(Natural News) Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), also known as the holy fruit of the Himalayas, is a medicinal shrub that grows in many countries in Europe, Central Asia, and East Asia. It is used widely in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine due to its many health benefits. In particular, the oil that can be extracted from its leaves, seeds, and berries is considered a powerful remedy for various ailments. Studies reveal that sea buckthorn oil promotes the health of many organs and major systems, such as the heart, liver, skin, immune system, and digestive system.
Scientifically proven health benefits of sea buckthorn oil
Sea buckthorn oil has recently become a very popular herbal medicine — and for good reason. Here are 12 things about sea buckthorn oil that make it a good medicine to have in your cabinet.
It is rich in phytochemicals and nutrients.
According to a review published in Lipids in Health and Disease, sea buckthorn berries – from which sea buckthorn oil is sourced – are rich in vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E. They also contain an abundance of bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids, catechins, procyanidins, cyclitols, phospholipids, tannins, and phenolic acids. Most of these compounds are known antioxidants and anticancer agents. In addition, sea buckthorn oil is a good source of omega-3, omega-6, omega-7, and omega-9 fatty acids.
It promotes heart health.
Due to having many antioxidants, sea buckthorn oil is effective in reducing risk factors of cardiovascular disease, such as blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood clots. A study published in Clinical Nutrition reports that consumption of sea buckthorn oil for one month decreased not only the blood pressure of hypertensives, but also their triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein levels. The oil, however, did not have the same effect on healthy people.
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It supports the liver.
Sea buckthorn oil is rich in vitamin E, healthy fats, and carotenoids, all of which provide liver cells protection from damage. Studies involving animals and humans demonstrate the potential of sea buckthorn oil in improving liver function. In patients with liver cirrhosis, intake of sea buckthorn oil for six months significantly decreased the levels of biomarkers of liver disease in their blood. (Related: Sea buckthorn oil can promote liver health and decrease the storage of body fat.)
It protects the skin.
Sea buckthorn oil is one of the newest additions to the list of ingredients used in skincare products, as it has many components that can alleviate inflammation. What’s more, animal studies showed that sea buckthorn oil can protect skin from the harmful effects of UV exposure. Besides giving protection, sea buckthorn oil also prevents skin dryness, heals burns and sores, and promotes skin elasticity.
It boosts immune function.
The flavonoids in sea buckthorn oil are potent antioxidants with anticancer activities. Their ability to scavenge free radicals protects cells from oxidative damage. The vitamin C in sea buckthorn oil also strengthens the immune system and increases its resistance to infections and other illnesses. Sea buckthorn oil inhibits the growth of Escherichia coli and protects against viral infections that cause influenza, HIV, and herpes.
It improves digestion.
Sea buckthorn oil has long been used in traditional medicine to aid digestion. Studies report that sea buckthorn oil improves gastric emptying, gastric mobility, and gastrointestinal digestive function. The omega-7 fatty acid found in sea buckthorn oil plays an important role in the maintenance of the structure and integrity of the gastrointestinal tract. It also alleviates pain due to gastric ulcers, and, together with carotenoids, speeds up the repair of gastric and duodenal epithelial tissue.
Sea buckthorn oil is a useful natural medicine with many applications. To obtain the most out it, check the source of the oil and use it accordingly. Oil extracted from sea buckthorn berries is best used as a topical remedy. The oil extracted from sea buckthorn seeds is more suitable (and effective) for consumption.