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Sea Buckthorn

Uses

Botanical names:
Hippophae rhamnoides

Parts Used & Where Grown

Sea buckthorn berries are used, either as the whole berry, berry puree or juice, or the oil derived from the fruit or its seeds. The plant is native to Europe and Asia.
What Are Star Ratings?

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for Why
2 Stars
Burns
Refer to label instructions
Sea buckthorn extracts may speed the healing of skin injuries, including burns.
In animal studies, sea buckthorn extracts have been shown to speed the healing of skin injuries, including burns.1 In a controlled trial,2 people treated for burns with dressings containing sea buckthorn oil had greater pain relief and faster healing than those treated with a standard burn dressing.
2 Stars
Cardiovascular Disease
10 mg three times daily of a flavonoid extract of sea buckthorn for six weeks
Sea buckthorn berries, their oil, or flavonoid-rich extracts of the fruit have lowered biochemical indicators of increased cardiovascular risk in some, though not all, preliminary and double-blind human studies.
Sea buckthorn berries, their oil, or flavonoid-rich extracts of the fruit have lowered biochemical indicators of increased cardiovascular risk in some,3 , 4 , 5 though not all,6 , 7preliminary and double-blind human studies. In a preliminary trial, people with heart disease who took 10 mg three times daily of a flavonoid extract of sea buckthorn for six weeks had less chest pain, lower blood cholesterol, and improved heart function.8 Double-blind research is needed to confirm these findings.
2 Stars
Dry Eye Syndrome
2 grams per day of sea buckthorn oil for three months
Sea buckthorn oil contains large amounts of essential fatty acids that are thought to be helpful for both preventing dry eye syndrome and reducing its severity.
Sea buckthorn oil contains large amounts of essential fatty acids that are thought to be helpful for both preventing dry eye syndrome and reducing its severity.9 , 10 , 11 In a double-blind trial,12 people who took 2 grams per day of sea buckthorn oil for three months had reduced abnormalities in tear composition and some improvement in symptoms of redness and burning.
2 Stars
Liver Cirrhosis
15 grams three times daily of sea buckthorn extract
Preliminary research suggests that sea buckthorn may improve indicators of liver damage.
Sea buckthorn has been shown to protect the liver from damage in animal studies,13 and to reduce blood indicators of liver damage in preliminary human studies.14. In a controlled trial,15 80% of people with cirrhosis who took 15 grams three times daily of sea buckthorn extract (potency or standardization not stated) had blood indicators of liver damage return to normal within six months, compared to 56% of a group taking a B-complex vitamin.
1 Star
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions
Sea buckthorn has been shown in animal studies to have immune system-enhancing and anti-inflammatory properties, though a clinical trial did not find benefit.
Sea buckthorn has been shown in animal studies to have immune system-enhancing and anti-inflammatory properties that might help prevent or relieve the common cold.16 However, in a double-blind trial,17 healthy people who consumed 28 grams per day of pureed sea buckthorn berries for three months had the same number and duration of common cold episodes as a group consuming a placebo puree. Sea buckthorn does not appear to be effective for preventing or relieving the common cold.
1 Star
Eczema
Refer to label instructions
Sea buckthorn oil contains large amounts of essential fatty acids that are important to skin health inflammation control.
Sea buckthorn oil contains large amounts of essential fatty acids that are important to skin health and control of inflammation,18 , 19 and has constituents that, according to test tube and animal research, could influence the immune system abnormalities underlying skin conditions such as eczema.20 Double-blind studies have investigated a sea buckthorn extract taken by mouth and a topical application of sea buckthorn. In one study,21 people with eczema who took 5 grams per day of sea buckthorn pulp oil for four months had reduced symptoms of eczema, but their improvement was no better than in those taking a placebo. In another study,22 people with eczema applied daily to the affected area either a 10% sea buckthorn cream, a 20% sea buckthorn cream, or a placebo cream. After four weeks all groups had small reductions in the severity of eczema symptoms, but the sea buckthorn creams were no more helpful than the placebo cream.
1 Star
High Cholesterol
Refer to label instructions
Sea buckthorn contains flavonoids and essential fatty acids that may influence blood cholesterol according to animal and preliminary human research.
Sea buckthorn contains flavonoids and essential fatty acids that may influence blood cholesterol according to animal and preliminary human research.23 , 24 , 25 In a double-blind trial, people with normal blood cholesterol who consumed 28 grams per day of pureed sea buckthorn berries for three months experienced no change in their blood cholesterol.26 Similarly, a double-blind trial of 300 ml per day of sea buckthorn berry juice found no cholesterol-lowering effect in people with normal blood cholesterol.27 Double-blind studies of people with high cholesterol are needed to determine whether sea buckthorn is an effective treatment for this condition.
1 Star
Hypertension
Refer to label instructions
Research suggest that flavonoids from sea buckthorn may have blood pressure–lowering effects.
Test tube, 28 animal studies,29 and preliminary human research suggest that flavonoids from sea buckthorn may have blood pressure–lowering effects.30 In a controlled trial, a group of overweight women, some of whom had high blood pressure, consumed for one month either 100 grams per day of fresh sea buckthorn berries, or an equivalent amount of sea buckthorn oil or sea buckthorn berry extract.31 None of these forms of sea buckthorn had any blood-pressure lowering effect on the group as a whole. Double-blind research in people with hypertension is needed to clarify the possible benefits of sea buckthorn for this condition.
1 Star
Peptic Ulcer
Refer to label instructions
Sea buckthorn contains flavonoids and other constituents that promote healing. It has been associated with peptic ulcer improvement, though more research is needed.
Sea buckthorn contains flavonoids and other constituents that promote healing, and sea buckthorn oil has been shown to both prevent and heal peptic ulcers in animal studies.32 Direct application of sea buckthorn oil to ulcers during medical treatment with endoscopy has been reported to improve results,33 but no studies of treating peptic ulcers with sea buckthorn oil supplements have been done.
1 Star
Type 1 Diabetes
Refer to label instructions
Animal and preliminary research suggests a connection between sea buckthorn and improved measures of blood sugar control.
Animal research reports that sea buckthorn flavonoids lower blood glucose.34 , 35 In a preliminary trial, children with type 1 diabetes who consumed a concentrated mixture of sea buckthorn berries and blueberries (concentration and relative proportions not stated) for two months had improved blood measures of glucose control.36 Double-blind research using sea buckthorn alone is needed to confirm these findings and to determine an effective daily amount of sea buckthorn.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Sea buckthorn has been used as a traditional herbal remedy in central and eastern Asia for respiratory, skin, and gastrointestinal conditions, and to reduce fever and inflammation.

How It Works

Botanical names:
Hippophae rhamnoides

How It Works

Sea buckthorn berries contain flavonoids such as isorhamnetin,37 as well as vitamins and other factors that might contribute to its activity.38 The oil in the pulp and seed is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.39

How to Use It

Fresh or frozen sea buckthorn berries have been used at 28 to 100 grams daily. Two to five grams per day of sea buckthorn oil has been used. Flavonoids from sea buckthorn have been taken at 30 mg per day. Sea buckthorn can also be use topically with a 10% to 20% sea buckthorn cream, or by adding sea buckthorn oil to skin dressings.

Where to Find It

Sea buckthorn berries are used, either as the whole berry, berry puree or juice, or the oil derived from the fruit or its seeds. The plant is native to Europe and Asia.

Interactions

Botanical names:
Hippophae rhamnoides

Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Botanical names:
Hippophae rhamnoides

Side Effects

Sea buckthorn berry oil reduces platelet activity, according to controlled human research.40 This could mean that people with impaired blood clotting might experience a worsening of that condition if they took sea buckthorn. People with impaired blood clotting, and people who are taking medications that inhibit blood clotting, should consult a knowledgeable healthcare provider before taking sea buckthorn.

References

1. Suryakumar G, Gupta A. Medicinal and therapeutic potential of Sea buckthorn (Hippophaerhamnoides L.). J Ethnopharmacol 2011;138:268-78.

2. Wang ZY, Luo XL, He CP. Management of burn wounds with Hippophaerhamnoides oil. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da XueXueBao 2006;26:124-5 [in Chinese].

3. Lehtonen HM, Suomela JP, Tahvonen R, et al. Different berries and berry fractions have various but slightly positive effects on the associated variables of metabolic diseases on overweight and obese women. Eur J ClinNutr 2011;65:394-401.

4. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database citation: Zhang MS, et al. Treatment of ischemic heart diseases with flavonoids of Hippophaerhamnoides. Chinese J Cardiol 1987;15:97-9.Pubmed citation: Zhang MS. A control trial of flavonoids of Hippophaerhamnoides L. in treating ischemic heart disease. ZhonghuaXinXue Guan Bing ZaZhi 1987;15:97-9 [in Chinese].

5. Larmo P, Alin J, Salminen E, et al. Effects of sea buckthorn berries on infections and inflammation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J ClinNutr 2008;62:1123-30.

6. Suomela JP, Ahotupa M, Yang B, et al. Absorption of flavonols derived from sea buckthorn (Hippophaërhamnoides L.) and their effect on emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease in humans. J Agric Food Chem 2006;54:7364-9.

7. Eccleston C, Baoru Y, Tahvonen R et al. Effects of an antioxidant-rich juice (sea buckthorn) on risk factors for coronary heart disease in humans. JNutrBiochem 2002;13:346–354.

8. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database citation: Zhang MS, et al. Treatment of ischemic heart diseases with flavonoids of Hippophaerhamnoides. Chinese J Cardiol 1987;15:97-9.Pubmed citation: Zhang MS. A control trial of flavonoids of Hippophaerhamnoides L. in treating ischemic heart disease. ZhonghuaXinXue Guan Bing ZaZhi 1987;15:97-9 [in Chinese].

9. Miljanovic B, Trivedi KA, Dana MR, et al.Relation between dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and clinically diagnosed dry eye syndrome in women. Am J ClinNutr 2005; 82:887–893.

10. Barabino S, Rolando M, Camicione P, et al. Systemic linoleic and gamma-linolenic acid therapy in dry eye syndrome with an inflammatory component. Cornea 2003;22:97-101.

11. Pinheiro MN Jr, dos Santos PM, dos Santos RC, et al. Oral flaxseed oil (Linumusitatissimum) in the treatment for dry-eye Sjögren's syndrome patients. Arq Bras Oftalmol 2007;70:649-55 [in Portuguese].

12. Larmo PS, Järvinen RL, Setälä NL, et al. Oral sea buckthorn oil attenuates tear film osmolarity and symptoms in individuals with dry eye. J Nutr 2010;140:1462-8.

13. Suryakumar G, Gupta A. Medicinal and therapeutic potential of Sea buckthorn (Hippophaerhamnoides L.). J Ethnopharmacol 2011;138:268-78.

14. Huang DL, Chang XZ, Gui HN, et al. Analysis of 156 cases of chronic hepatitis treated with sea buckthorn. ZhongxiyiJieheZazhi 1991;11:697-6980 [in Chinese].

15. Gao ZL, Gu XH, Cheng FT, Jiang FH. Effect of sea buckthorn on liver fibrosis: a clinical study. World J Gastroenterol 2003;9:1615-7.

16. Suryakumar G, Gupta A. Medicinal and therapeutic potential of Sea buckthorn (Hippophaerhamnoides L.). J Ethnopharmacol 2011;138:268-78.

17. Larmo P, Alin J, Salminen E, et al. Effects of sea buckthorn berries on infections and inflammation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J ClinNutr 2008;62:1123-30

18. Ziboh VA The significance of polyunsaturated fatty acids in cutaneous biology. Lipids 1996;31:S249–253 [review].

19. The British Nutrition Foundation. Function of unsaturated fatty acids. In Unsaturated Fatty Acids: Nutrition and Physiological Significance (The Report of The British Nutrition Foundations Task Force). London, UK:Chapman & Hall, 1992, pp. 48–62 [review].

20. Suryakumar G, Gupta A. Medicinal and therapeutic potential of Sea buckthorn (Hippophaerhamnoides L.). J Ethnopharmacol 2011;138:268-78.

21. Yang B, Kalimo KO, Mattila LM, et al. Effects of dietary supplementation with sea buckthorn (Hippophaërhamnoides) seed and pulp oils on atopic dermatitis. J NutrBiochem 1999;10:622-30.

22. Thumm EJ, Stoss M, Bayerl C, Schurholz TH. Randomized trial to study efficacy of a 20% and 10% Hippophaerhamnoides containing creme used by patients with mild to intermediate atopic dermatitis. AktuelleDermatologie 2000;26:285-290 [in German].

23. Wang JL, Zhang MS, Xu ZQ, et al. Clinical observation on effects of sea buckthorn total flavones on ischemic heart diseases. Shanxi Med Res 1985;2:60–67 [in Chinese].

24. Liu BW, Wu ZF, Liu WZ, et al. Preliminary observation on the effects of seabuckthorn berry juice on hyperlipemia and coronary heart disease. Shanxi Med Res 1985;2:68–73 [in Chinese]

25. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database citation: Zhang MS, et al. Treatment of ischemic heart diseases with flavonoids of Hippophaerhamnoides. Chinese J Cardiol 1987;15:97-9.Pubmed citation: Zhang MS. A control trial of flavonoids of Hippophaerhamnoides L. in treating ischemic heart disease. ZhonghuaXinXue Guan Bing ZaZhi 1987;15:97-9 [in Chinese].

26. Larmo PS, Yang B, Hurme SA, et al. Effect of a low dose of sea buckthorn berries on circulating concentrations of cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and flavonols in healthy adults. Eur J Nutr 2009;48:277-82.

27. Eccleston C, Baoru Y, Tahvonen R. Effects of an antioxidant-rich juice (sea buckthorn) on risk factors for coronary heart disease in humans. JNutrBiochem 2002;13:346–354.

28. Zhu F, Zhang MS, Wang JL.Inhibitory effect of total flavones of Hippophaerhamnoides L on angiotensin converting enzyme from rabbit. Chin J Clin Pharm 2000;9:95-98 [in Chinese].

29. Pang X., Zhao J, Zhang W, et al. Antihypertensive effect of total flavones extracted from seed residues of Hippophaerhamnoides L. in sucrose-fed rats. J Ethnopharmacology 2008;117 :325-331.

30. Zhang X, Zhang M, Gao Z, et al. Effect of total flavones of Hippophaerhamnoides L. on sympathetic activity in hypertension. Hua XiYiKeDaXueXueBao 2001;32:547-550 [in Chinese]

31. Lehtonen HM, Suomela JP, Tahvonen R, et al. Different berries and berry fractions have various but slightly positive effects on the associated variables of metabolic diseases on overweight and obese women. Eur J ClinNutr 2011;65:394-401.

32. Sea buckthorn contains flavonoids and other constituents that promote healing, and sea buckthorn oil has been shown to both prevent and heal peptic ulcers in animal studies. Direct application of sea buckthorn oil to ulcers during medical treatment with endoscopy has been reported to improve results, but no studies of treating peptic ulcers with sea buckthorn oil supplements have been done.

33. Nikitin VA, Chistiakov AA, Bugaeva VI. Therapeutic endoscopy in combined therapy of gastroduodenal ulcers.Khirurgiia (Mosk) 1989;4:33-35 [in Russian].

34. Cao Q, Qu W, Deng Y, et al. Effect of flavonoids from the seed and fruit residue of Hippophaerhamnoides L. on glycometabolism in mice. Zhong Yao Cai2003;26:735-7 [In Chinese].

35. Wang J, Zhang W, Zhu D, et al. Hypolipidaemic and hypoglycaemic effects of total flavonoids from seed residues of Hippophaerhamnoides L. in mice fed a high-fat diet J Sci Food Agric 2011;91:1446-51.

36. Nemes-Nagy E, Szocs-Molnár T, Dunca I, et al. Effect of a dietary supplement containing blueberry and sea buckthorn concentrate on antioxidant capacity in type 1 diabetic children. ActaPhysiologicaHungarica 2008; 95: 383–393.

37. Suomela JP, Ahotupa M, Yang B, et al. Absorption of flavonols derived from sea buckthorn (Hippophaërhamnoides L.) and their effect on emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease in humans. J Agric Food Chem 2006;54:7364-9.

38. Suryakumar G, Gupta A. Medicinal and therapeutic potential of Sea buckthorn (Hippophaerhamnoides L.). J Ethnopharmacol 2011;138:268-78.

39. Yang B, Kallio HP. Fatty acid composition of lipids in sea buckthorn (Hippophaërhamnoides L.) berries of different origins. J Agric Food Chem 2001;49:1939-47.

40. Johansson AK, Korte H, Yang B, et al. Sea buckthorn berry oil inhibits platelet aggregation. J NutrBiochem 2000;11:491-5.

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