Seabuck thorn

            Is an interesting plant found in the cold deserts of Himachal. Jammu and Kashmir. This is rich in vitamins and cholesterol bursting properties. Contemporary medicine has now found it useful to treat jaundice, though folk and Tibetan medicine have been using it for generations.

            India is the 5th largest producer of this.  Scientifically it is known as hippophae rhamnoides in 2007 1.4crores worth of berries were sold which is less that 5% of the regions  potential.

            It produces orange berries and is also found along the Atlantic coast.

            Helps in soil and water conservation, desertification control, land reclamation, erosion and water control and even reforestation.

            Seabuck thorn are also excellent nitrogen fixers.

            Called ‘Chharma’ in some native languages, oil from fruits and seeds is used for liver diseases, inflammation, disorders of the gastrointestinal system, including peptic ulcers and gastritis, eczema, canker sores and other ulcerative disorders of mucosal tissues, wounds, inflammation, burns, frostbite, psoriasis, rosacea, lupus erythematosus, and chronic dermatoses. In ophthalmology, berry extracts have been used for keratosis, trachoma, eyelid injuries and conjunctivitis. The sea-buckthorn is also known to kill tiny parasitic mites called Demodex.

 

Constituents of Sea Buckthorn Fruit (per 100 grams fresh berries)
Vitamin C 200-1,500 mg (typical amount: 600 mg)
Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) Up to 180 mg (equal to about 270 IU)
Folic acid Up to 80 mcg
Carotenoids, including beta carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthine; these contribute the yellow-orange-red colors of the fruit 30-40 mg
Fatty acids (oils); the main unsaturated fatty acids are oleic acid (omega-9), palmitoleic acid (omega-7), palmitic acid and linoleic acid (omega-6), and linolenic acid (omega-3); there are also saturated oils and sterols (mainly β-sitosterol) 6-11% (3-5% in fruit pulp, 8-18% in seed); fatty acid composition and total oil content vary with subspecies
Organic acids other than ascorbic (e.g., quinic acid, malic acid; ingredients similar to those found in cranberries) Quantity not determined; expressed juice has pH of 2.7-3.3
Flavonoids (e.g., mainly isorhamnetin, quercetin glycosides, and kaempferol; these are the same flavonoids as found in Ginkgo biloba. 100-1,000 mg (0.1% to 1.0%)

Health application of seabuck thorn.

The flavonoids make sea buckthorn an medicinally useful plant. 5 focal area of research are GI disorder, particularly ulcers, internal and topical therapy for skin disorders liver protective agent and a remedy for liver cirrhosis.

HEALTH APPLICATIONS

Sea buckthorn has been shown to have a potent antioxidant activity, mainly attributed to its flavonoids and vitamin C content 2 Both the flavonoids and the oils from sea buckthorn have several potential applications 3 There are five areas of research that have been focal points for their use: as an aid to patients undergoing cancer therapy; a long-term therapy for reduction of cardiovascular risk factors; treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers; internal and topical therapy for a variety of skin disorders; and as a liver protective agent (for chemical toxins) and a remedy for liver cirrhosis.

Cancer therapy: Most of the work done in this area has been with laboratory animals. A group in India headed by HC Geol. (at the Department of Radiation Biology, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, in Delhi) has published several reports on the potential of a hippophae extract (an alcohol extract, which would mainly contain the flavonoids) to protect the bone marrow from damage due to radiation; his group also showed that the extract may help faster recovery of bone marrow cells 4 In China, a study was done to demonstrate faster recovery of the hemopoietic system after high dose chemotherapy (with 5-FU) in mice fed the sea buckthorn oil 5 The seed oil has been found to enhance non-specific immunity and to provide anti-tumor effects in preliminary laboratory studies 6,7.

Cardiovascular diseases: In a double-blind clinical trial conducted in China 8 128 patients with ischemic heart disease were given total flavonoids of sea buckthorn at 10 mg each time, three times daily, for 6 weeks. The patients had a decrease in cholesterol level and improved cardiac function; also they had less angina than those receiving the control drug. No harmful effect of sea buckthorn flavonoids was noted in renal functions or hepatic functions. The mechanism of action may include reduced stress of cardiac muscle tissue by regulation of inflammatory mediators 9 In a laboratory animal study, the flavonoids of sea buckthorn were shown to reduce the production of pathogenic thromboses 10 Some simple formulas based on sea buckthorn have been developed recently for treating cardiac disorders. For example, there is a liquid preparation of sea buckthorn flavonoids with carthamus (safflower) and licorice, called Ai Xin Bao (from the Shanxi Ai Xin Biological Technology Development Center), which is intended for use in treatment of coronary heart disease and sequelae of heart attack and stroke, through improving blood circulation and restoring cardiac function.

Gastric ulcers: Hippophae is traditionally used in the treatment of gastric ulcers, and laboratory studies confirm the efficacy of the seed oil for this application 11,12 Its functions may be to normalize output of gastric acid and reduce inflammation by controlling pro-inflammatory mediators.

Liver cirrhosis: A clinical trial demonstrated that sea buckthorn extracts helped normalize liver enzymes, serum bile acids, and immune system markers involved in liver inflammation and degeneration 13 In addition, sea buckthorn oil protects the liver from damaging effects of toxic chemicals, as revealed in laboratory studies 14

Skin: An ingredient of the oil, palmitoleic acid, is a component of skin. It is considered a valuable topical agent in treating burns and healing wounds. This fatty acid can also nourish the skin when taken orally if adequate quantities of sea buckthorn or its oil are consumed; this is a useful method for treating systemic skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis 15). The only other major plant source of palmitoleic acid is macadamia nuts; the oil is used to nourish the skin. Sea buckthorn oil is already widely used alone or in various preparations topically applied for burns, scalds, ulcerations, and infections. It is an ingredient in sunblock-hippophae oil has UV-blocking activity as well as emollient properties-and it is an aid in promoting regeneration of tissues 16. The fruit

References

  1. Journal of science, food and agriculture.
  2. Rosch D, et al., Structure-antioxidant efficiency relationships of phenolic compounds and their contribution to the antioxidant activity of sea buckthorn juice, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 2004; 51(15): 4233-4239.
  1. Li TSC and Schroeder WR, Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides): A multipurpose plant, Horticultural Technology 1996; 6(4): 370-378.
  2. Agrawala PK and Goel HC, Protective effect of RH-3 with special reference to radiation induced micronuclei in mouse bone marrow, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 2002 May; 40 (5): 525-530.
  3. Chen Y, et al., Study on the effects of the oil from Hippophae rhamnoides in hematopoiesis, Chinese Herbal Drugs 2003; 26(8): 572-575.
  4. Yu Let et al., Effects of Hippophae rhamnoides juice on immunologic and antitumor functions, 1993 Acta Nutrimenta Sinica 15(3): 280-283.
  5. Zhong Fei, et al., Effects of the total flavonoid of Hippophae rhamnoides on nonspecific immunity in animals, Shanxi Medical Journal 1989; 18(1): 9-10.
  6. Zhang Maoshun, et al., Treatment of ischemic heart diseases with flavonoids of Hippophae rhamnoides, Chinese Journal of Cardiology 1987; 15(2): 97-99.
  7. Xiao Z, et al., The inhibitory effect of total flavonoids of hippophae on the activation of NF-kappa ß by stretching cultured cardiac myocytes, Sichuan University Medical Journal 2003; 34(2): 283-285.
  8. Cheng J, et al., Inhibitory effects of total flavones of Hippophae rhamnoides on thrombosis in mouse femoral artery and in vitro platelet aggregation, Life Sciences 2003; 72(20): 2263-2271.
  9. Zhou Yuanpeng, et al., Study on the effect of hippophae seed oil against gastric ulcer, 1998 Institute of Medical Plants Resource Development, The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing.
  10. Xing J, et al., Effects of sea buckthorn seed and pulp oils on experimental models of gastric ulcer in rats, Fitoterapia 2002; 73(7-8): 644-650.
  11. Gao ZL, et al., Effect of sea buckthorn on liver fibrosis: a clinical study, World Journal of Gastroenterology 2003; 9(7): 1615-1617.
  12. Cheng T, et al., Acute toxicity of flesh oil of Hippophae rhamnoides and its protection against experimental hepatic injury, Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine 1990; 15(1): 45-47, 64.
  13. Yang Baoru, et al., Effects of dietary supplementation of sea buckthorn oils on fatty acids in patients with atopic dermatitis, 1999 Proceedings of the International Sea Buckthorn Congress, ICRTS, Beijing.
  14. Ianev E, et al., The effect of an extract of sea buckthorn on the healing of experimental skin wounds in rats, Dermatology 1995; 48(3): 30-33.

 

 

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