Sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides) has been used in traditional medicine over many generations before us. Our ancestors knew sea buckthorn as a remedy that increased blood circulation, cured asthma, diabetes and peptic ulcers. Its anti-inflammatory effects are also well known.
Nowadays, many of sea buckthorn’s positive features have been scientifically confirmed. The berries are famous for their high vitamin C content. Curiously, these berries do not contain ascorbinase, which breaks down ascorbate – this is why sea buckthorn is packed with vitamin C. In rough growth conditions, several nutrients, including vitamin C, appear in higher concentrations compared to berries growing in warmer climate. Meaning the berries grown in Estonia are especially salutary (Krejcarova J et al 2015).
The effect of sea buckthorn is mostly tied to improving the efficiency of the organism’s own immune system. A strong immune system provides the body with a universal resistance mechanism to fight off diseases. It is important to note that sea buckthorn has also been inspected to expose any possible side effects but the results are overwhelmingly positive, confirming that there are no unpleasant side effects (Wen P et al 2018).
As for its chemical makeup, sea buckthorn boasts a number of compounds, including carotenoids, β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxantin, phytosterols, ergosterol, stigmasterol, lanosterol, amyrins, polyphenols, proantho-cyanidins, flavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin and isorhamnetin. In addition, cerebroside, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, cirsiumaldehyde, octacosanoic acid and palmitic acid have been found in sea buckthorn berries (Bal LM et 2011, Michel T et al 2012, Fatima T et al 2012, Yang B et al 2001, Zheng RX et al 2009).