What is sea buckthorn?

Sea Buckthorn is a berry that is believed to have originated in the regions of Himalayas but has been made famous by Tibetan medicine. Later on, many Greek physicians also used this berry and its oil for medicinal purposes.

Where are these berries available?

These berries originated in Europe, and various parts of Asia including Japan, India and Pakistan. Currently China and Russia are the largest growers of sea buckthorns. Sea buckthorns grows well in snowy regions and hence are also cultivated in regions with low temperatures.

Nutrition information

It is truly miraculous in the sense that it consists over 190 nutrients in different proportions. The key nutrition present in sea buckthorn is Vitamins C , A and E, plant sterols, carotenoids and certain other minerals discussed below.

Sea-buckthorn berries
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Treats Asthma

The Omega 7 fatty acids in sea buckthorns helps to fight respiratory disorders such as Asthma. A study has been conducted on the positive effects of sea buckthorn on curing wheezing and asthma. Do read more of this article here – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1151702/Are-common-drugs-key-asthma-relief.html.

You can make a tea by boiling sea buckthorn berries with grated ginger. Squeeze little lemon into the hot water and drink this for good relief.

Sea-buckthorn,lemons and ginger.
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To cure sore throat

Soak sea  buckthorn berries in honey for a few hours (or even overnight). Consume the honey soaked berries the next morning to cure sore throat and provide soothing relief from cough.

Boosts immunity

The vitamin C and anti-oxidants present in sea buckthorns helps to fight against many diseases and infections. A juice of the sea buckthorn berries can be a great supplement to your diet and you can safely consume this juice once or twice a week in moderation. This juice is also a healthy immunity boosting food for toddlers.

Note: These berries taste sour and may not be liked by all children. You can add mint leaves to it or you can make it mildly sweet by adding palm sugar. Try out once yourself before giving the juice to your kids.

Do your children like the taste? Then go ahead and make a nice jam with these berries and make it a part of their diet. A healthy jam with honey and palm sugar would be a good substitute for the ones you buy from the stores.

fruit tea with orange berries
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Good for overall health

A study showed that sea buckthorn berries have high amounts of calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium and iron. These berries are also great sources of biochemical elements that are good for overall health. In addition, these berries are rich in Omega 7 fatty acid which is not present in many foods. The Omega 7 helps to build internal organs such as liver, stomach, intestines and even builds healthy skin. And what’s more, sea buckthorn also helps to lose weight by reducing our hunger pangs and the need to eat more.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Sea buckthorn berries are known for their anti inflammatory properties. People with joint pain, arthritis, those who would like to treat minor bruises, athletes with sore feet may consume this berry to reduce the inflammation and associated pain.

To delay macular degeneration

Sea buckthorns are rich in vitamin C and this helps to improve vision. These berries can slow down macular degeneration (an eye disease that gradually destroys the macula of the eye in older people) due to the presence of carotenoids.

Treats gastric ulcers

Sea buckthorn treats various ulcers including peptic ulcer, duodenal ulcer and mouth ulcer. Its anti inflammatory properties also helps to treat tumours.

Topical applications

  1. To treat rashes on the skin
  2. To clear dark spots due to acne and measles.
  3. To hydrate and moisturize skin
  4. To remove blemishes and tan
  5. To give you a younger looking glow and toned skin
Berries of sea-buckthorn berries and medical oil
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You can apply a little oil on the face with a cotton ball evenly on your skin. This application helps to treat rashes and dark spots. If you’re applying just a dab on dark spots, the you can apply the oil directly. But if you’re planning to apply on your whole face for skin care or for overall tan removal, etc you can mix it with olive oil and then apply. You also get sea buckthorn based night creams in the market which you can use in case you do not get the fresh berries.

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Where to buy sea buckthorn?

These berries are available during the winter or early summer easily due to their seasonal nature. In places where it isn’t available, you can get the berry crush which can be mixed with water and had like a juice. These would contain preservatives and may be opted for only if the real thing isn’t available.

You can also buy the oil for topical applications. I’ve seen many brands of the oil available online. You could check out in some specialised grocery stores or online for the best brand and buy that.

Who should not eat these berries?

Sea buckthorn oil should not be used by children aged 12 and below. While the juice is safe, the oil is far more concentrated and should be used occasionally preferably. If you’re pregnant or lactating and you haven’t tasted these berries before, I would suggest to try later – although there are no known side effects, it is better to try at a safer point in time or if you really want to, very small amounts only!

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.