The Skin Healing Properties Of Sea Buckthorn

Posted on Monday 18 April 2011

Sea Buckthorn oil is made from the berries of Hippophae rhamnoides, a hardy, spiny shrub native to the northern regions of Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia and China. Other common names for the plant include Sea Berry, Sandthorn, and Siberian Pineapple. The female plant bears clusters of round yellow or orange fruits that ripen at the end of summer. These fruits are packed with valuable nutrients.

Harvesting is no easy matter, since the fruit must be harvested by hand and the bushes are very thorny, rather like blackberries or raspberries. The berries can be stored for as long as two weeks after picking and cleaning, as long as they are kept refrigerated at low temperatures. The fruit retains its shape and color even when thawed after freezing.

As a food, the fruit can be squeezed for juice and strained for a clear jelly. Mashed they can be made into an intriguing salsa. Waste not, want not is a good rule to live by, and thrifty souls may want to knead the pulp left over from squeezing into home baked bread.

Summer-ripened fruits are pressed whole, producing a deep red oil as thick as syrup. One pound of oil requires up to ten pounds of berries. The oil contains several important nutrients: Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-Carotene, B1 and B2. It also contains flavonoids, phytosterols, tocopherols, and other essential fatty acids. These nutrients have long been recognized as being good for the skin.

The Latin name, Hippophae, is from the Greek, meaning shiny horse because one of its early uses was to make their coats beautifully shiny and healthy. It also has a long history in both Europe and Asia as a healthful drink; the juice contains protein, vitamins A, C, and E, and important organic acids. Traditionally, the leaves, either fresh or dried, have been steeped to make a nutritious herbal tea. Dried leaves are usually ground before being used to make tea.

It is well known that years of exposure to the sun damages the skin and contributes to wrinkles, creases, and sagging. Studies are currently underway to determine if Sea Buckthorn oil is effective as a moisturizer to improve and condition dry skin and minimize facial wrinkles, laugh lines, and other signs of premature aging.

Dry skin is softened and smoothed by Sea Buckthorn. Skin damaged by wind, weather and sun exposure is much improved by lotions, creams, or oils that use the berries as their primary ingredient. It also works on lesions and abrasions, as well as burns, including sunburn. Sea Buckthorn cream is reported to have been employed by Russian cosmonauts to shield their skin from cosmic radiation.

Applied topically, it has demonstrated consistent efficacy in nourishing and restoring skin. It helps restore sun-damaged skin, skin injuries, lesions, abrasions, and eczema. It is applied topically for burns ranging from sunburn to heat and chemical burns. There are reports Russian cosmonauts, to protect their skin from cosmic radiation, used Sea Buckthorn cream.

Care to dig a little deeper? Uncover a wealth of educational materials about many single therapeutic oils like palmarosa and rosalina essential oil at anandaapothecary.com/essential-oils.html.

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