Common name: Sea Buckthorn
Botanical name: Hippophae Rhamnoides
Family name: Elaeagnaceae
When researching herb information for this post, I came across one with little written history, despite being used for at least 1,200 years. As is customary, the Greeks were the first to notice its medicinal use. They gave the leaves to their horses, who had really lustrous coats and gained a lot of weight. This is how the Latin name for Sea Buckthorn came about. The word ‘hippo’ signifies horse, while the word ‘phaos’ means to shine.
Berries and their use were also referenced in Chinese medicinal books 1,200 years ago, and in Tibetan medical texts approximately 1,000 years ago. Sea Buckthorn moved from Russia and Ukraine into Europe, eventually reaching the British Isles.
Sea Buckthorn has long been used as a cure for skin irritation, sunburn, wounds, inflammation, stomach difficulties, coughs, and mucous membrane illnesses in the Far East.
What piqued my attention was the recent considerable study on it that has been conducted in many different nations. All of the assertions made over thousands of years, and much more, have been confirmed by current scientific investigations.
Russian scientists started researching the active components of Sea Buckthorn leaves and berries in the 1940s. Not only were all of the medicinal virtues validated in subsequent investigations, but it was also discovered that Sea Buckthorn berries are one of the most nutritious meals on the planet. Examining the contents is similar to reading a superfood label.
The berries include ten distinct vitamins, 24 trace elements, 18 amino acids, protein, and a variety of bioactive compounds. After rosehips, cayenne pepper, and red sweet peppers, it has the highest vitamin C content on the planet. They also have the highest levels of vitamin E, beta carotene, and flavonoids.
Because of its nutritional importance, China planted 300,000 hectares of sea buckthorn in the early 1980s. It now has 150 factories producing approximately 200 different sea buckthorn products.
Among its many other benefits, medical researchers discovered that Sea Buckthorn has the strongest effect on the skin, mucous system, and digestive system. The high concentration of some rare fatty acids and cartenoids is thought to be the cause of Sea Buckthorn’s healing effect on skin problems such as burns, dermatitis, and eczema.
It is being used in hospitals in Russia and China to treat eczema, bed sores, burns, and radiation injuries. Following the 1986 nuclear catastrophe, sea buckthorn was employed in Chernobyl.
A German research focused on the vitamin Bs found in Sea Buckthorn. It was previously assumed that no plant contains a significant amount of vitamin B12, but this study discovered that Sea Buckthorn not only contains all of the B vitamins, but its vitamin B12 content is comparable to that of liver.
According to the clinical study, a lack of vitamin B12 causes skin disorders, anemia, digestive disorders, nerve damage, and mucous membrane dysfunction.
Other researchers discovered that Sea Buckthorn has antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.
Sea Buckthorn is a dioecious hardy plant, which means that it requires both a male and a female shrub to bear fruit. They thrive in moist soils, but can also grow in poor soil, and can withstand cold and extreme temperatures. Female plants should be pruned to allow for more sunlight and to make picking berries easier.
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