Sea Buckthorn

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What other names is Sea Buckthorn known by?

Ananas de Sibérie, Argasse, Argousier, Argousier Faux-Nerprun, Bourdaine Marine, Buckthorn, Chharma, Dhar-Bu, Épine Luisante, Épine Marrante, Espino Armarillo, Espino Falso, Faux Nerprun, Finbar, Grisset, Hippophae rhamnoides, Meerdorn, Oblepikha, Olivier de Sibérie, Purging Thorn, Rokitnik, Sallow Thorn, Sanddorn, Saule Épineux, Sea Buckhorn, Sceitbezien, Sea-Buckthorn, Seedorn, Star-Bu, Tindved.

What is Sea Buckthorn?

Sea buckthorn is an herb. The leaves, flowers, and fruits are used to make medicine.

Sea buckthorn leaves and flowers are used for treating arthritis, gastrointestinal ulcers, gout, and skin rashes caused by infectious diseases such as measles. A tea containing sea buckthorn leaves is used as a source of vitamins, antioxidants, protein building blocks (amino acids), fatty acids and minerals; for improving blood pressure and lowering cholesterol; preventing and controlling blood vessel diseases; and boosting immunity.

Sea buckthorn berries are used for preventing infections, improving sight, and slowing the aging process.

The seed or berry oil is used as an expectorant for loosening phlegm; for treating asthma, heart disorders including chest pain (angina) and high cholesterol; for preventing blood vessel disease; and as an antioxidant. Sea buckthorn oil is also used for slowing the decline of thinking skills with age; reducing illness due to cancer, as well as limiting the toxicity of chemical cancer treatment (chemotherapy); balancing the immune system; treating stomach and intestinal diseases including ulcers and reflux esophagitis (GERD); treating night blindness and dry eye; and as a supplemental source of vitamins C, A, and E, beta-carotene, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids.

Some people apply sea buckthorn berries, berry concentrate, and berry or seed oil directly to the skin for preventing sunburn; for treating radiation damage from x-rays and sunburns; for healing wounds including bedsores, burns, and cuts; for acne, dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, skin ulcers, and skin color changes after giving birth; and for protecting mucus membranes.

In foods, sea buckthorn berries are used to make jellies, juices, purees, and sauces.

In manufacturing, sea buckthorn is used in cosmetics and anti-aging products.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • A skin condition called atopic dermatitis (eczema). Early research shows that taking sea buckthorn pulp oil by mouth for 4 months improves atopic dermatitis. However, sea buckthorn seed oil taken by mouth does not have this effect. Also, applying cream containing 10% or 20% sea buckthorn on the skin for 4 weeks does not seem to improve symptoms of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Burns. Some early research suggests that dressing burn wounds with sea buckthorn oil significantly reduces pain and improves healing. However, other research suggests that dressing burn wounds with sea buckthorn oil may be less tolerable and less effective than other active preparations.
  • Heart disease. Developing research in China suggests that taking a particular sea buckthorn extract three times by mouth for 6 weeks lowers cholesterol, reduces chest pain, and improves heart function in people with heart disease.
  • Common cold. Early research shows that consuming sea buckthorn berries in a frozen puree for 90 days does not prevent the common cold or make symptoms go away faster.
  • Digestive tract infection. Early research shows that consuming sea buckthorn berries in frozen puree for 90 days does not prevent digestive tract infections.
  • Dry eye. Some early research shows that taking a specific sea buckthorn product (Omega-7, Aromtech Ltd., Finland) by mouth decreases feelings of eye redness and burning.
  • High blood pressure. Early research suggests that taking sea buckthorn by mouth for up to 8 months might reduce high blood pressure similarly to certain blood pressure-lowering drugs.
  • Liver disease (cirrhosis). There is some early evidence showing that taking sea buckthorn extract might reduce liver enzymes and other chemicals in the blood that indicate liver problems.
  • Stomach ulcers. Early research suggests that taking sea buckthorn oil while receiving standard treatment using an endoscope might reduce how long people with stomach ulcers have to stay in the hospital.
  • Weight loss. Early evidence shows that taking sea buckthorn berries, berry oil, or extract by mouth does not reduce body weight in overweight or obese women.
  • Arthritis.
  • Gout.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Vision disorders.
  • Aging.
  • Cough.
  • Asthma.
  • Chest pain (angina).
  • Cancer.
  • Heartburn.
  • Sunburn.
  • Wounds.
  • Pressure ulcers.
  • Cuts.
  • Acne.
  • Dry skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate sea buckthorn for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideVitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

How does Sea Buckthorn work?

Sea buckthorn contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and other active ingredients. It might have some activity against stomach and intestinal ulcers, and heartburn symptoms.

Are there safety concerns?

Sea buckthorn fruit is LIKELY SAFE when consumed as food. Sea buckthorn fruit is used in jams, pies, drinks, and other foods. Sea buckthorn fruit is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth or used on the skin as a medicine. It has been safely used in scientific studies lasting up to 90 days.

However, not enough is known about the safety of using sea buckthorn leaf or extracts.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking sea buckthorn if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Bleeding disorder: Sea buckthorn might slow blood clotting when taken as a medicine. There is some concern that it might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Low blood pressure: Sea buckthorn might lower blood pressure when taken as a medicine. In theory, taking sea buckthorn might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.

Surgery: Sea buckthorn might slow blood clotting when taken as a medicine. There is some concern that it might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using sea buckthorn at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Sea buckthorn might lower blood pressure when taken as a medicine. Using sea buckthorn with drugs that lower blood pressure might increase the effects of these drugs and lower blood pressure too much.

Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.



Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Sea buckthorn might slow blood clotting. Taking sea buckthorn along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Dosing considerations for Sea Buckthorn.

The appropriate dose of sea buckthorn depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for sea buckthorn. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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