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Sea Buckthorn: All you need to know about this tiny Tibetan berry

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This multipurpose wonder food is highly anti-inflammatory and immune-supportive, thus making it a super-food to improve overall health and complete body wellness, writes Sonali Pimputkar.

Although used for centuries from Europe to Pakistan for its highly-nutritious and medicinal profile, Sea Buckthorn is rather unheard by many. Originating in the Himalayas, this adaptable fruit contains high amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and proteins. This multipurpose wonder food is highly anti-inflammatory and immune-supportive, thus making it a super-food to improve overall health and complete body wellness.

Neha Chandna, dietician and nutrition educator considers Sea Buckthorn a great fruit and recommends it for mental clarity and alertness. She says, “Sea Buckthorn is a package of nutrients like amino acids, Vitamin B, Omega 3, 6, 9 and numerous antioxidants which make it a great anti-aging fruit thereby improving skin texture, hair growth and reducing the aging process. It also helps to lower cholesterol, inflammation and blood pressure. It adds to the body’s ability to prevent infections and helps in improving the colon health as well. All in all it is a great fruit for overall good health.”


Sea Buckthorn is seen popping up in all forms from pulp to skin oil to health care products. You can also try its latest products such as chocolate, capsules, herbal tea and energy drink.sea-buckthorn-2

Health benefits of Sea Buckthorn:

As per Shawn Talbott’s The Health Professional’s Guide to Dietary Supplements’ ‘clinical research has not substantiated the claims for Sea Buckthorn as energizer; however, experimental and clinical studies have found that it shows promise for promoting cardiovascular health, antioxidant functions (anti-aging, cardiovascular), and as a wound and tissue healer.’

  • Soothe gastrointestinal issues:

The anti-inflammatory ability of these tiny berries helps you to get rid of gastric distress. It also helps to relieve joint pains and sore muscles.

  • Improve Vision Health:

Sea Buckthorn is verified to improve dry eye and related redness/burning by its knack to reduce soreness and oxidative damage. In addition, it helps to prevent the development of cataracts and improves night vision.

  • Cardiovascular Health:

Including Sea Buckthorn Oil in your food significantly helps to improve lipid panels in the blood by eliminating LDL and IDL, bad and intermediate cholesterol respectively. Hence, there is a less risk of heart attacks and strokes.

  • Cancer Treatment:

The anti-cancer ability of Sea Buckthorn berries helps to slow down the spread of cancer. The high antioxidant content helps to neutralize free radicals, the harmful by-products of cellular metabolism.

  • Anti-aging:
Sea buckthorn oil and branch with berries at right side of wooden background

Sea Buckthorn Oil

The additional benefit of this antioxidant filled berry is it helps to eliminate age spots and wrinkles. Consuming the berries in the form of juice or adding the oil to your food is the mantra to stay young!

  • Skin Health:

Apart from reducing wrinkles, the Omega 7 rich tiny food helps to protect damage from sun and other environmental stress thereby improving skin dryness and loss of elasticity. It is even used to cure eczema, acne, psoriasis and other dermatitis.

Also Read: Domino’s to go all-vegetarian during Navratri 2016

  • Respiratory Health:

Due to its benefit of soothing irritated membranes and reducing inflammation, Sea Buckthorn is used to cure dry cough, bronchitis and other bronchial inflammation related to asthma.sea-buckthorn-4

Per 100 grams Sea Buckthorn contains (approx):

Fatty acid – 6-11%
Folic acid – upto 80 mcg
Vitamin C – 600 – 2,500 mg
Vitamin E – 180 mg
Flavanoids – 310-2,100 mg
100g of sea buckthorn juice may contain 49kcal.

Taste of Sea Buckthorn:

Ignore claims of this fruit being delicious. When consumed raw, it is bitter, sharp and sour, while the overripe ones can taste rancid and are not suitable for eating.

Sea Buckthorn Precautions:

Niti Desai is a consultant nutritionist who has worked as senior dietician in UK and was the official Nutrionist for Femina Miss India 2008, Scooty Teen Diva and Grazia Food Supermodel India 2008. She says, “The research claiming Sea Buckthorn possessing anti-cancer ability came out 5-6 years back. But the tiny berry gain popularity in the city only in recent 2-3 years when researchers starting considering Sea Buckthorn a ‘super-food’. But I advise people to seek medical advice before including it in your diet. Though there are results of the oil curing asthma and chest pain but the evidence are still lacking.”

  • Anyone who is on medication or pregnant should consult a doctor prior consuming it or applying its products on skin.
  • Anyone with bleeding disorder should avoid Sea Buckthorn as it slows down blood clotting.
  • Anyone with low blood pressure should avoid Sea Buckthorn completely as it helps to lower blood pressure.
  • It is advisable to stop its consumption two weeks before surgery as it may cause extra bleeding.
  • And as always, before including any super food to your diet do check with a medical professional.

    sea-buckthorn-juice

    Sea Buckthorn Juice

Where to get Sea Buckthorn and products in Mumbai?

Sea Buckthorn or its products are not easily available on the shelves of metro city stores. However, you can check these few retailers:

Shri Organic Products, Vashi
Contact Number: 9892559169

Vedan Healthcare, Airoli
Contact Number: 9643319186

Facts:

  • Sea Buckthorn is one of the plant sources of the elusive Omega-7 fatty acid.
  • It contains 10 times Vitamin C of oranges and 3 times Vitamin A of carrots.
  • Tibetan locals call Sea Buckthorn ‘Life Oil’ as it good for both internal and external use.
  • During the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Sea Buckthorn was used to help heal the skin of burn victims.
  • During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China used Sea Buckthorn juice as its national drink.