A rich and diverse nutritional resource, sea buckthorn leaves contain many benefits including use in the treatment of arthritis and protection of the liver.
The silvery green leaves of the sea buckthorn shrub may not have the bling of its bright orange berries, but they sure deliver the goods.
A rich and diverse nutritional resource, sea buckthorn leaves contain most of the biologically active compounds the berries contain although they have a greater concentration of phenolics than the berries, plus some surprises uniquely their own. For example, the leaves contain up to 24 percent protein.
What’s in a name
The Hippophae portion of sea buckthorn’s botanical name (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) loosely translates as “bright shining horse.” According to one myth, sea buckthorn leaves were one of the favourite foods of the legendary flying horse Pegasus.
Today farmers in the mountainous regions of Eurasia graze their herds on protein-rich sea buckthorn leaves; they’re also used in horse feed and pet food.
Recently scientists began exploring the properties and health applications of sea buckthorn leaves which contain both ellagic acid and quercetins. Researchers have found that ellagic acid in combination with quercetin exhibits antiangiogenic properties that may be useful for the prevention and treatment of a number of cancers.
Backed by research
A 2005 study in International Immunopharmacology found that sea buckthorn leaf extracts promote substantial anti-inflammatory activity and could be useful in treating arthritis.
Another study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (2008), has found that extracts from sea buckthorn leaves also provide significant liver protection. Tannins, catechins, vitamin E, carotenoids, ferulic acid, flavonoids, and salicylic acid found in the leaves work to calm an overactive inflammatory response and absorb free radicals, while other nutrients provide the cells with needed nourishment.
Sea buckthorn leaves contain high amounts of beta carotene. Extracts of the leaves can also be added to skin care products to nourish, hydrate, and soothe inflamed and stressed skin.
Caffeine-free tea made from the sea buckthorn leaf has a delicate green tea flavour. It blends beautifully with berry and citrus extracts and is a delicious and refreshing drink served hot or cold.
Try a product made from sea buckthorn leaves and benefit from their nutritional abundance.
Sea buckthorn leaves are loaded with a variety of nutrients and antioxidants essential for good health, including:
- Amino acids
- Beta carotene
- Ellagic acid
- Ferulic acid
- Gallic acid
- Pantothenic acid
- Salicylic acid
- Vitamin C