Sea buckthorn, a.k.a. sea berry, is a deciduous shrub, native to large areas of Asia and Europe. It is found in many countries around the world like France, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Nepal, China, and so on. This thorny shrub belongs to the genus Hippophae of the Elaeagnaceae family, and has six species and twelve sub-species. The sea buckthorn berry itself, is used in making jams, pies, liquors, etc. Moreover, its juice is also very popular in several countries, not only for its taste, but also for its nutritional value. The oil that is extracted from this plant is also equally popular, especially for its phenomenal healing properties.
Oil can be extracted from the pulp as well as from the seeds of the berries of a sea buckthorn plant. The use of this oil has been a centuries-old tradition in numerous countries, where sea buckthorn is found in abundance. China, Russia, and Mongolia are the leading producers and consumers of the oil, and they have also used it in various consumer products such as biscuits, candies, shampoos, cosmetics, and many more. Further, an interesting research on the oil has come from Russia, where it has been used by the astronauts as a protection against cosmic radiation. Thus, the sea buckthorn oil has more benefits than one. Let's take a look at some of its important benefits.
Improves Immunity:The fruit of the sea buckthorn plant contains a large number of vitamins, fatty acids, amino acids, alongside some other useful nutrients. The sea buckthorn oil is known to contain some 106 nutrients and other bioactive compounds. It is an extremely rich source of vitamins A, C, and E, alongside flavonoids, fatty acids, and nutritional elements such as iron, manganese, and zinc. These substances help to improve and maintain the immunity of the human body.
Prevents the Growth of Cancer Cells:Research has proven that the sea buckthorn oil possesses anticarcinogenic properties. The antioxidants present in the oil are said to prevent the formation and growth of cancer cells in the human body by blocking the effects of certain carcinogenic substances. The intake of the sea buckthorn seed oil also increases the number of antibodies in the human body, which help to strongly resist the mutations of cancerous cells.
Cures Gastrointestinal Disorders:Sea buckthorn seed oil, when consumed, forms a sort of protective coating on the interior of the stomach and intestines, which prevents the pathogens from having adverse effects on them. Moreover, the oil also contains a number of substances, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown the ability of the sea buckthorn oil in curing gastric ulcers. All these properties of the oil create favorable conditions for the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Benefits the Cardiovascular Health:Most cardiovascular diseases are related to high levels of blood fat. The sea buckthorn oil helps reduce these high levels, and to raise the number of healthy blood vessels in the human body. On the other hand, oleic acid, one of the unsaturated fatty acids contained in the oil, aids in the reduction of cholesterol levels. Furthermore, another unsaturated fatty acid, the linoleic acid, helps to regulate blood pressure and to promote proper metabolism. Vitamin E, along with the various antioxidants present in the oil, aid in the removal of dead cells from the bloodstream.
Reduces the Intensity of Eye Problems:A recent study by the University of Turku, Finland, has indicated the usefulness of sea buckthorn oil in the reduction of the dry eye syndrome symptoms. Also sometimes, especially during the cold season, the tear film tends to increase in thickness, thus causing redness of the eyes. Oral intake of sea buckthorn oil limits the thickness of the tear film, and reduces the intensity of eye redness.
Decreases the Chances of Liver Ailments:The intake of sea buckthorn oil tends to reduce the chances of liver damage, often caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, paracetamol, and carbon tetrachloride. The oil is also known to prevent the fatty liver disease by improving the lipid metabolism. This, in turn, controls the fat metabolism disorder, the liver may suffer from. Owing to this, the chances of liver cancer and arteriosclerosis are also reduced to a large extent.
Conditions and Repairs the Skin:Due to the fact that the sea buckthorn oil is an extremely rich source of vitamin C and bears a high antioxidant value, it is supposed to be good for the purpose of skin conditioning and repair. The oil's topical application aids in the improvement of skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, burns, eczema, and several other conditions, which may cause skin inflammation. Moreover, it also reduces the effects of skin pigmentation by lightening the dark spots. The oil is also useful against wrinkles and freckles. Added to this, it is also known to be protecting the skin from UV rays.
Whitens the Teeth:Teeth, more often than not, tend to develop yellow stains due to consumption of substances such as tobacco, wine, coffee, and so on. Added to this, they also tend to decay due to food particles that are left between them, when we eat. As a rich source of vitamins A, E, and C, sea buckthorn oil naturally whitens the stained teeth by acting as an exfoliating agent. Moreover, it also heals any sort of injuries, with respect to the teeth and gums.
Other Benefits:➞ Kills microscopic parasites
➞ Cures acne and skin allergies
➞ Helps to lose weight
➞ Prevents hair loss
➞ Accelerates the healing of wounds
➞ Reduces the effect of radiation caused due to chemotherapy, laser surgeries, and the like
➞ Helps to cure constipation
➞ Heals and repairs mucous membranes
➞ Helps to cure common cold and sometimes, pneumonia
➞ Lowers the levels of triglycerides in the blood
Owing to the numerous benefits of sea buckthorn oil, it is no wonder that it has been used as one of the basic ingredients of traditional medicine, throughout the ages. The interesting thing is that, with new researches, more and more benefits of the oil are being known, and its already widespread use is still increasing at a much faster rate. Nowadays, alongside medicine, the sea buckthorn oil is also being used in a variety of skin care products and cosmetics.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be substituted for expert medical advice.