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February 10, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Using Sea Buckthorn Berry

Sea buckthorn berry contains over 190 nutrients, including 12x the amount of vitamin C as oranges,vitamins E and K, and has  omega 7 (“the beauty omega”). Legend has it, it was even used as a secret weapon by the world’s greatest armies.

The brightly colored fruit taking the world by storm is called the sea buckthorn berry.

Studies show that these important berries are medicinal and nutritional powerhouses full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Ancient writings indicate that they have been used for thousands of years to prevent and treat numerous health issues. 

When it comes to functional superfoods, the sea buckthorn berry is legendary. These small but mighty bright orange berries are not only bursting with flavor, but they also boast a nutritional profile that towers above the competition. 

Keep reading for the ultimate guide to the amazing sea buckthorn berry, its many benefits, and how best to use it.

What Is the Sea Buckthorn Berry?

Sea buckthorn is a species of hippophaeshrub that grows throughout regions of Asia and Europe. Suited for growth along the seashore, sea buckthorn thrives in poor, rocky, or sandy soils. It grows in harsh, subalpine, windswept environments where it won’t encounter too many other competitive plant species. 

Clusters of fire-colored berries grow among the shrub's thin branches protected by rows of sharp thorns. Its silver-green leaves are narrow and can be picked, dried, and brewed into a healthy tea. Every part of the sea buckthorn plant has medicinal benefits. 

History of the Sea Buckthorn Berry

The berry that conquered the world, legend has it,  sea buckthorn berry was used as a secret weapon by the world’s greatest armies.

The Latin name for the hippophae shrub translates to "shining horse" in English. Some written accounts from Ancient Greece detail how Alexander The Great noticed his horses loved the berries and would have shinier hair after eating them. He also noticed the remarkable ability of sea buckthorn berries to aid in the recovery of weak and starving horses. After discovering the effectiveness of the berries to heal his cavalry, Alexander decided to incorporate the sea buckthorn into his own diet and the diet of his army to give them strength and stamina for battles. 

Some historical accounts also speak of Genghis Khan's Mongol armies discovering the fruit while crossing the Tibetan Plateau. The Mongolian army was famous for the power of their cavalry, using the advantage of attacking on horseback to conquer huge territories across Asia. Horses were often injured in battles and would be left to die when they were no longer able to be ridden. After one such battle, when the horses were abandoned and left to die in the wild, legend has it the locals later saw the horses fully recovered, healthy, and feasting on clusters of sea buckthorn berries. 

This inspired the Mongols to start feeding Sea Buckthorn to their horses to keep them healthy and eventually they started eating the berries themselves to reap the benefits and prepare for battle. The Mongol Empire went on to become the largest land empire in human history. 

What Makes the Sea Buckthorn Berry So Special?

The sea buckthorn berry offers many rare nutrients that are difficult to obtain from most other foods. They contain over 190 bioactive compounds, including essential minerals, vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, lipids, flavonoids, and plant protein. 

Sea buckthorn berries are endowed with eye-popping  vitamin C levels—up to 12 times the amount found in oranges. They also possess high concentrations of vitamin E and plant-sourced vitamin K. Sea buckthorn is one of the only plant-based foods containing omega 7, which regulates digestion, promotes liver health, and supports overall cellular health. 

Considered one of the most nutritious and vitamin-rich foods in the world, its benefits are both external and internal.

The Use of Sea Buckthorn Berries in Medicine 

Harvested for thousands of years in Europe and Asia, the use of sea buckthorn berries for medicinal purposes continues today. They are regularly incorporated into healing practices in Europe, India, China, and Tibet for the treatment of various ailments. 

Because of the extensive research conducted on the benefits of sea buckthorn, the world is finally paying attention. More and more products are now embracing these magical little berries. These include medicines, cosmetics, salves, oils, and creams. 

Benefits of Sea Buckthorn Berries

Sea buckthorn berries are recognized for their exceptional nutritional value and diverse medicinal properties. A number of potentially game-changing advantages have been discovered from the study and use of sea buckthorn berries. 

It Supports a Healthy Immune System

Sea buckthorn berry compounds have a high flavonoid content—protecting the body against infections. They also contain an impressive amount of antioxidants, which play a role in defending the body against microbes. Sea buckthorn provides substantial daily immune support, especially during times of heightened stress or while battling cold and flu season. And as mentioned above, its vitamin C levels are up to 12 times the amount found in oranges.

It Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is the immune system’s response to foreign pathogens or damaged cells. This benefit is born from the sea buckthorn berry's ability to lower CRP (C-reactive protein) levels. These anti-inflammatory properties can help with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, as well as heart disease and diabetes.

It Has Antimicrobial Properties

One of the biggest breakthroughs from studies conducted on sea buckthorn is the discovery of its antimicrobial potency. Sea buckthorn's antimicrobial activity is so powerful, it could be used as an alternative to the global threat of antibiotic resistance.

These studies are not only focused on the berries, but also on the antimicrobial and antiviral benefits of the leaves, roots, stems, and seeds.

It Supports Skin Health

One of the more extraordinary qualities of sea buckthorn is its benefit to the skin. It can boost both skin elasticity and skin texture. Benefits are maximized from using the topical application in conjunction with oral supplementation to moisturize from the inside out. 

When applied in a topical form, via face creams and serums, sea buckthorn helps keep the skin firm, soft, and less wrinkled. Its stunning collagen-forming abilities and abundant levels of vitamin C contribute to its restorative skin sorcery. 

Its omega-3 fatty acids help reduce affected skin tissue inflammation and redness, making it an excellent treatment for chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea

Sea buckthorn berry compound is also used to treat itchy or burned skin. The omega-3s reduce inflammation, and the elevated levels of vitamin E speed up skin healing and reduce the chances of scarring. 

It Promotes Heart Health

There are several ways in which sea buckthorn benefits heart health.

It's rich in phytosterols—plant compounds that help protect the body with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. This offers protection from cellular damage and disease, including heart disease. Phytosterols also prevent blockages in the arteries and blood vessels that can lead to LDL (bad) cholesterol. 

Quercetin, a potent antioxidant that lowers the risk of heart disease, is also found in sea buckthorn berries.

It May Have Anticancer Properties

The compounds present in sea buckthorn, including flavonoids, antioxidants, and quercetin, may have anticancer effects. Some studies show that sea buckthorn extracts can prevent the growth of cancer cells. They may also protect healthy cells from the harmful side effects of radiation therapy, commonly used in cancer treatment. 

It Supports Liver Health

One of sea buckthorn’s ancient uses was the treatment of various liver ailments. Recent studies show that there is some substantiation of sea buckthorn’s ability to safeguard liver cells from damage and improve liver function. 

It Helps With Weight Loss

Studies show that sea buckthorn supports healthy fat metabolism and prevents the storage of excess fat, by altering the way the brain communicates with stored fat. The omega-7 fat (palmitoleic acid) content in sea buckthorn makes it an effective weight loss supplement. 

Other Benefits of Sea Buckthorn

Sea buckthorn has many benefits, for both minor and major conditions. Here are some of its other virtues:

  • Prevents UTI and digestive infections

  • Promotes blood circulation 

  • Slows the aging process 

  • Supports eye health (especially dry eye, lubrication, and tear duct issues)

  • Relieves menopausal symptoms

  • Treats sunburn and frostbite

  • Helps improve hair health

Side Effects and Who shouldn't Use It

Generally, sea buckthorn is considered safe for most people. Side effects of using it are rare. There are, however, reports to keep in mind.

Some people with high blood pressure noted some dizziness and headaches when using sea buckthorn. In certain cases, sea buckthorn may act as a blood thinner and cause bleeding. It may also cause low blood sugar in diabetics.

Care should be taken when using any blood-thinning or blood-clotting drugs, blood pressure medications, or medicines for heart problems, autoimmune diseases, or cancer.

There is not sufficient research on sea buckthorn to determine whether it is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It's best to avoid using it in these cases. 

How to Use Sea Buckthorn 

There are numerous ways to consume sea buckthorn! Here are some of its many forms: 

Edible Berries

The berry has a tart taste, described as a tangy, sour orange flavor. They are used to make juices, teas, jams, purées, and sauces. 

Sea Buckthorn Oil

There are two different types of sea buckthorn oils—one comes from the fruit itself and the other is derived from the seeds of the fruit. Each part of the plant offers distinct health benefits. 

The oil is used as a topical, or it can be taken orally—to jump-start a healthy spark from the inside out.

For topical application, only a drop is needed. The oil is brightly colored, so using pure sea buckthorn might turn some people off. But it can also be mixed with a carrier oil.

The oil can be added to salads, smoothies, or any other cold food or beverage, as long as it’s not heated. Some people even add a drop to their hair products, face lotions, mouthwash, or sunscreen for added advantages. 

Soft Gel Capsules

The gel capsules that contain sea buckthorn oil are a convenient way to get health benefits in a practical, convenient dose. People who dislike the taste of the oil can get the same results from a capsule. 

Sea Buckthorn Berry Powder

Sea buckthorn berry powder is freeze-dried to lock in all the vitamin and nutrient potency, along with the omega fatty acids—including omega 7. It is a health supplement made for daily use, or whenever it’s needed.

The Amazing Sea Buckthorn Berry

The sea buckthorn berry is a beautiful, brightly colored berry that comes packed with a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids, including the rare omega 7. It's a product that has been in use for millennia, provides a multitude of health benefits…and scientists believe they've only seen the tip of the iceberg!

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