Sea buckthorn oil has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. The ancient Greeks used the leaf for race horses and it was said that sea buckthorn was the substance that enabled Pegasus, the winged horse, to fly, according to Floraleads.com. In Greek and Tibetan medical texts, it is touted as a treatment for skin and digestive tract disorders. The plant is indigenous to the European and Asian continents and its berries are the source of its medicinal properties.
Sea buckthorn has many medicinal uses, according to the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The berry juice is a common drink in Asia and is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Vitamin E, protein, carotenoids, flavonoids and organic acids. The leaves, steeped in water, produce a nutritional tea. The leaves, young branches and fruit parts are used as animal fodder.
As a topical application, it has been used in a cream to help "sun, heat, chemical and radiation burns, eczema and poorly healing wounds." according to OMAFRA. The cream is also used by Russian cosmonauts to protect their skin from cosmic radiation. It is also used to treat eczema and rosacea. Success has been seen improving your mucous membranes and healing lesions, ulcers and erosions.
According to OMAFRA, the sea buckthorn plant is hardy, grows quickly and grows in marginal soil. It is tolerant of salt spray in the winter. It has been used to stop soil erosion, in land reclamation projects, wildlife enhancement and farmstand protection. They also make handsome ornamental bushes.
Medical studies performed using sea buckthorn have shown promising results for a number of maladies, according to the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Ore. Studies were conducted testing its effectiveness in cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastric ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver and skin disorders. Primarily, it is the antioxidants and flavonoids that show medicinal promise.
In China, where deforestation has caused soil erosion problems, local people have been encouraged to plant and grow sea buckthorn to stem the soil losses. It grows well in poor soil, grows huge root systems and withstands severe weather. Additionally, by harvesting it, the local people can earn an income. A similar project in Mongolia was successful in stemming soil erosion and water loss.
- Photo Credit www.omafra.gov.on.ca
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