Humanity has throughout history been looking for the magic pill. A cure-all for our ailments. A way to stave off time. And while sea buckthorn won't cure cancer, or keep you forever young, it may help prevent cancer and provide other essential nutrients to slow down aging. It has a long history of beneficial use in Eastern and folk medicine for humans and animals, which has now been reinforced by modern medical uses.
Sea buckthorn, also known as seaberry and sandthorn in the English speaking world, originates from the Himalayan region. Its first recorded medical use being traced to the Tibetan medicine book rGyud-Bzi (The Four Books of Pharmacopoeia) in the 8th century. It was listed as a treatment for gastrointestinal diseases, cardiovascular diseases and burn injuries. Verbal tellings of use in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic (Indian) medicines go back even further, where its wide range of uses ran from treating stomach ulcers and skin disease to combating diabetes. The ancient Greeks even found veterinary uses for sea buckthorn, feeding the leaves to their horses to support weight gain and coat appearance. In turn providing sea buckthorn the root of its Greek name, hippophae rhamnoides, hippo translating to horse, and phaos to shine. Rhamnoides referring to the species of buckthorn plants.
Modern studies have reinforced that the entirety of the sea buckthorn plant, including fruits, seeds and leaves can be used for medicinal purposes. The seeds and leaves contain high amounts of quercetin, a flavonoid. Flavonoids are a class of plant metabolites, basically compounds that provide antioxidant effects. Antioxidants help protect against free radicals. Free radicals cause damage to the body at a cellular level, and have been linked to cancer, diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinson’s, and aging. And if the seeds and leaves provide the defense, it’s the fruits that goes on the offensive.
Coming only from the female sea buckthorn plant, the little yellow-orange berries contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E. The sea buckthorn’s fruits are one of the few vegan friendly sources of all four omega fatty acids, omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9. Omega fatty acids are essential for heart and cardiovascular health, and must be obtained through food. Sea buckthorn berries also contain high levels of vitamin C. With berries grown at higher altitudes, like those in Miracle Seabuckthorn, containing up to 10 times more than those grown at lower altitudes.
Sea buckthorn is native to the cooler climates of Europe and Asia and thrives at altitudes of 2,500-4,000 meters. But it is also drought resistant and tolerant to salt, giving it a natural advantage along arid coastlines across much of the world. It requires plentiful amounts of sunshine. As an agricultural asset it is often used to prevent soil erosion.
By Paul Kolbe
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