Rasayanas from Europe SEA BUCKTHORN Print
Written by Dr. Andreea Daniela & Dr Sanjeev Sood   

Sea Buckthorn on the vine.Sea Buckthorn is so well known and appreciated in Europe and western countries as an exceptional revitalizer and mineralizer that it can be considered one of the best western Rasayana herb parallel to Amla. It is native from northwestern Europe, through central Asia to the Altai Mountains to western and northern China and the northern Himalayas.

The botanical name of the plant: Hippophae rhamnoides, comes from the Latin ”hippophae” meaning ”shining horse”, as in the Ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire it was given to race horses in order to improve their performance and look. According to the legends, Sea Buckthorn leaves were the preferable food of the flying horse of the Greek mythology, Pegasus.
The references to medicinal use of Sea Buckthorne were found in the Ancient Greek texts and in classic Tibetan medicinal texts. It is called Oblepika in Russia, Sauddorn in Germany, Argousier in France, Espino Amarillo in Spain, Finbar in Sweden, Tindved in Denmark, Rokitnik in Poland, Yashildoo Chatsargana in Mongolia, Catina in Romania and it is also a traditional component of Tibetan herbal medicines where it is called Star-Bu or D’har-Bu.

Sea Buckthorn has been used for centuries in both Europe and Asia as food and for its pharmaceutical properties. It was used in ancient times to lower fever, reduce inflammation, counteract toxicity and abscesses, clean the lungs, treat colds and coughs, and treat tumors and growths, especially of the stomach and the esophagus.

It belongs to the family Elaeagnaceae. It is a medium deciduous shrub 6 to 13 feet (2 to 4 m) in height. The trees are dioecious, meaning there are male and female plants and only the female ones produce fruits. Branches are dense and stiff and very thorny, the leaves are a distinct pale silvery-green, alternate and narrow. Flowers are small, yellow and appear before the leaves. The female plants produce orange fruits, 6-9 mm in diameter, soft and juicy.

The plants are very hard and can withstand temperatures of -45 to 103 degree F (-23 to 40 degree C). Sea Buckthorn is frequently used for land reclamation and to prevent soil erosion because of its extensive root system and its ability to fix nitrogen and other nutrients. It grows naturally in sandy soil and at an altitude of 1200-1400 meters (4000-14000 feet) in cold climates, though it can be cultivated at lower altitudes and in temperate zones, but it cannot grow in the shade. The English name of the plant: Sea Buckthorn might be related to the fact that in England the spiny shrubs and trees grew in sand dunes along the sea beaches.

Main constituents: the fruits are very rich in vitamin C: 400 to 1500 mg per 100 gm. fruit. The content is more than in strawberries, kiwi, oranges, tomatoes and carrots. It is supposed that all the Sea Buckthorn on the earth would be enough for satisfying the vitamin C needs for the whole population of the planet. It also contains Vitamin E: 200 mg%, more than wheat, corn and soya germs. Sea Buckthorn has 10 times more carotene than carrots (alpha and beta carotene, precursors of Vitamin A). The presence of both carotene and vitamin E in the fruits offers them strong antioxidant and therefore antitumor properties. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, PP, F and provitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium Potassium, Sodium, Iron, Fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6, essential amino acids and flavonoides

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbiological, anti scorbutic, pain reliever, it promotes tissue regeneration, anti diarrhea, antioxidant and antitumor due to the presence of vitamins C, E, carotene and flavonoides, anti depressive due to the fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6, liver tonic, it offers protection against radiation, anti coagulant, general tonic.

Indications: Internally Sea Buckthorn fruits are very useful in avitaminosis due to their high content of vitamins, anemia, low immunity, fever, common colds- both for curing and preventing- low appetite and growth dysfunctions in children, depression, hepatitis and liver cirrhosis. Clinical trials have proved that Sea Buckthorn extract helps to normalize liver enzymes, serum bile acids and immune system markers involved in liver inflammation and degeneration: it also protects liver from damaging effects of toxic chemicals. It is indicated for cancer, both for preventing and as an adjuvant in cure.

Laboratory studies have shown that it protects bone marrow from damage due to radiation; it helps faster recovery of bone marrow cells and also helps faster recovery of the hematopoietic system after chemotherapy.
Due to the anticoagulant effect and the presence of the flavonoides it is indicated in cardiovascular diseases, especially in high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, Reynaud syndrome, and arteritis.

Externally, the oil is indicated for burns, scalds, ulcerations, infections, it is an ingredient in sun block products because it has a strong UV-blocking activity. Russian cosmonauts use sea buckthorn oil for protecting themselves from the burns produced by radiations; in ophthalmology, berry extracts have been used for keratitis, eyelid injuries and conjunctivitis and in gynecology the oil is used for cervicitis.

Administration: Fresh juice of the fruits has a sour-astringent taste and is very rich in vitamins and minerals; it was given to cosmonauts for maintaining their strength and stress-resistance. Probably it was the first natural fruit juice reaching the cosmic space.

Fresh fruits can be preserved in honey and eaten all over the year. The syrup can also be used for the purposes mentioned above, the best one is prepared with honey, it can be easily accepted by children due to the sweet-sour taste and it can successfully replace the artificially flavored juices with sugar; it increases appetite and it is a very good immunity booster.
Powder of the dried fruits can be used mixed with other herbal powders, best mixture for anemia and low immunity is Sea Buckthorn dried fruits, Dog Rose dried fruits and nettle powder (mixed with honey for children); 3 teaspoons a day successfully prevent common colds. Combined with Mary s thistle and Dog Rose powder it becomes a very efficient liver tonic and combined with Hawthorn fruit powder it helps prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases.

Fruits can also be used as cold extract in water, but many of the properties are lost this way, as oil cannot be extracted in water, so vitamin E, provitamin D and fatty acids omega 3 and 6 would be lost this way.
Sea Buckthorn, even with its aspect, suggests force and vigor, its orange colored fruits (warm and solar color), deep and strong roots that fixes and nourishes the soil, its resistance to low temperatures and high altitudes, suggest that this plant teaches us the lesson of self trust, vitality, strength and discovery of our own resources.

1. Dr. Andreea Daniela M.D. Medicine is actively associated with Yoga and Ayurveda group of Romania, this group is teaching and is practising ayurveda in Romania from last fifteen years.
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2. Dr. Sanjeev Sood is Asst. Prof. in Ayurvedic Medicine & Head of Panchakarma Department, Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar
+ 91 9814004142
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DAV's Ayurveda for Holistic Health
ISSN 2348-6910 Volume - 1 , Issue: 28 , September 2015

Home arrow May 2008 arrow Rasayanas from Europe SEA BUCKTHORN

Editorial Board

Chief Patron
Shri Punam Suri
President, DAV College Managing Committee,
New Delhi.

Dr. Ramesh Arya
Vice President, DAV College Managing Committee,
New Delhi.

Chief Editor
Dr. Raj Kumar Sharma
Asst. Director, Dayanand Ayurvedic College,
Ph: +91-9814204443

Dr. Sanjeev Sood
Principal, Dayanand Ayurvedic College,
Ph. : +91-9814004142

Executive Editor
Dr. Anup K. Gakkhar

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