Contrary to what one might think when hearing the name of this oil, it is actually not derived from the sea. Sea Buckthorn Oil is not as popular as the more commonly known Moroccan Argon Oil or Coconut oil, which is surprising given its vast array of benefits. Many people are unaware that this oil exists, let alone know of its various cosmetic and medicinal properties. In this guide, we walk you through the ins and outs of this wonderful oil showcasing its benefits and properties.
Sea Buckthorn Oil is derived from a thorny berry shrub named sea buckthorn. This shrub comes from the family called Elaeagnaceae and it is grown in the coastal and mountain areas of Europe and Asia. The sea buckthorn berry’s oil is extracted either from the seeds of the pulp or from the fruit.
The botanical name of this oil is Hippophae Rhamnoides, which is translated to: “A tree which has the ability to make a horse look shiny”. This oil was used for health and medicinal purposes in horses and helped make their mane and tail look shiny and smooth. It was also reportedly used in horses to cure blindness.
Researchers have stated that sea buckthorn was primarily found in the Himalayans. However, this shrub was utilized by different European cultures, along with the Greeks. This ancient oil was mentioned in Tibetan texts, Indian Materia Medica, Greek mythology, and the Chinese formularies.
At the same time, sea buckthorn oil was also mentioned in the histories of Genghis Khan, which clearly proves the fact that its uses and benefits began from a very ancient period.
Types Of Sea Buckthorn Oil
There are 2 types of sea buckthorn oil:
- Seed oil
- Fruit oil
Both of these oils are derived from nutrient-rich, small, yellow-orange berries. This special type of berry is about one-third of the size of a blueberry. However, the seed oil is extracted from small dark seeds and the fruit oil is extracted from the fleshy pulp of the berry.
Both of the oils share, more or less, the same sort of characteristics in the case of their nutrient profile, but the seed oil and the fruit oil do have prominent differences. The seed oil is typically pale orange or yellow and it is more fluid. On the contrary, the fruit oil is red-orange or dark red and it is quite viscous. Both of these oils have a musky scent which is very strong.
Different Uses of Sea Buckthorn Oil
Researchers have found a long history of the use of sea buckthorn oil in folk medicine, which dates back to a period of thousands of years ago. During the period of the Tang Dynasty, the Tibetan doctors used the sea buckthorn oil in order to assist in relieving a wide range of health issues.
In 5000 B.C., this oil was very prominent in the world of Ayurvedic medicine. In the period of 12 B.C., this oil was used by the ancient Greeks for treating different types of health problems. In Mongolia, China, Russia, and Tibet, this oil is well known for helping to promote blood circulation, relieve cough, alleviate pain, and treat indigestion.
Nowadays, sea buckthorn oil is gaining popularity for its rejuvenating and healing effects on our skin. When this oil is used topically, it works as an effective exfoliator and cleanser. At the same time, this oil also has the capability to help heal cuts, burns, rashes, sunburn, and many other kinds of skin damage.
The sea buckthorn berry has been gaining popularity worldwide over recent years, much like its cousin the acai berry and pomegranate, which also have high antioxidant properties. The primary reason for this popularity is the remarkable nutritional profile possessed by this oil. You may be amazed to discover that this berry contains about 190 different types of phytonutrients and nutrients, which include Vitamin C that is approximately 12 times greater than that of any similar berry or even oranges. It also possesses high amounts of minerals, vitamins, protein, and fiber, making it a very powerful super-food.
Some additional nutritional information about the Sea Buckthorn Berry includes:
- Sea buckthorn berry has a high amount of Vitamin E, similar to the amount that wheat germ possesses.
- In comparison to carrots, this berry has 3 times the amount of Vitamin A.
- It contains a high amount of omega-3 and omega-6 acids fatty acids.
Now, let’s talk about some important nutritional ingredients possessed by sea buckthorn seed oil and fruit oil. Both the buckthorn fruit oil and buckthorn seed oil are heavily rich in important nutrients like tocotrienols, carotenoids, and tocopherols. They are also filled with different sorts of antioxidants like glycosides, terrenes, phenols, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and trace elements including iron, manganese, copper, selenium, and plant sterols.
Benefits of Sea Buckthorn Oil
Sea buckthorn oil has become one of the best health promoting natural oils because of the presence of high amounts of nutrients and fatty acids. Studies have found that this herbal oil is rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral components, which have the capability of promoting wellness of the whole body.
In this section of the guide, we’ll be discussing the part you’ve been waiting for: the potential benefits you can get from this amazing oil.
Helps With Weight Management and Weight Loss
There are many fatty acids present in sea buckthorn oil, and these fatty acids work very efficiently to guard against weight gain. Dr. Mehmet Oz, popular for his regular appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, has suggested that sea buckthorn helps in weight loss and helps to avoid storing unnecessary fat. A study was recently performed in which 2 mice were fed the same diet. One was given sea buckthorn oil along with his meal while the other was not. The results were incredible!
The mouse that consumed this miracle oil upheld its healthy, slim physique. The second mouse, which had the same diet but was not given sea buckthorn, grew to an obese size. The overweight mouse started to even develop diseases attributed to obesity in humans, such as diabetes (type 2) and heart disease. Omega-7 (otherwise known as Palmitoleic Acid) is found abundantly in sea buckthorn oil and is known for its many amazing properties. One of these properties is that it signals the brain to not store unnecessary fat from meals. This is pretty good news for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy physique!
Sea buckthorn oil can be taken using one of 2 different types of application: topical application or oral application. The good news is that both of these applications act very positively for the improvement of skin related issues. It helps to promote skin elasticity, hydration, and skin regeneration. At the same time, it also provides assistance in the case of acne treatment.
Additionally, sea buckthorn oil is also effective for these types of skin conditions:
- Rosacea – a condition that leads to red bumps and swelling
- Eczema – a condition wherein patches of skin may turn into blisters that may cause bleeding and itching
- Dermatitis – a type of inflammatory eczema
Helps with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Ulcers
This oil can surely help to soothe the mucosal tissue which is in the digestive tract. Additionally, it can also act as a useful component for treating gastric ulcers. Sea buckthorn oil has also been found to work positively for other various Gastrointestinal tract issues like dyspepsia, constipation, and upset stomach.
Helps Your Gray Matter
One of the most vital ingredients present in this oil is Vitamin B12, which can help improve cognitive decline. Aside from that, the Omega 3 and other antioxidants like polyphenols in this oil can also aid in reducing the conditions that cause cognitive losses.
Studies have shown that the powerful oil’s antioxidant polyphenols eliminate free radicals in the body, which have the ability to cause oxidative damage to our brain. Recent research has also shown the sea buckthorn berry has been found to help in regenerating brain cells and may even help fight and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Superfood berries have gained their powerful antioxidant popularity over recent years thanks to the ubiquitous Acai and Noni. Now you know that you can add sea buckthorn berry to the list! Sea buckthorn is an anti-aging phenomenon thanks to its synergy of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. It has been found to reduce wrinkles, prevent premature skin aging, and keep the body vital and young from inside out.
Dry Eye Relief
Dry eye syndrome has been an issue that not only older adults have been dealing with, but it also affects young adults who are constantly on their mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. It is commonly known as a condition that menopausal woman and elderly people have to deal with, but due to the rise of our tech-connected lifestyle, physicians have seen a rise of dry eye syndrome in children and young adults. Some symptoms of dry eyes include a sandy like irritation that you feel gets worse throughout the day and stingy, red, itchy, tired eyes. Sometimes you may feel pressure or a pulling sensation behind the eyes or feel as if a splotch of dirt is in your eye. It ends up causing a lot of discomfort and sensitivity to bright lights or very bright surroundings.
It has been shown that sea buckthorn oil has the capability to relieve the symptoms of dry eyes and stimulate their natural lubrication. Based on a study, it was found that if the oil is taken internally for a period of three months, great relief can be seen in from dry eye symptoms. This led to a decrease in the subjects’ discomfort and redness. Contact lens users also reported less dryness, more lubrication, and less discomfort. The oil is NOT to be applied on the eyes directly, but rather taken internally. Consult with your doctor or specialist before consumption and to see what dosage will work best for you.
Preventing Liver Damage
Another study suggests that sea buckthorn oil has a high hepaprotective activity (ability to prevent damage to the liver) due to the high presence of antioxidants found in it. This oil also diminishes the effect of aflatoxins, toxic compounds that can cause cancer and liver damage, and consequently, it helps to reduce the adverse effects caused by these toxins.
Helps To Treat Heart Disease
The number one silent killer of both men and women in the United States has recently been found to be on the rise in other developing countries as well. This is possibly due to sedentary lifestyles and an increase of fast food chains.
This isn’t surprising news. Coronary artery disease, abbreviated as CAD, is one of the most common types of heart disease. Other kinds of heart disease are congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, stroke, and cardiac arrhythmias. A recent study of scientific research has suggested that Sea Buckthorn may have positive effects on heart disease as it is a natural source of vitamins and other active compounds such as flavonoids and carotenoids, which have been found to lower blood sugar, blood pressure, platelet aggregation, and cholesterol.
Flavonoids, which are antioxidants naturally present in fruits and vegetables, found in the sea buckthorn berry have been reported to lower risks associated with the aforementioned heart conditions. The Sea Buckthorn plant leaves have also been found to contain ß-amyrinoley-lalcohol acid, which lowers blood pressure, dilates cerebral and cardiac vessels, and facilitate blood circulation.
Prevents and Fights Diabetes
It has also been found that sea buckthorn oil has the ability to help prevent and fight diabetes. A study published in 2010 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sea buckthorn oil creates a great impact on the insulin level of the body. This study has also found that this oil can assist to keep the sugar levels in a moderate range. It was found that the oil reduces the level of C-reactive protein which is a marker of inflammation. When there is a chance of type-2 diabetes developing in the body, this shows up as a byproduct produced in the liver.
How Does This Oil Work?
In order to get benefits from the sea buckthorn oil, you can use it by either taking it internally or applying it topically. Which option is the best choice for you depends on the type of issue you wish to treat. If you are using the oil for any skin related issue, topical application would be best. It is advisable to perform a skin test patch before applying over a larger area to ensure there is no allergic reaction. If the oil suits you, can either apply it directly on your skin or mix with a light carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil.
To treat internal issues, the oil would have to be consumed. For consumption dosage when treating ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you can mix one-quarter teaspoon of sea buckthorn oil in half a glass of juice. Both should ideally be organic and cold-pressed. No more than a quarter teaspoon of the oil should be added as it as a strong oil and may cause irritation in the mucus membrane if taken in too high of a dosage. The essential fats found in the oil boost the fat-soluble vitamins in the juice. This should be taken no more than twice a day. Avoid spicy food while taking this drink and you should see the ulcers disappear in a few days. This will be immediately noticed by the relief of pain right after eating a meal. This is just an example of dosage for treatment of relief of ulcers, and dosage varies depending on the type and severity of the illness being treated. As always, these are just guidelines and a consultation with your doctor or specialist is always recommended before taking anything internally.
While both types of sea buckthorn oil can be ingested, it is best to note that the seed oil provides the best internal benefits, while the fruit oil provides more benefits when applied topically.
Is It Safe To Use Sea Buckthorn Oil?
Before we go any further, there is a serious question that we need to address: How safe is it to use sea buckthorn oil? As with any food or cosmetic, there are always precautions and safety issues that need to be considered when you are thinking of using this oil. It is always best to consult with your doctor before you start taking this oil, especially when consuming it orally. It has been noted that patients suffering from kidney or intestine diseases or illness should not be using sea buckthorn oil.
Healthy adults, after consulting with their doctor or nutritionist, can use sea buckthorn oil. It is not recommended for children who are below 12 years old. Consumption of sea buckthorn oil should not be used for a period of longer than 3 months.
For people who are using the oil to treat skin related issues, it is always best to perform a skin patch test. Skin patch tests are done by applying a small amount of the oil on a cleansed portion of your skin, such as your wrist. Observe for any reactions or irritation that may occur for a period of 12-24 hours. If irritation occurs, do not use the oil. For users with sensitive skin, consult with your dermatologist or physician.
Side effects of Sea Buckthorn Oil
If this is a just a berry, how can there be any side effects?
Well, like anything consumed, everything must be taken in moderation. Berries have high and potent antioxidants and vitamins which may not make them suitable for everyone. While it is typically safe to be applied topically, we always suggest a skin patch test or a visit to your specialist or dermatologist before application. When taken internally, it should not be consumed for more than 90 days consecutively, and consult with your doctor or nutritionist before making this a part of your diet, treating your illnesses, or using it as part of your weight loss program.
Precautions and Warnings
Breastfeeding & Pregnancy
It would be best to avoid using this oil while breastfeeding or during pregnancy, as there may be risks due to the potent vitamin and antioxidant content found in sea buckthorn oil. Consult with your doctor.
If it is taken internally, there may be chances of the oil decreasing the rate of blood clotting. For those with blood disorders, it may boost the risk of bleeding and bruising.
Low Blood Pressure
If taking this oil for medicinal or weight loss purposes, you may experience issues with low blood pressure. Consumption of this oil may lower the rate of your current blood pressure. Studies have found that consumption of sea buckthorn oil or sea buckthorn berry may cause blood pressure issues. Again, it is always best to consult with your doctor before consumption.
As sea buckthorn oil decreases the rate of blood clotting when consumed, it has a huge impact on any kind of surgery. Taking this oil can cause extra bleeding at the time of any surgery and even after the completion of the surgery. In order to avoid this kind of problem, you should discontinue consumption of sea buckthorn oil before the scheduled date of the surgery. The ideal duration is a minimum of 2 weeks before you go for surgery.
Sea Buckthorn Oil Review Conclusion
Through this concise guide, we have explained the origin, history, composition uses, benefits, and precautions of sea buckthorn oil. You may have found out about many new uses for this oil you can use for yourself, or treatments for issues you can use for illness prevention. Whatever it may be, we suggest that you always consult with a specialist first, not just for precautionary measures, but also so you get the best use out of it. It has been used for centuries to heal and treat a range of health issues, and now you too can use this seemingly magical oil as part of your lifestyle and health toolkit.