Sorting fact from fiction
Terry Willard, ClH, PhD
According to legend, it was the magical herb sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) that allowed Pegasus (the winged horse) to fly. Although the theory hasnt been scientifically studied, were currently looking for funding and a double-blind Pegasus or two in order to receive NHP approval
According to legend, it was the magical herb sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) that allowed Pegasus (the winged horse) to fly. Although the theory hasn’t been scientifically studied, we’re currently looking for funding and a double-blind Pegasus or two in order to receive NHP approval.
Obviously we’re not really trying to make horses fly! Nevertheless, we do know that the Greeks once fed these multipurpose berries to their horses. In fact the Latin name Hippophae means shiny horse.
A sea of many
The Greeks weren’t the only ones who knew the virtues of sea buckthorn. Tibetan, Mongolian, Chinese, and Siberian herbalists have used the plant for millennia. Sea buckthorn was also very popular in Nepal and India as medicine. In Canada sea buckthorn is one of the most successful medicinal crops.
Sea buckthorn is native to Europe and central Asia. It’s a medium-sized, hardy shrub that thrives in mountainous regions. In Canada and other countries, sea buckthorn is cultivated with great success.
A sea of research
Current research shows that sea buckthorn is strongly antimicrobial; reduces gastric ulcers; has excellent wound, burn, and skin healing properties; is useful for liver disease (cirrhosis, injury); lowers cardiovascular disease risk factors; improves blood cholesterol levels (increases HDL, lowers LDL); has strong antioxidant effects; contains anticancer properties; and has a radiation-protective function as an antioxidant.
Sea buckthorn can be consumed as a juice (approximately 300 mL daily) or as a seed oil (5 to 45 g daily). Topically applied products for skin treatment can be used liberally three times a day. This herb has been used as food for both humans and animals for thousands of years, with no known cases of toxicity. There are no recorded adverse reactions and no notable drug interactions found in the literature reviewed.
Even though we really can’t guarantee that this herb will make you fly, sea buckthorn is still one of those great botanical tonics that can be used for many modern-day health concerns.
Sea buckthorn contains large amounts of carotenoids (beta and other carotenes, lycopene, zeaxanthin, and others); vitamin E (alpha and other tocopherols); flavonols (antioxidant), fatty acids (omega-3, -6, and -9), and sterols (sitosterol and others).
Then and now
Historically sea buckthorn has been used for digestive problems, coughs, cardiovascular issues, pain, inflammation, lung concerns, gynecological problems, colitis, and as a skin remedy. Today there is an impressive amount of research on this herb, giving us both scientific and clinical evidence as to how it works and proving the historical evidence of its effectiveness.