Sea Buckthorn is a shrub that is native to Europe and Asia and contains many tiny berries that grow in tight knit clumps. The berries are edible and very nutritious, however, they have a very sour taste to them that makes people rather have it mixed with other sweeter substances like apple or grape juice.
When the berries are pressed into a juice, it is separated into three layers with the top representing a concentrated orange cream, the middle containing both saturated and polyunsaturated fats and the bottom containing sediment and juice (1). The two top layers are often used for lotions and special skin creams, and the bottom layer is used for edible products like sea buckthorn pureé.
Sea Buckthorn berries contain many vital nutrients. For just one tablespoon of sea buckthorn pureé you receive 25% of Vitamin C, 15% Vitamin E, 6% Vitamin A, an array of antioxidants such as flavonoids and carotenoids, as well as plant sterols and a unique (and rare) omega 7 fatty acid.
The effects that sea buckthorn have on the body are limitless. It helps disorders all the way from inflammation to cancer prevention (2), helps keep mucus membranes lubricated, relieves constipation, promotes healthy teeth, and has anti-acne and anti-aging properties when used on the skin. It has also been praised as an effective weight loss tool. The rare omega 7 fatty acids (Palmitoleic acid) present in the berry signals the body to stop storing fat. In conventional weight loss programs, individuals who supplemented with sea buckthorn managed to keep off fat for longer periods!
The sea buckthorn products I use are by a company called Solberry – I consume their Solberry Sea Buckthorn Puree (around a tablespoon a day).
(1) Seglina, D., Karklina, D., Ruisa, S., & Krasnova, I. (2005) The effect of processing on the composition of sea buckthorn juice. Journal of Fruit and Ornamental Plant Research, 14, 257-264.
(2) Zeb, A. (2006) Anticarcinogenic potential of lipids from Hippophae – evidence from the recent literature. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 7, 32-35.