Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) was originally a plant growing on Himalayan slopes and mainly in Asia, which conquered the world and can be used to preserve our health.
The roots of its Latin name can be traced back to ancient times. During that period, it was regarded as the miracle fodder for horses, which ensured the proper nourishment and shining hair of these esteemed animals (hippo – hippopotamus, phaos – shining).
Sea buckthorn is one of the earliest Earth plants. Its first references onto the therapeutic effects were published in the 4th century AD. According to historical sources, it was part of the military diet during the time of Alexander the Great when leaves and fruit of sea buckthorn were also used to treat patients and injured horses. Its use and consumption are also mentioned in the early writings of Tibetan and Chinese medicine.
In 1929, the first scientific biochemical analysis of the Sea buckthorn was carried out and has been the base of several researches ever since.
Its habitat and production
90% of the world’s natural sea buckthorn habitats are located in China, Mongolia, Russia, Northern Europe and Canada with an estimated territory of 5800 square meters. A total of eight sub-species spread from European Atlantic coasts to Northwest Mongolia and Northwest China. In western Europe, the habitat is largely limited to the coastline, and is spread more widely in Central Asia in dry semi-desert areas where other plants can no longer survive the dry conditions.
The plant has a high tolerability, even in salt-rich air and soil, but sunlight is essential for its healthy growth, it does not tolerate shady conditions, for example, it can not survive near large trees. It grows typically in dry, sandy areas.
Sea buckthorns belonging to the family of silver trees are dense branches with a deciduous shrub growing to 2-5 m high. Its leaves are silver, initially scaly, their flowers are tiny and greenish and open before March and April. Fruits are usually produced from the age of 2-4 years. The fruit of the Sea buckthorn is orange, egg-shaped, single berry with a diameter of 7-9 mm. The fruit is harvested from the beginning of August until the end of September. At first it is bitter, acidic, but as soon as it goes frostbite, it becomes sweet and fruity. Its fruit is mainly consumed processed and not raw.
Most often, jams, wine, ivy, liqueur, jelly and even oil products are made of the plant. In addition, because of its valuable ingredients, it can be extracted as a number of dietary supplements.
What it contains
Sea buckthorn has a high content of Vitamin C, 10 times more than in lemons (400-600 mg / 100g). In addition, the content of Vitamin E, which exceeds the nutritional value of soybean, wheat and corn, is 202.9 mg per 100 grams. Vitamins include A-, B1-, B2-, B6-, B8-, B9-, E-, K-, P- and PP. In addition, it contains various minerals (potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium), carotenoids, monosaccharides, amino acids, flavonoids, glycerol phospholipids, zeaxanthin esters,
polyphenols, fatty acids (Omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) 6 (linoleic acid), Omega-7 (palmitoleic acid), Omega-9 (oleic acid), malic acid, mannitol and fatty oils.
Its beneficial effects
Due to its ingredients, it has several beneficial effects on the human body: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-tumor, immunomodulatory and liver protector.
It strengthens connective tissue, has a good effect on dry, cracked skin, helps wound healing
Vitamin E and essential fatty acids have a good effect on dried, cracked skin and also reduce the formation of cellulite. Palmitic acid found in the sea buckthorn oil is very similar to biochemical formulation as the fatty acids of our skin, therefore its local use helps healing wounds and burns and treating dry skin.
In a study including patients with atopic dermatitis, the use of Sea buckthorn oil was beneficial, followed by the alleviation of symptoms. A total of 49 patients received 5 g of Sea buckthorn oil, cellulose oil or paraffin per day for four months during the research. Researchers found that sea buckthorn oil had a much more beneficial effect on skin than the rest of the control groups, and the abnormal skin symptoms decreased.
It strengthens the immune system and helps maintain the optimal functioning of the body
Its immune-stimulating effect is due primarily to the high content of vitamin C, which is effective against infections due to the prevention of diseases and, on the other, immunosuppression (e.g. colds and coughs).
Reduces blood cholesterol, slowing down the formation of atherosclerotic processes
A clinical trial series conducted in China showed that 6-day triple-vein intake of 3 times a day reduces blood cholesterol levels, prevents angina and improves cardiovascular functions in patients with ischemic heart disease. Researchers have found that the extract lowers myocardial stress by preventing vascular inflammatory processes.
In another clinical trial, dried sea buckthorn extract was given to 102 high-cholesterol patients over 12 weeks. Blood lipid levels were regularly evaluated during the study (weeks 4, 8 and 12). The results showed that after 4 weeks, blood cholesterol levels decreased by 19.2%.
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