Though sea buckthorn goes by many names, it’s a shrub or tree that originates in the Hengduan Mountains located in southwest China and the East Himalayas, which spans several countries, including Nepal, Bhutan, northeast India, southeast Tibet, and northern Myanmar. Whether you call it sea buckthorn, sand thorn, sallow thorn, seaberry, or Siberian pineapple, this tree has many benefits in medicine and our self-care routines.
What is sea buckthorn used for?
Traditionally, every part of the sea buckthorn plants has been used in medicine for nutritional supplements, soil, and moisture conservation, and to establish wildlife habitats – from branches and roots to fruits, stems, and thorns. Sea buckthorn has many health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, dermatological, neuroprotective, and more properties. Due to its various uses, sea buckthorn is known as the Gold Mine, Golden Bush, or Wonder Plant.
Outside of medicine, sea buckthorn is used in food and an ingredient in beauty products, including haircare and skincare. In food, sea buckthorn makes freeze-dried powder, fruit juice, fruit wine, fruit vinegar drinks, jam, milk tablets, oil, preserved fruits, tea, and yogurt.
What are the benefits of sea buckthorn?
When it comes to medicine, sea buckthorn has been leveraged in numerous ways. Because the fruit is very acidic, it’s used for its anti-hemorrhagic and astringent properties. The fruit is also used to make syrup to help fight against colds and coughs and to aid with lung problems. Other benefits include using fruit paste to apply to wounds to stop them from bleeding, as well as a paste made from the bark or fruit to apply to the pelves or joints to reduce pain, and oil extracted from the plants to use to help with burns, eczema, skin diseases, and wounds.
As a fruit, sea buckthorn contains several nutritional components, including carotenoids, fatty acids, phytosterols, polyphenols, and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin. Beyond its medicinal properties, sea buckthorn is also a promising economic plant, which has attracted the attention of researchers as an area of interest for the food industry. The berries also contain aluminum, boron, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium minerals.
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Separate from the health properties that sea buckthorn provides, it’s also an ingredient used by beauty companies in their products due to its properties. In hair care, sea buckthorn oil contains fats that can help remove excess oil from an individual’s hair, which makes it a popular ingredient in shampoos. The oil also helps support the structure of an individual’s hair, which can be a helpful addition to haircare routines to protect an individual’s hair from breakage or damage.
In skin care, sea buckthorn can help individuals with dry or mature skin and those who may struggle with acne and oily skin. The fats in the sea buckthorn oil aren’t just good for your hair — they can also help moisturize and soften an individual’s skin to improve elasticity. The oil can also speed up the process of cell generation and renewal, reduce water loss, and improve skin firmness due to the presence of sterols. It’s also beneficial for those with acne or oily skin because it contains linoleic acid, which can help regulate the moisture levels within our skin.