Sea Buckthorn's Skin and Health Benefits
- Mar 13, 2023
- Kelly Harrington, MS, RD
Sea buckthorn (Hipphophae rhamnoides) is a plant used for thousands of years as an herbal medicine. Available in supplement form, sea buckthorn extract contains a variety of essential fatty acids and antioxidants (including vitamins C, A, K, and E, quercetin, carotenoids, and anthocyanins). Proponents claim sea buckthorn offers a wide range of health benefits.
Uses for Sea Buckthorn
In herbal medicine, sea buckthorn has long been used to stimulate the digestive system, promote heart and liver health, and support healthy, supple skin. For the skin, sea buckthorn can be used topically. Today, sea buckthorn is touted to support the following:
- joint support
- blood sugar support
- skin support
- heart health
- supports healthy, normal inflammatory levels
Benefits of Sea Buckthorn
1) Sea Buckthorn and Skin Health
In recent years, sea buckthorn oil has gained popularity as an ingredient in skin-care products. When applied topically, sea buckthorn oil is thought to moisturize the skin, ease irritation, treat acne, and promote healthy aging of the skin.
Palmitoleic acid is an omega-7 fatty acid rarely found in plant food sources, but sea buckthorn oil is one of the only plant-based sources of this unsaturated fatty acid. Palmitoleic acid is also found in the fat of human skin which is why this plant is thought to keep your skin healthy.
2) Sea Buckthorn and Heart Health
Sea buckthorn is rich in flavonoids adn omega-3, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids, which have a strong effet on the cardiovascular system.
The seeds and leaves of sea buckthorn are rich in phytosterols, a plant compound with antioxidant powers and other benefits — including blocking cholesterol in your diet from being absorbed in your body.
Additionally, sea buckthorn is a good source of quercetin, an antioxidant that’s directly linked to gut health, heart health, and immune function.
3) Sea Buckthorn and Blood Sugar
In a small 2010 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that sea buckthorn may help keep blood sugar in check. In an experiment involving 10 healthy, normal-weight volunteers, the study's authors discovered that adding sea buckthorn berries to meals helped support normal post-meal blood sugar levels. It is thought sea buckthorn positively impacts insulin in a couple different ways.
Is Sea Buckthorn Safe?
Since little is known about the safety of consuming sea buckthorn extract, it's important to consult your physician if you're considering the use of sea buckthorn supplements.
Sea buckthorn oil is not known to produce any adverse effects when applied to the skin.
Article courtesy of altmedicine.about.com, written by Cathy Wong. Find it, with sources, here.