Category: Health Benefits
Deterioration of the skin is a natural process, but it happens far too early for most people. Lines, wrinkles and more serious dermal problems are often the result of the skin's exposure to toxins and/or underlying health conditions. If the abundance of over-the-counter skin care items, prescription topical treatments, and even laser treatments has failed to fix the problem, it's time to investigate alternative possibilities. Take a closer look at an ancient remedy used by medical practitioners in Tibet, India and China.
According to the Chinese pharmacopeia, which dates back thousands of years, sea buckthorn was used in formulas to suppress cough, relieve pain, enhance digestion and stimulate circulation. The fruit is primarily of benefit. It is used in a range of modern products, including cosmetics, alcohol ferments, baby foods, syrups and multivitamins. The bark, leaves and essential oils collected from the berries are exceedingly astringent in raw form and used for dermatologic conditions and to stop diarrhea. Assessment of the berry's constituents has led some researchers to suggest its possible use in cancer treatment.
An oil is extracted from the pulp and seeds of the plant's fruit for use in cosmetics and other products. Chemical analysis reveals the oil is loaded with a number of critical vitamins as well as essential and non-essential fatty acids. The seed and pulp oil together contain about 370 milligrams of vitamin E per 100 grams. The same amount holds about 250 milligrams of vitamin K. Well over one percent of the oil is carotenoids. A high percentage of the oil is made of flavonoids and other powerful antioxidants. The oil itself is composed of about 75 percent unsaturated fatty acids and 25 percent saturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids include linolenic and linoleic acids, the omega-9 oleic acid, and palmitic acid. Sea buckthorn is considered one of the best sources of concentrated omega-7 fatty acid.
Palmitoleic acid is the omega-7 acid in sea buckthorn responsible for much of its popularity. Though non-essential, this fat is extremely useful to the health. Modern science has confirmed that palmitoleic acid is the primary source of health benefits. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent for the skin, an immunomodulator, and promoter of tissue regeneration. The choice of sea buckthorn oil for inflammatory or auto-immune skin disorders makes sense with this understanding. Topical products are the most popular for skin problems, yet the oil will likely perform the same with ingestion. This is especially true for skin conditions resulting from underlying health problems. Naturopaths may prescribe the oil for obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. Chinese physicians will prescribe it in a formula with other helpful herbs.
The appearance of skin is directly tied to the health of the individual. Improve one and the other will improve given time. Sea buckthorn certainly holds promise for those suffering skin disorders, such as eczema and psoriasis. It is also useful for those wrinkles and lines associated with premature ageing.