26 - 01 - 2024
Sea Buckthorn: ‘The Most Perfect Plant in the Whole World’
What is sea buckthorn?
Since the formation of the Himalayas, sea buckthorn has withstood the harsh weather conditions of the Tibetan highlands. This resilient plant yields exceptionally nutritious bright orange berries on its thorny branches. Renowned for containing over 190 bioactive nutrients crucial for health, sea buckthorn has received the accolade of the “Most Perfect Plant in the Whole World.”
The botanical name, Hippophae rhamnoides, means “The Shiny Horse.” According to ancient legend, debilitated war horses were released into sea buckthorn forests to roam freely. They were remarkably robust and healthy when they returned with glossy, radiant coats. According to Mongol tradition, Genghis Khan attributed his armies’ remarkable strength, endurance and conquests to sea buckthorn.
What makes sea buckthorn so good?
Plant oils usually have a complex network of nutrients. Sea buckthorn oil is considered outstanding in this regard. It contains omegas 3, 7, 6 & 9, natural vitamin E and a vast array of other nutrients. In fact, it’s an antioxidant powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. It has a unique nutritional composition of phytonutrients and potent antioxidants. It includes SOD (Superoxide Dismutase), Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, along with carotenoids, tocopherols, phytosterols, phospholipids, anti-inflammatory compounds such as ellagic acid, folic acid, ferulic acid, tannins, flavonoids including quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, and more.
One notable feature of sea buckthorn is its high content of Omega 7. Omega 7 is a less widely recognised fatty acid renowned for its health, wellness, and cosmetic applications. It has shown promise for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. It can help smooth artery passages and help keep artery walls strong. In addition, Omega 7 has the potential to support cellular health, provide moisture, and soothe the digestive system. It has also gained popularity as a key ingredient in beauty, skincare and anti-ageing products. Despite being present in certain fish and nuts, sea buckthorn berries stand out as a richer source of Omega 7.
Balance the omegas
Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids, meaning your body needs them but cannot make them naturally. However, a balanced intake between the two is considered essential. The consumption of vegetable oils high in omega-6 has increased dramatically in the past 100 years. Research indicates a high intake of omega-6 relative to omega-3 may cause issues, particularly for heart health and several chronic diseases.
A pre-industrial diet typically maintained an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio ranging from approximately 4:1 to 1:4. By contrast, a typical Western diet today has been estimated to average a ratio of 16:1 and can go much higher. Sea buckthorn, however, maintains a naturally balanced omega 3:6 ratio, approximating a ratio of 1:1. This makes it a healthy choice to help redress these imbalances.
Oily fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines, fish oil and flaxseed oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds are all excellent sources of omega-3. And, of course, so is sea buckthorn. Processed seeds and nut oils are all sources of omega-6, and the increasing prevalence of these products in the diet is one of the reasons for the significant increase in the ratios.
What health issues is sea buckthorn helpful for, and why
So, what are the particular benefits of this highly nutritious plant? As you might guess, with so many nutrients in one product, the issues it can assist are many and varied.
Sea-buckthorn oil can contribute to enhanced blood circulation. It can also help promote skin oxygenation and facilitate the elimination of excess toxins from the body.
Because it can help bring moisture into the cells, as well as being rich in unsaturated fat, antioxidants, phytosterols, carotenoids, and vitamins E and K, sea buckthorn is helpful as a beauty product. It can protect the skin’s integrity, promote its renewal and help dehydrated skin as well as wrinkles and fine lines. Its impact is further realised within the skin, where gamma-linolenic acid is converted to prostaglandins. This offers protection against infections, allergy prevention, inflammation reduction, and inhibition of the ageing process. It may also help repair damaged hair and restore its elasticity and smoothness. Maybe the legend of the ‘shiny horses’ isn’t such a legend after all!
Mucous membranes play a pivotal role in moisture regulation. However, they are susceptible to oxidative stress from free radicals, leading to inflammation and dryness. Sea buckthorn’s diverse nutrients are essential for the upkeep of the mucous membrane cells. These cells line sensitive areas of the body, such as the eyes, digestive system, and genital regions. For this reason, sea buckthorn can be helpful for conditions like dry eyes, dry mouth and intimate dryness around menopause.
Sea buckthorn provides potential support for cardiovascular health and diabetes
Sea buckthorn oil has the potential to support cardiovascular health by mitigating blood pressure, enhancing cholesterol profiles, and offering protection against the formation of blood clots. It also exhibits the potential to enhance insulin secretion, which in turn helps to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels, factors that may contribute to protection against the onset of type 2 diabetes.
The high flavonoid and antioxidant content may help the immune system, while healthy fats, vitamin E, and carotenoids may protect liver cells from damage.
Sea buckthorn offers some possible anticancer effects due to its bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids and antioxidants. Notably, sea buckthorn is particularly abundant in quercetin, a flavonoid that research has demonstrated properties conducive to inhibiting cancer cell proliferation.
Sea buckthorn, often considered “The Most Perfect Plant in the Whole World”, provides over 190 bioactive nutrients significant for health and beauty. Its wide array of beneficial properties, including antioxidant and antibacterial, demonstrate its importance for natural health and potentially valuable impact on cardiovascular health, immune support, skin quality, and overall well-being. Sea Buckthorn’s unique omega-rich composition distinguishes it as a powerful botanical resource.