea Buckthorn Berry is so Special:
- Vitamins A, C, E and K
- Alpha, Beta, Gama, and Delta Tocopherol
- High in Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium
- 300 mg's of Vitamin C per 100 g of berries
- More Vitamin C by weight than Oranges
- High natural content of Vitamin E
- Rich Source of Omega 3, 6, 7 and, 9 Fatty Acids
- More Beta-Carotene than Carrots
- Rich in Flavonoids (Same types as Ginkgo Biloba)
In literature* Sea buckthorn has been shown to have a potent antioxidant activity, mainly attributed to its flavonoids and vitamin C content (1). Both the flavonoids and the oils from sea buckthorn have several potential applications (2). 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 reduction of 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 (internal use): 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 (3). In China, a study was done to demonstrate faster recovery of the hemopoietic system after high dose chemotherapy (with 5-FU) in mice fed the sea buckthorn oil (4). The seed oil has been found to enhance non-specific immunity and to provide anti-tumor effects in preliminary laboratory studies (5, 6).
Cardiovascular diseases (internal use) In a double-blind clinical trial conducted in China (7), 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 cholesterol level and improved cardiac function; also they had less angina 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 cardiac muscle tissue by regulation of inflammatory mediators (8). In a laboratory animal study, the flavonoids of sea buckthorn were shown to reduce the production of pathogenic thromboses (9). Some simple formulas based on sea buckthorn have been developed recently for treating cardiac disorders. For example, there is a liquid preparation of sea buckthorn flavonoids with carthamus (safflower) and licorice, calledAi Xin Bao(from the Shanxi Ai Xin Biological Technology Development Center), which is intended for use in treatment of coronary heart disease and sequelae of heart attack and stroke, through improving blood circulation and restoring cardiac function.
Gastric ulcers (internal use) Sea buckthorn is traditionally used in the treatment of gastric ulcers, and laboratory studies confirm the efficacy of the seed oil for this application (10, 11). Its functions may be to normalize output of gastric acid and reduce inflammation by controlling pro-inflammatory mediators.
Liver cirrhosis (internal use): 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 (12). In addition, sea buckthorn oil protects the liver from damaging effects of toxic chemicals, as revealed in laboratory studies (13).
Skin (external use): An ingredient of the oil, palmitoleic acid, is a component of skin. It is considered 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 (14). The only other major plant source of palmitoleic acid is macadamia nuts; the oil is used to nourish the skin. Sea buckthorn oil is already widely used alone or in various preparations topically applied for burns, scalds, ulcerations, and infections. It is an ingredient in sun-block. hippophae oil has UV-blocking activity as well as emollient properties-and it is an aid in promoting regeneration of tissues (15). 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.
Rosch D, et al., Structure-antioxidant efficiency relationships of phenolic compounds and their contribution to the antioxidant activity of seabuckthorn juice, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 2004; 51(15): 4233-4239.
Li TSC and Schroeder WR, Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides): A multipurpose plant, Horticultural Technology 1996; 6(4): 370-378.
Agrawala PK and Goel HC, Protective effect of RH-3 with special reference to radiation induced micronuclei in mouse bone marrow, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 2002 May; 40 (5): 525-530.
Chen Y, et al., Study on the effects of the oil from Hippophae rhamnoides in hematopoiesis, Chinese Herbal Drugs 2003; 26(8): 572-575.
Yu Let et al., Effects of Hippophae rhamnoides juice on immunologic and antitumor functions, 1993 Acta Nutrimenta Sinica 15(3): 280-283.
Zhong Fei, et al., Effects of the total flavonoid of Hippophae rhamnoides on nonspecific immunity in animals, Shanxi Medical Journal 1989; 18(1): 9-10.
Zhang Maoshun, et al., Treatment of ischemic heart diseases with flavonoids of Hippophae rhamnoides, Chinese Journal of Cardiology 1987; 15(2): 97-99.
Xiao Z, et al., The inhibitory effect of total flavonoids of hippophae on the activation of NF-kappa ? by stretching cultured cardiac myocytes, Sichuan University Medical Journal 2003; 34(2): 283-285.
Cheng J, et al., Inhibitory effects of total flavones of Hippophae rhamnoides on thrombosis in mouse femoral artery and in vitro platelet aggregation, Life Sciences 2003; 72(20): 2263-2271.
Zhou Yuanpeng, et al., Study on the effect of hippophae seed oil against gastric ulcer, 1998 Institute of Medical Plants Resource Development, The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing.
Xing J, et al., Effects of sea buckthorn seed and pulp oils on experimental models of gastric ulcer in rats, Fitoterapia 2002; 73(7-8): 644-650.
Gao ZL, et al., Effect of sea buckthorn on liver fibrosis: a clinical study, World Journal of Gastroenterology 2003; 9(7): 1615-1617.
Cheng T, et al., Acute toxicity of flesh oil of Hippophae rhamnoides and its protection against experimental hepatic injury, Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 1990; 15(1): 45-47, 64.
Yang Baoru, et al., Effects of dietary supplementation of sea buckthorn oils on fatty acids in patients with atopic dermatitis, 1999 Proceedings of the International Sea Buckthorn Congress, ICRTS, Beijing.
Ianev E, et al., The effect of an extract of sea buckthorn on the healing of experimental skin wounds in rats, Dermatology 1995; 48(3): 30-33.
*The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.