A sea buckthorn is a medicinal plant, remarkable for its applications in treating several ailments. The botanical name for this spiny shrub is Hippophae rhamnoides. Foliage, flowers and berries contain active components, like tocopherols, essential fatty acids, carotenes and phytosterols in high amounts. In addition to these, berries also contain vitamins (especially vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E), minerals, and other essential nutrients. The berries and seeds are commercially used for extracting sea buckthorn oil.
Properties and Uses of Sea Buckthorn Oil
Sea buckthorn oil possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and regenerative properties. In alternative medicine, it is described as a curative product for a wide range of skin and mucous membrane conditions. The claimed benefits of sea buckthorn oil are treating skin cuts, wounds, sores, burns, and addressing inflammation, lesions and ulceration of mucous lining. This plant-based oil is also used for combating inflammatory and infectious diseases. On the downside story, using this oil is associated with some negative effects.
Side Effects of Sea Buckthorn Oil
In spite of the several applications of sea buckthorn oil in therapeutic intervention, some people report adverse effects after using this oil. Thus, performing a brief research about probable sea buckthorn oil side effects is a prerequisite before using it for treatment purposes.
According to studies conducted for analyzing sea buckthorn oil effects, this oil is safe, if the usage period is not extended beyond 3 months. In other words, the risks for manifesting adverse reactions to sea buckthorn products are high amongst those who use them for a prolonged period.
After using sea buckthorn oil, one may notice dark coloration of urine. Also, applying it on the skin causes yellowish coloration of the skin. These are quite normal and temporary. However, a main concern is that oil extracted from sea buckthorn berries is shown to increase the cytogenetic action of anticancer medications. If this is so, the combined effects of sea buckthorn oil and cancer medications can cause irreversible alterations to human chromosomes.
Ingestion of sea buckthorn oil is shown to promote blood flow in the arteries and veins. Considering this, it should not be taken in association with other vasodilator drugs. Those who are currently on these medications should consult the doctor before using sea buckthorn oil. This vasodilation effect also poses a risk for heavy and profuse bleeding at injury sites. Thus, candidates who have been scheduled for surgical procedure in the near date should refrain from taking sea buckthorn oil.
As of date, there is no scientific proof for the safety of sea buckthorn oil for pregnant and nursing mothers. Hence, the consequences of this oil in fetal development or newborns are not clear as yet. To be on the safer side, pregnant women, those who are planning to become pregnant soon and lactating mothers should not use this plant derived oil. If at all, one is interested in using sea buckthorn oil for skin, then also take the doctor's advice, and ask whether it is free of side effects or not.
Other Side Effects
This curative oil is not recommended for children who are below 12 years of age. Also, people who have been diagnosed with underlying diseases of the intestine, kidney, and liver should not take this product. It may worsen acute diarrhea, abdominal spasms and other gastrointestinal problems. Intake of this oil in high amounts may lead to dehydration effects, and is also related to loss of beneficial electrolytes. Overdose and prolonged use of sea blackthorn oil may cause kidney problems in the future.
These were some possible sea buckthorn oil side effects and risks. The bottom line is, consult a trusted doctor in order to confirm whether sea buckthorn oil is safe or not. Tell the doctor about existing diseases and medications (if any). Also, using only the recommended dosage of this oil (up to 45 g of seed based oil) for the suggested intake period (maximum 90 days) is a prerequisite to minimize the dangers posed by this plant oil.