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Saturday, January 4, 2014

In all things in nature there is something marvelous.- Aristotle.

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) and Health

Aristotle said, "In all things in nature there is something marvelous." "Σε όλα τα πράγματα στη φύση υπάρχει κάτι θαυμάσιο" In this painting, he (on the right) is gesturing to the earth, arguing solid knowledge is gained from observation.  While Plato gestures to the heavens, arguing or agreeing (I'm not sure).  Plato is believing the things we see are transcendental and changeable, and are so certainly evolving that it is wise to embrace the unknown even in what we might think may be quantifiably observable.
In all things in nature there is something marvelous.

So there we have the connection.  Sea Buckthorn has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for various ailments, this is "observable" in the literature.  It is also being aggressively investigated to explain the specific mechanisms at work which create these health benefits.  Our understanding will change over time.

The best information to date on Sea Buckthorn's health benefits.

I have been wrestling with presenting to you an unbiased, fair, and accurate description of the health benefits of the Sea Buckthorn Plant.  A difficult task indeed.  The available good information is extremely technical.  I do like and read that stuff but I have some difficulty translating it so scientific process doesn't overwhelm the information.  The best and most concise paper I have seen so far is now on the Research Page of this blog.  The direct link is here.  It is from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

  • Sea Buckthorn leaf extract has been found to have significant anti-inflammatory effects. - Proven in human models.
  • Sea Buckthorn is chemoprotective.  That means that when there is an introduction into the body of a substance which produces oxidative stress, the anti-oxidant in Sea Buckthorn is an effective antidote. -Proven in animal models
  • Sea Buckthorn is protective of the liver.  The liver's job is to rid the body of toxins, but it too can be stressed and, as such, less effective.  The compounds which indicate liver stress are significantly reduced with Sea Buckthorn. -Proven in animal models
  • Sea Buckthorn as an anti-stress, adaptogenic substance.  This was a muscle study and one which focused on exhaustion and recovery.  Amazingly, over a 30% increase in performance before exaustion was observed and muscle recovery was faster. -Proven in animal models
  • Sea Buckthorn reduces hypoxia induced vascular leakage.  (am I losing you?)  This was shown in both brain and lung tissues when the subject was exposed to rapid altitude ascent.  The mechanism here seems to again be related to the reduction of damaging free-radicals in the bloodstream. - Shown in animal models.
  • Sea Buckthorn is cardiac-protective and anti-antherogenic.  The anti-oxidant properties of Sea Buckthorn significantly reduce the inflammation in the arteries.  This, in turn, creates an arterial environment where cholesterol does not create plaque.  Cholesterol is a "super glue" in cell construction and forms the equivalent of scabs and scars within arterial walls leading to blockages.  Less inflammation = less repair/scab/scar (plaque)formation-Proven in animal models
  • Sea Buckthorn has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.  Shown to have very strong anti-viral action against influenza, herpes, dengue, listeria (anti-bacterial), Yersinia enterocolitica(anti-bacterial) and more.  A Sea Buckthorn leaf extract has been shown to be anti-microbial and a promising new and natural food preservative. -Proven in animal models and Human models 
  • Anti-radiation properties of Sea Buckthorn. 80% of mice which received lethal doses of radiation and had been given Sea Buckthorn leaf extract survived.  -Proven in animal models
  • Healing effect on wounds, both chronic and acute.  Widely used in to treat radiation burns, Sea Buckthorn oil and or flavones isolated from fruit pulp have shown to enhance cell regeneration of the skin, gastrointestinal tract, and inflammation of the cervix. -Proven in animal models and/or Human models
  • Sea Buckthorn contains 13-24% protein in its leaves.  Most often this is referred to as a argument for animal fodder, I believe with the increased frequency of opposition to GMO based vegetative proteins,  Sea Buckthorn protein isolate will become a desirable and extraordinary product.
Well there you go in a nutshell.  I really do like talking more about  growing things, especially Sea Buckthorn. I expect you, if you have found this blog, have some knowledge about the health benefits already.  This was an attempt to provide a summary and links to the science should you wish a more in-depth and cited reference.
(link to information about Sea Buckthorn leaf nutritive analysis)

From WebMD:

What is sea buckthorn used for?

Traditionally, WebMD indicates sea buckthorn has been used for:
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers.
  • Gout.
  • Skin rashes caused by infectious diseases such as measles.
  • Improving blood pressure.
  • Lowering cholesterol.
  • Preventing and controlling blood vessel diseases.
  • Boosting immunity.
  • Improving sight.
  • Slowing the aging process.
  • Treating asthma.
  • Treating heart conditions.
  • Eczema.
  • Dry eye.
  • Protecting mucous membranes.
  • Healing bed sores, burns and cuts.

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