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Sea Buckthorn ~ Superfood of Eurasia ~ Part 1

Daniela Rambaldini Article by: Daniela Rambaldini
Sea Buckthorn ~ Superfood of Eurasia ~ Part 1

Congratulations Laura Horton, winner of the SBT Seabuckthorn Single Source Oil Giveaway! 

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Along Mediterranean sea cliffs, Eurasian couleés and vales, and Himalayan highlands grow the hardy deciduous bushes of Sea Buckthorn (Elaeaganaceae: Hippophaë spp.). Of the seven species, the most popularly used is the common sea buckthorn, Hippophaë rhamnoides, which has been an important traditional Asian food and medicine esteemed by Tibetan healers for more than one thousand years.

The entire sea buckthorn plant—fruit, seed, leaves, and twigs—is used medicinally and the fruits are eaten fresh or dried for nourishment.

Sea Buckthorn ~ Buttressing Mucous Membranes

H. rhamnoides is most popular as an anti-inflammatory remedy for mucosal membranes and epithelial linings. It soothes and moistens irritated tissues, promotes healthy wound healing, and encourages cell regeneration. It has anti-cicatricial properties meaning it helps prevent scar formation by facilitating proper formation of the fibrin matrix.

Mucous membranes are essential to organ function and overall body health. They are the major point of contact, interaction, and exchange between the inner body and external environment. As such, they act as mediators as well as guardians, allowing only select substances to enter into the bloodstream and lymphatic system.

Mucous cells guard the lining of the entire gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, urogenital tract, inner eye surface, nasal passages, middle ear, and reproductive organs. Maintaining tissue integrity of mucous membranes is vital because they are primary routes or channels through which pathogens, toxins, allergens, and other substances can enter the body.

Mucous membranes are susceptible to damage because they're constantly challenged by food-borne and air-borne toxins and pathogens, imbalanced populations of health-promoting versus potentially infectious microbiota, allergens, stressors, dehydration, pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, and genetic predispositions.

Inflamed or damaged mucosal tissues are the root cause of almost every disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. Once the intestinal mucosal barrier is breached, this sets the stage for systemic pathology.

When the mucous membranes lining any organ become irritated, infected, wounded, or otherwise stressed, they compromise organ function and trigger an inflammatory immune response to initiate healing. Pharmaceutical agents provide limited and usually ineffective therapies for healing mucous membranes.

On the other hand, sea buckthorn is loaded with compounds such as vitamins A, C and E, plus antioxidants, plant sterols, essential fatty acids and other unsaturated fats, minerals, and carotenoids, all of which help reduce the severity of the inflammatory reaction and also directly nourish, moisten, and strengthen the mucous cells to quicken the healing process.

Sea buckthorn is beneficial for alleviating symptoms associated with dry or inflamed mucosal membranes including:

- gastrointestinal disorders such as malabsorption syndrome (also known as "leaky gut"), constipation, diarrhea, ulcers (aphthous, gastric, peptic, and duodenal), food allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), xerostomia (dry mouth), sialadenitis (inflammation of the salivary glands)
- respiratory disorders such as dry cough, sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma, airborne allergies
- gynaecological disorders such as vaginal dryness, vulvaritis, vaginitis
- immune disorders such as chronic systemic inflammation, hypersensitivity, Sjörgen's syndrome (an autoimmune disease presenting with painful inflammation and dryness of mucosal membranes and exocrine glands), lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease caused by uncontrolled immune reactions to endogenous tissues that ultimately leads to programmed cell death known as apoptosis)
- dermatological disorders such as rosacea

You can supplement your diet with sea buckthorn oil the same way you would supplement with other non-culinary oils. Fats are best absorbed when eaten with food, so take fresh oil drops or oil softgels of sea buckthorn oil together with a complete meal. You'll gain the most benefit from taking any oil supplement when your meal includes fresh vegetables, high quality protein, and foods that naturally contain fats. Avoid combining sea buckthorn oil supplements with refined foods, especially refined sugars.

References:

Bal, L. M. et al., 2011. Food Res. Int. 44:1718.
Erkkola, R., & B. Yang. 2003. Agro Food Ind. Hi Tec. 53.
Süleyman, H., et al., 2001. Phytother. Res. 15:625.
Suryakumar, G., & A. Gupta. 2011. J. Ethnopharmacol. 138:268.
Yang, B., & H. Kallio. 2006. Trends Food Sci. Tech. 13:160.

In Part 2 of this blog series about sea buckthorn I explain how this incredible plant can be used for alleviating skin disorders including acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and dermatitis. In Part 3 I discuss health promoting qualities of the unique fatty acid profile of the fruit and seed oils and in Part 4 I talk about the medicinal properties of the leaves.

FREE PRODUCT GIVEAWAY!

We've paired up with Canada's only sea buckthorn company, SBT Seabuckthorn, to give you a chance to win a bottle of Single Source Seabuckthorn oil (90 capsules) so you can try the amazing healing properties of sea buckthorn yourself! See below for details.