Sea buckthorn oil and berries come from a shrub (Hippophae rhamnoides) that grows in the coastal and mountainous areas of Asia and Europe. The tiny yellow-orange berries are about a third of the size of blueberries, yet offer a significant amount of health benefits and nutrients. This little berry contains Omega 7 as well as Omega 3, 6, and 9.
Omega 7 is also known as palmitoleic acid. This is a non-essential fatty acid, which means our bodies can produce it from foods and nutrients we consume. Omega 7 is a monounsaturated fat that is also found in macadamia nuts, cheddar cheese, eggs, avocado, butter, olive oil and cold water fish.
Nutritional profile of buckthorn
The health benefits of this fruit has been documented in more than 600 science studies. Sea buckthorn is rich with carotene, flavonoids, nutrients and phytonutrients. Phytochemical analysis of this berry show high levels of vitamin C, potassium, sodium, anthocyanin, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous. This tiny berry also offers very impressive nutritional benefits such as:
12 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange
Over 190 phytonutrients
3 times as much vitamin E as wheatgerm
3 times more vitamin A than carrots
4 times more SOD (superoxide dismutase-an enzyme that prevents free radical damage) than ginseng
Benefits of buckthorn oil
Cardiovascular disease–Dr. Yan Jun Xu shares that buckthorn may reduce blood cholesterol and glucose levels. It also exhibits anti-oxidant properties, can inhibit platelet aggregation and may be cardioprotective. In addition numerous sources have documented qualities of buckthorn in reducing cardiovascular disease such as The Journal of Functional Foods , and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition .
Diabetes-This study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found buckthorn oil can help to maintain normal blood sugar levels by minimizing blood sugar spikes after meals.
Inflammation–Antioxidants, like those found in buckthorn oil not only help with immune function, but may also prevent bacteria from creating inflammation in the body
Immune System Booster-This study shared the high carotenoid levels of buckthorn oil. This translates to high antioxidant levels which can help to reduce and fight infections.
Skin health-With an abundance of active ingredients its no surprise that sea buckthorn is commonly used in skin care products. This study shares the benefits of buckthorn oil in improving blood circulation, and facilitating oxygenation of the skin. It also states that sea-buckthorn oil protects against infections, eliminates inflammation and inhibits the aging process.
Wound Healing-This study shares the potent healing ability of sea buckthorn, even with full thickness skin burns.
Side effects of buckthorn oil
There are some notable side effects with the use of buckthorn oil. So it is wise to consult with your practitioner for recommendations as it can have numerous side effects. Some individuals are allergic to the oil, so doing a patch test on your skin is a wise idea.
It also has a very strong musky odor, which you may or not like. It can also turn your urine a darker yellow or reddish color when taken internally.
Buckthorn oil can also lower blood sugar levels.
It can also impact any vasodilator medication you may be taking.
This oil is not recommended for people with diseases related to kidney, liver and intestines.
Due to the anticoagulant properties of this oil, it should be avoided before and after surgery.
Where to find buckthorn oil
Sea buckthorn products can be found online and at your local health food store. Always look for pure ingredients and organic certification whenever possible.
Pure buckthorn oil is not applied full strength to the skin, it is diluted with a carrier oil. A little buckthorn oil, goes a LONG way. I would use it a strength of 10% or less.
Oil color varies based on whether it is made from the fruit or the seeds. Seed oil is thick and usually a dark orange or dark red. The fruit oil is made from the fruit pulp. The fruit oil is thinner and can be a light yellow or light orange.