Sea buckthorn is a plant long valued for its medicinal properties. The leaves, fruit pulp, and seed oil have all been integral parts of traditional medicine for hundreds of years in some countries. It’s been touted as a solution for everything from liver damage, to aging skin. The question, as with many natural remedies, is “does it really work?” What makes sea buckthorn unique is that the answer is backed by scholarly research and laboratory experiments. There’s a significant body of research on the effectiveness, usefulness, and safety of sea buckthorn and its byproducts, the results of which have offered confirmation on both efficacy and safety. Today, we’ll discuss some of that research, and explain (in layman’s terms, rather than technobabble) what sea buckthorn oil is capable of. The benefits below come by way of a rather thorough study, entitled “Remedial Prospective of Hippophae rhamnoides Linn. (Sea Buckthorn),” authored by Chirag A. Patel, Kalyani Divakar, Devdas Santani, Himanshu K. Solanki, and Jalaram H. Thakkar.
1. It Fights Ulcers
Sea buckthorn oil does a number of positive things for the digestive system, improving overall gut health, but one of the most important things it can do is counteract and help heal ulcers. There are several factors in play when it does this. First of all, it increases the speed of digestion, meaning the stomach empties faster. It improves the quality of the mucous lining the stomach, so that it’s more resistant to stomach acid, and thus protects the ulcers long enough for them to heal. And it improves “wound reparation processes of mucosa” (Patel et al.), among other things.
2. It Helps Prevent Blood Clots
Under normal conditions, blood is designed to make wounds self-sealing. Called “clotting,” the sealing effect is achieved by blood platelets—special blood cells designed to stick together and form a plug in the event of a cut or hemorrhage. The platelets seal the hole, stemming the blood loss, and allowing the flesh to repair itself. You’re seeing blood clotting in action any time you cut yourself and develop a scab. Clotting is one of our bodies’ defense mechanisms, and it’s very helpful when it happens where it’s supposed to. Where problems arise is when clots form inside the blood that’s flowing; the clump of cells can block arteries and trap blood flow, depriving parts of the body of oxygen. One of the most severe examples of this is a stroke, which occurs when a blood clot gets caught in a blood vessel in the brain. When platelets start grouping together in the blood, it’s called “platelet aggregation,” and it’s a precursor to developing a clot. Sea buckthorn oil helps keep platelets from sticking together while they’re still flowing, reducing the risk of blood clots dramatically.
3. It Reduces Inflammation
Similar to painkillers like ibuprofen, sea buckthorn oil has an anti-inflammatory effect, meaning it reduces the pain and soreness in an area of the body (such as would be caused by a mild burn, an infection, or strained muscles). Inflammation is caused when white blood cells react to damage or distress in the body by releasing a chemical that increases blood flow to the area. Sea buckthorn oil cuts back on this chemical (high levels of which also indicate a risk for cardiovascular disease).
4. It Helps Promotes Healing
Skin wounds, burn wounds, even mustard gas-induced injuries benefit from sea buckthorn oil. This is because of the antioxidant properties of the oil, and its ability to defend the body against sulfur dioxide. What’s more, it improves “mechanical strength of healing tendons,” which means it also improves collagen production (Patel et al.). Sea buckthorn also decreases CO2 levels in healing tissue, protects the brain, helps controls hormone levels, and more.
5. It Protects Against Radiation
Perhaps the most interesting entry on the list, sea buckthorn oil helps protect the body against radiation damage. High levels of radiation are dangerous, because radiation can disrupt the genetic composition of cells in your body, which in turn causes them to either die off, or become cancerous. Brief exposure or smaller doses of radiation exposure are not always fatal (or always immediately fatal), but even a little radiation can cause serious damage to the body. Sea buckthorn oil helps protect against radiation damage by clearing the body of free radicals, as well as performing some other DNA-defending functions that require dense medical language to explain. As for specific radiation-induced conditions it protects against, sea buckthorn oil both protects against, and helps repair “radiation-induced acute intestinal injury,” a condition that “contributes to morbidity and mortality after medical or industrial radiation exposure.”
6. It Soothes Atopic Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is one of the many skin conditions that manifests as dry, red, itchy patches on the skin. It’s usually known by its more common name: eczema. It usually develops during infancy or early childhood, and is often a chronic condition. What sea buckthorn oil does is “[increase] the level of a-linolenic, linoleic, and eicosapentaenoic acids” in the skin, helping to keep it from drying out and developing the inflammation (Patel et al.).
7. It’s Anti-Atherogenic
The health cardiovascular system, much like the digestive system, shows a marked improvement from the use of sea buckthorn oil. One of the areas where this is most evident is in the reduction of plaque buildup in blood vessels. The buildup of plaque is the reason some heart patients have to undergo bypass surgeries, as blood flow to the heart can be obstructed, which also results in higher blood pressure (see below). Sea buckthorn oil cuts down on the plaque buildup, protecting the cardiovascular system from the dangers associated with it. As a result it also cuts down on the risk of heart attack.
8. It Combats Hypertension
Hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) can be caused by a number of cardiovascular issues. It has to do with the buildup of calcium in vascular smooth muscle, which sea buckthorn oil helps combat. It’s “effective in decreasing the concentration of intracellular-free calcium,” and thus helps keep blood pressure within healthy limits (Patel et al.).
9. It’s a Powerful Antioxidant
In the end, most of sea buckthorn’s benefits come from its high levels of antioxidants, and its antibacterial properties. It’s also loaded with vitamins, including “A, B1, B12, C, E, K and P; flavonoids, lycopene, carotenoids, and phytosterols” (Patel et al.). It’s rare for so much health-boosting capacity to be contained in such a small package, but sea buckthorn has been famous for it for generations. Best of all, sea buckthorn oil is safe and easy to use. Check out SIBU’s sea buckthorn oil products (which you can also buy in bulk) to learn more, and to start enjoying the amazing health benefits yourself.