Plant portrait: Seabuckthorn

Plant portrait Seabuckthorn | BLOG | Jana Teneva

The smell of fresh seabuckthorn berries late September while biking through the dunes of the Dutch coast … not sure
how to best describe this nose-tickling mix of fresh, prickling and lemony notes, that is floating in the air.

The seabuckthorn bushes are then covered with tons of orange little gems, the seabuckthorn berries also called sea berry as they often grow close by the sea or in the dunes around the coast. The shrub is native to Europe and Asia. It can grow up over a meter and develops dense and stiff branches full of thorns. The leaves are a silvery-green, long, and slender. Male plants produce flowers, which create the pollen, while female bushes produce the orange berry-like fruit.

Several parts from the seabuckthorn plant several parts are used to make medicine: leaves, flowers and seeds. In Germany and northern Holland the seabuckthorn berries are used for centuries already for filling jars with vitamin C in the form of jams, sauces and sirups.

Superfood for the skin

In the last decade and two, the seabuckthorn berries and their seed oil became the star of the anti-aging cosmetics. Seabuckthorn berry contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids. It truly deserves the nickname “superfood for the skin”.

The seed oil has a long list of impressive powerful and healing properties. It is used and known as a:

  • For healing wounds including bedsores, burns, and cuts; for acne, dermatitis, dry skin, eczema;
  • Being a strong anti-oxidant (which is used in cosmetics or food);
  • Being a good source of the rare omega-7, an essential fatty acid that helps skin retain its firmness;
  • Treating stomach and intestinal diseases including ulcers and reflux esophagitis (GERD);
  • For treating asthma, heart disorders including chest pain (angina) and high cholesterol;
  • Balancing the immune system;
  • Treating night blindness and dry eye;
  • As limiting the toxicity of chemical cancer treatment (chemotherapy);
  • Used for slowing the decline of thinking skills with age;
Superfood for the skin | Seabuckthorn Berry Essential Oil | Living Libations

The seabuckthorn history goes all the way back to ancient Greece.
A legend says the ancient Greeks were giving the seabuckthorn leaves to the racehorses, this is where the plant got its botanical Latin name (Hippophae Rhamnoides). Hippopahe means “shiny horses”.
There are references about the use of the plant all the way back not only to Ancient Greek texts but also to Tibetan medicinal scripts dated to 618-907 A.D.

Herbal remedies obtained from the plant were originally used to treat skin diseases and digestive issues. Various parts of the plant and its fruits were also traditionally used to lower fever, reduce internal inflammation, and treat colds and coughs.

Some other interesting facts are that you can try to pick the berries, once you spot them, but they are literally surrounded by an army of thorns…and they are very sharp ones. So if you wanna get your own berries for a smoothie, a home-made jam or a fresh face mask, don’t forget your gloves and garden scissors!

The Dutch Health Store offers several products with seabuckthorn oil:

Jana Teneva

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