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Sea Buckthorn: Hippophae Rhamnoides L.: Production and Utilization by Thomas S. C. Li

For enhancing natural beauty Sea Buckthorn offers a wealth of vitamins & nutriments and is recognized around the world for its many benefits to the skin, hair and nails as a 'superfood'.It is an anti-aging, antioxidant, and medicinal skin care botanical that can be taken as a daily dietary supplement to nourish women’s skin, revitalizing & restoring it to its natural balance.

The omega 9 oil in Sea Buckthorn helps to produce clear skin, treats burns, eczema, wounds, and sores to help improve the overall condition of the mucous membranes including erosions, ulcers and lesions.

For women who wish to reduce the signs of aging and maintain a youthful glow, Sea Buckthorn successfully combats wrinkles, dryness and various symptoms suffered with malnourished or prematurely aging skin and the natural powder can be used for a face mask and hair and scalp rinse treatment.

While there is no doubt that Sea Buckthorn definitely qualifies as a model citizen of the plant kingdom, it is the breadth and depth of its bio-active compounds that has stimulated the increased interest in recent years. As Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council stated:

If there ever was an herb that could qualify for the next generation of herbal luminaries, I would nominate Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides).”

The Sea Buckthorn plant contains over 190 nutritional compounds. While the nourishing and healing qualities of Sea Buckthorn are relatively new to the West, they have been well known in the Far East for hundreds if not thousands of years.
The earliest mention of Sea Buckthorn was in the Tibetan medical classic "Gyud Bzi" in the eight century.

Word has it that Genghis Khan fed the leaves and berries to his legendary horses during his dramatic conquest of Asia. In fact a component of Sea Buckthorn’s botanical name, Hippophae means “bright shining horse.”
If there is one phrase that best describes Sea Buckthorn it is Super Vitamin Rich Antioxiants.

The fruit, seed and leaves contain an impressive array of antioxidant compounds. The concentration of vitamin C in the berries reaches 2500mg/100g depending on the species.

Sea Buckthorn berries are also a rich source of vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoids, sterols including beta sitosterol; stanols, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and polar lipids. The leaves are an equally rich source of important antioxidants including beta carotene, vitamin E, flavonoids, catechins, elagic acid, ferulic acid, folic acid and significant values of calcium, magnesium and potassium. The dried leaves also provide an important source of protein at 24%.

In addition to its carotenoid and vitamin E content, the oil from the Sea Buckthorn berry contains on average 35% of the rare and valuable palmitoleic acid (16:1n-7). This rare fatty acid is a component of skin fat and is known to support cell, tissue and wound healing. The seed oil is characterized by its high oleic acid content (17%) and its one to one ratio of omega 3 (alpha linolenic) and omega 6 (linoleic) at approximately 34% and 31% respectively.

The relationship of equivalence between the two omegas is critical because they self-check each other in a delicate balance to regulate thousands of metabolic functions through prostaglandin pathways. Nearly every biologic function is somehow interconnected with the delicate balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3.

Until recently, most of the research into the medicinal, nutraceutical (a food or food product that provides health and medical benefits) and cosmeceutical (the combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals) properties of Sea Buckthorn has originated in China and Russia where studies have been ongoing since the 1950’s.

Preparations from the fruit, seeds, leaves and bark of Sea Buckthorn have demonstrated great promise in the treatment of the mucous membranes including ulcers and gastro-intestinal disorders as well as vaginal problems.

Additional studies have shown that Sea Buckthorn oils and juice have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and have a cholesterol lowering activity.

The oils are effective in the treatment of burns, bedsores and such skin conditions as dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, acne, psoriasis and the effects of sun damage. The powerful synergies and antioxidant properties of Sea Buckthorn fruit, leaves and oils support the immune system, eye health, are anti-senescent, reduce cholesterol, support cardiovascular health, muscle nourishment, strengthens cell walls, regulate endocrine function, regulate blood lipids, and have significant anti-inflammatory activity and pain reduction. It is generally accepted in the cosmetic industry that Sea Buckthorn oils have unique anti-aging properties and stimulate tissue regeneration.

There is no doubt western women will cherish the numerous benefits offered by Sea Buckthorn. This ancient plant from the East with its powerful and healing synergies has much to contribute to this planet and its inhabitants. We can look forward to continued revelations of Sea Buckthorn’s many benefits through the increasing interest and development of its abundant and valuable properties.

Sea Buckthorn berries belong to the most vitamin-packed fruits of all flora. They have in addition many valuable substances for nutritional purposes. These have among others also antioxidative activities. The oils from the seeds and from the flesh of the berries, which is different, contains fatty acids in considerable concentrations, among others the important omega 3 -& 9 components.

Sea buckthorn has played an important role in traditional medicine of Asian peoples for over one thousand years. Scientific work for the pharmacological use of the Sea buckthorn, especially of the oil, was started in the former USSR about 1930. The extraction and the medical application of secondary substances from Sea buckthorn (seeds, leaves and wood bark) is part of more scientific work in China and India.

The fruits of Seabuckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides L. have been used as a drug by traditional Tibetan & Mongolian medicine since ancient times. According to historical records, China was the first to country to use Seabuckthorn as a drug.

In 1977, this plant was formally listed in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Seabuckthorn contains biologically active substances with pharmacological effects on the cardiovascular and the immune system, and anti-senility, anti-inflammation and anti-radiation effects.


"The mountainous regions of Russia and China are home to a hardy, golden berry known as the Seabuckthorn. The effects of its potent nutrition are legendary in these regions. It’s renown inspired 8th century Tibetan doctor Yu Yuendan Gongbu to study this berry, and since then its value has been mastered by that culture. In fact, Ghengis Khan, the 13th century conqueror, was aware of the astonishing nutrition of the berry. He is said to have attributed the might and vitality of his warriors, in part, to Seabuckthorn*.

Chinese natives have been using the medicinal properties of this botanical for centuries to help in blood circulation,
alleviate pain, relieve coughs, and to aid in digestion. The oils from the berry have also been effective for treating dermatitis, eczema, acne, and healing sun-damaged skin. This quality of the berry gives it anti-aging potential.

Seabuckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides L. (summary)

• Vitamins C and E - it contains a high amount of vitamin C (12 times more than what is found in an orange). Vitamin E is also present in good amounts and can help with cardiovascular health.

• Folic acid (or vitamin B9) - is crucial for the growth and maintenance of new cells. This vitamin becomes even
more essential during pregnancy.

• Vitamin K - has been linked to healthy blood. It prevents the thinning of blood.

• Carotenoids - containing a large variety of these potent antioxidants.

• Omega Complex - including 3, 6, 7 and 9. These fatty acids are essential for reducing blood pressure and
cholesterol levels.

• Flavonoids - these organic compounds have shown anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial effects
as well as being good antioxidants.

• Seabuckthorn is another emerging giant in the world of superfoods. More studies are currently being done on this berry which will provide even more information on its great nutritional characteristics.

Cytoprotective and antioxidant activity of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) flavones against tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced cytotoxicity in lymphocytes.

Adaptogenic and safety evaluation of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) leaf extract: a dose dependent study.

Simultaneous determination of catechin, rutin, quercetin kaempferol and isorhamnetin in the extract of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) leaves by RP-HPLC with DAD.

Download another PDF from the Academy of TCM - Traditional Chinese Medicine of China, Beijing.

The Medicinal Research and Development of Sea Buckthorn


Siam Natural  sun-dried Sea Buckthorn wild crafted Asian super fruit powder supplement (100) ea. 400mg vegetable capsules V-Caps

Siam Natural  sun-dried Sea Buckthorn wild crafted Asian super fruit powder supplement (1) one oz.


Rongsen, A. (1992). Sea-buckthorn a multi-purpose plant species for fragile mountains. ICIMOD Occasional Paper No. 20, Khathmandou, Nepal. 62 p.
Li, Thomas S. C. and Beveridge, Thomas H. J. Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoides L.): Production and Utilization. Ottawa: NRC Research Press. 2003
Quirin, K.W. and D. Gerard (1993). Sea-buckthorn pulp and kernel oils: valuable lipids for skin care. Unpublished Report, Flavex Natuuextrakte Co. 8 p.
Schroeder, W.R. and Yao, Y. Sea-Buckthorn, A Promising Multi-Purpose Crop For Saskatchewan. Agriculture Canada, PFRA, 2003
Risto, Erkkola and Baoru, Yang, Sea buckthorn oils: Towards healthy mucous membranes.
AGROFood industry hi-tech May/June 2003, Red berries, future dietary supplement? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2003) 57; 37-42

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