Sea buckthorn contains many important nutrients your body needs daily, like vitamin A, vitamin E, and important unsaturated fats. It is always best to take a food-first approach to obtain all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Often, a healthy, well-balanced diet provides plenty of the nutrients in sea buckthorn.
Food Sources of Sea Buckthorn
Sea buckthorn is not widely found in foods sold in stores. You would most likely need to cook or bake your own recipes containing sea buckthorn to ingest it through food.
You may find jellies, jams, sauces, or beverages containing sea buckthorn at specialty grocery stores or online.
Keep in mind that since there is no recommended daily intake for sea buckthorn, it is unnecessary to use it as a supplement or add it to recipes unless otherwise advised.
Sea Buckthorn Supplements
You can find sea buckthorn supplements in various forms, including an oil or cream, a capsule, or a capsule combined with other herbal remedies. It is unknown which form of sea buckthorn is best or most beneficial, as research is still limited.
Sea buckthorn supplements are available online and in some natural-food stores. You can also find skin-care products containing sea buckthorn in many specialty beauty shops.
When choosing a sea buckthorn supplement, the label will include vital information, including the amount of active ingredients per serving as well as any other ingredients that have been added.
Since the U.S. government does not regulate supplements, it is best to look for a third-party seal of approval on the supplement label. Independent organizations, like U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab.com, and NSF International, help verify the product.
These groups will ensure that supplements:
Were manufactured correctly
Contain the ingredients listed on the label
Do not have harmful levels of contaminants
Remember, a seal of approval from one of these organizations does not guarantee the product’s safety or effectiveness.
Given the lack of supporting research, it is too soon to recommend sea buckthorn for any health condition. It’s important to note that self-treating a condition with sea buckthorn and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious health consequences.
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Supplements are unregulated, so be sure to read labels and look for a third-party seal of approval to help ensure the supplement has been vetted and approved.
Older studies suggest oral sea buckthorn supplements may help treat atopic dermatitis (eczema). For example, one 1999 study tested sea buckthorn pulp oil on 49 people with atopic dermatitis. Researchers observed significant improvement in eczema symptoms among those who took sea buckthorn supplements every day for four months.
However, other recent research suggests that supplements like sea buckthorn provide no benefit.
Some nonhuman animal-based studies have suggested that sea buckthorn may promote wound healing when applied topically. For example, in a 2009 study, scientists found that topically applied sea buckthorn seed oil helped speed up the healing of burn wounds in rats.
However, it’s important to mention that this study was not performed on humans. More human research using sea buckthorn would need to be done to make further conclusions about its effectiveness for wound healing in humans.
A 2021 human trial in China found that consuming a puree of sea buckthorn fruit for five weeks resulted in a slight decrease in fasting blood sugar.5 However, the study was small—including only 38 people. The participants had impaired glucose regulation (IGR), or pre-diabetes.
Another small study of 18 males (sex assigned at birth) suggested that sea buckthorn berries decreased and delayed the insulin response after eating.
The antioxidant components of sea buckthorn are thought to be responsible for its potential blood sugar-lowering effects.7 Overall, the research in this area has been limited, and more comprehensive studies are needed.
Skin Care and Cosmetics
A 2017 review reported various skin uses of sea buckthorn. According to the review, topical sea buckthorn may be helpful in the following ways:
Moisturizing the skin
Healing aging-related damage
The review notes that the antioxidants and fatty acids in sea buckthorn are helpful tools in skin care. The antioxidants are thought to remove free radicals and, thus, reduce the appearance of aging, while the fatty acids are said to add moisture to the skin.
Other Potential Uses
In addition to the above, studies have also looked at sea buckthorn’s use in:
High blood pressure
According to a short review, sea buckthorn’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components are thought to have anti-cancer properties.
However, the review points out that the research thus far has been done on animals or in vitro (in a glass); this means human trials are needed before potential anti-cancer effects of sea buckthorn in humans can be confirmed.
Recent animal studies have demonstrate remarkable beneficial benefits of Sea buckthorn oil made from the plants berries and seeds. Use of Sea Buckthorn is by no means new. It’s medicinal use was noted in ancient Tibetan healing texts since the Tang Dynasty (617–907) and has been called “the Holy Fruit of the Himalayas.” Its use has been recorded in early Ayurvedic medicine.
Sea Buckthorn berries, together with the juices, jams, and oils made from them, have a range of beneficial antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects .
Sea Buckthorne oil has been shown to stimulate the immune system, improve kidney and liver function . In cancer patients it kills cancer cell as well as slow their reproduction.
Sea Buckthorne oil has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. It protects the cardiovascular as well as the cerebrovascular systems .
When used topically, Sea Buckthorne oil is a great natural cleanser and exfoliater. It can also help heal burns, cuts, wounds, sunburn, rashes, and other types of skin damage. Sea-buckthorn oil improves blood circulation, facilitates oxygenation of the skin, removes excess toxins from the body and easily penetrates through the skin . Sea-buckthorn oil protects against infections, prevents allergies, eliminates inflammation and inhibits the aging process in skin .
Sea Buckthorne oil is an excellent source of two important unsaturated fatty acids palmitoleic acid (omega-7) and gamma-linolenic acid (omega-6) as well as vitamins A and E and phytosterols, especially beta-sitosterol .
The optimal dosage for Sea Buckthorn oil is to yet to be determined through human studies. A guideline is to look for a supplement made from both pulp and seed. Take enough to get about about 300-400 mg of palmitoleic (Omega 7) per day.
Various parts of sea buckthorn [Elaeagnus rhamnoides (L.) A. Nelson], particularly the berries, known also as seaberries, or Siberian pineapples, are characterized by a unique composition of bioactive compounds: phenolic compounds, vitamins (especially vitamin C), unsaturated fatty acids, and phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol. These berries, together with the juices, jams, and oils made from them, have a range of beneficial antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. This short review discusses whether sea buckthorn may represent a “golden mean” for the treatment of cancers: It has anti-proliferation properties and can induce apoptosis and stimulate the immune system, and sea buckthorn oil counteracts many side effects of chemotherapy by restoring kidney and liver function, increasing appetite, and keeping patients in general good health. Although the anticancer activity of sea buckthorn has been confirmed by many in vitro and animal in vivo studies, the treatment and prophylactic doses for humans are unknown. Therefore, greater attention should be paid to the development of well-controlled and high-quality clinical experiments in this area.
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