What is the secret?
Sea-Buckthorn berries have a unique composition, combining a cocktail of components usually only found separately. The content of vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids reads like the label on a pack of multi-vitamin pills. The vitamin C content is among the highest for any plant (4th after rose-hips, hot chili pepper and sweet red pepper), while for vitamin E it takes 2- nd place around the other “champions” are all nuts and seeds with a high fat content. Sea-Buckthorn berries also have a high content of b-carotene The beta-carotene content is what gives the berries their colour, which can vary from yellow to red depending on the variety. All of these components are classified as natural anti-oxidants, which form a vital part of the body’s defense system A special feature of Sea Buckthorn is that the berry contains oil both in the seed and soft pulp of the berry. The seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids (omega fatty acids), linolenic and alpha-linolenic acids, and the pulp oil is the richest known source of palmitoleic acid (Omega-7) rarely found in the plant kingdom. Both seed and pulp oil contain exceptionally high levels of natural vitamin E, both tocopherols, tocotrienols, and plant sterols. During the past few decades scientists have carried out extensive research on Sea Buckthorn. This has resulted in an improved understanding of the health benefits and chemical composition of the berry and its oil. Due to the rich content of the essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals, Sea Buckthorn oil offers exceptional support for women’s health, not only may it improve peri-menopausal symptoms but also to maintain the health and well being of women throughout their lifetime.
Why do we need anti-oxidants?
Smoking, drinking alcohol, exposure to environmental pollutants, and also exposure to ultraviolet light or nuclear radiation can all trigger the production of “free radicals” on the skin’s surface, or inside the body. Free radicals are very simple compounds of oxygen, in which the innocent molecule has acquired an extra electron. Free radicals are very reactive particles and they aggressively attack all the surrounding molecules within the cell. The attacked molecules are oxidized, becoming structurally damaged and even making them toxic for the body. Vitamins with antioxidant properties form a natural line of defense against free radicals; they “catch” free radicals and neutralize them. These anti-oxidant vitamins, all present in Sea-Buckthorn oil, are vitamin A (derived from -carotene), vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin E (-tocopherol).
For busy people
For those of us not lucky enough to have a Sea-Buckthorn bush, or with no time to prepare the oil ourselves, fortunately it is available in ready-prepared form; as a liquid for use on the skin, or as capsules for internal use. The finished product is more often blended with an oil such as sunflower oil, olive oil and almond oil. Also on the market you can find a very concentrated extract (not blended), used by manufacturers of cosmetics and other products. Sea-buckthorn oil standardized using carotenoids (not less than 170mg% and maximum 300- 420mg%) and sum of tocopherols (not less than 110mg%).
The purity is very important; not every product is of a good standard. But some high-quality products I have found in Eastern Europe. It does not contain any preservatives or chemical stabilizers. Amount of carotenoids is no more than 130 mg%. The suggested dosage is 1 t.spoon 2-3 times per day.
For a healthy bodily system
Reinforces the body’s defenses
Sea-Buckthorn oil is very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotenes, flavonoids, and other bioactive compounds. Sea-Buckthorn oil increases the capability of the body’s immune-system and can reduce vitamin A deficiency in the body. Also it has an antibacterial action; inhibits the growth of staphylococci and other bacteria. These effects are especially valuable at the end of a long winter, and may be useful in the treatment of colds, febrile conditions, exhaustion, also during periods of convalescence.
Acts as a skin nutritive and restorative
Such anti-oxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene effectively combat wrinkles, dryness, and other symptoms of aging or of a neglected skin. That is why Sea-Buckthorn oil delays the aging process externally and internally. Sea buckthorn oil enhances the regeneration of mucus membranes benefiting people from menopausal women to vegetarians who do not have a good level of fatty acids in their diet.
Can act as a healing ointment
The oil can be used as an ointment to promote healing of burns (including sunburn), eczema, radiation injury ulcers and small cuts or abrasions. This effect is due to the beta-carotene (provitamin-A) that is in Sea-Buckthorn oil. The oil should be applied to the skin after washing and drying, and left for at least 20 minutes before removal. For best results, apply in the evening and leave overnight. However, remember that it will probably leave a temporary slight yellow-orange stain – so try and apply evenly!
The beneficial effects of Omega-7 on the skin and mucous membranes have been substantiated by product specific clinical and experimental studies. The aging process considerably alters both the structure and the mechanical properties of skin. Aged skin is less extendable and less elastic than younger skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are characteristic signs of age, and especially photo-aged skin.
Wrinkle formation is due to the decrease of elasticity, photo-aging and free radical attack on the skin. Sea Buckthorn oil is an excellent source of essential nutrients for regulating moisture and sensitivity of skin. A study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of Sea Buckthorn oil capsules to reduce the signs of aging through measurements of skin hydration, elasticity and skin roughness. In the clinical study, 30 healthy women average age of 61 years took 2 capsules twice a day for three months. Skin hydration study results showed: A highly significant increase in skin hydration was recorded during and after the treatment. Increase in moisturization after one month, 33.6%; after three months, 48.6%.
In recent years people have discovered the many potential benefits of antioxidants in the diet, and the pharmaceutical industry has raced to synthesize more and more powerful varieties of them. But in chasing new discoveries we have forgotten a time-honored natural source of antioxidants: Sea-Buckthorn berries.