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Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

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Also listed as: Hippophae rhamnoides
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • 2-Methyl-chiro-inositol, 5-formyltetrahydrofolate, 5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, acetic acid, aekol, alkaloids, almindelig havtorn (Danish), alpha-linolenic acid, amino acid, Amritscherl (German), anthocyanin, arabinose, argasse (French), argouse (French), argousier (French), artificial sea-buckthorn oil, ascorbic acid, ash, Audorn (German), baie d'argousier (French), baie d'hippophaé (French), beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, buckthorn, caffeic acid, campherol, carbohydrates, carotene, carotenoids, casuarinin, catechin, Chharma, cinnamic acid, citric acid, common sea-buckthorn, dehydroascorbic acid, dhar-bu (Lao), dhurchuk (Hindi), duindoorn (Dutch), Dünendorn (German), Elaeagnaceae (family), Elaeagnus rhamnoides (L.) A.Nelson, epigallocatechin, espinheiro-marítimo (Portuguese - Brazil), espino armarillo (Spanish), espino falso (Spanish), ethyl glucose, European buckthorn, Fasanbeere (German), fat, ferulic acid, fiber, finbar (Swedish), finnbär (Swedish), flavo-glycoside, flavones, flavonoid, flavonol aglycones, flavonol glycosides, flavonols, folate vitamers, fructose, fruit acid, galactose, gallic acid, gallocatechin, gemeiner Sanddorn (German), gewöhnlicher Sanddorn (German), glucose, glucuronides, grisset, Haffdorn (German), hafþyrnir (Icelandic), harmalol, harmol, havtidse (Danish), havtorn (Swedish, Danish), Hippophae angustifolia Lodd., Hippophae littoralis Salisb., Hippophae rhamnoides, Hippophae rhamnoides cv. Indian Summer, Hippophae rhamnoides oil, Hippophae rhamnoides ssp. sinensis, Hippophae rhamnoideum Saint-Lager, Hippophae sibirica Lodd., Hippophae stourdziana Szabó, homoktövis (Hungarian), isolinoleic acid, isorhamnetin, isorhamnetin-3-galactoside, isorhamnetin-3-glucoside, isorhamnetin-3-rutinoside, kaempherol, kárpáti homoktövis (Hungarian), klintepil (Danish), klittorn (Danish), Korallenbeere (German), L-ascorbic acid, leucocyanidin, leucodelphinidin, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, lycopene, malic acid, mannitol, meerdorn, methyl-myo-inositol, mineral salt, minerals, myo-inositol, myricetin, oblepikha, oil, oleic acid, oleum Hippophae, olivella spinosa (Italian), Osyris rhamnoides Scop., paeonin, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, p-coumaric acid, pectin, pentamethylquercetin, peonin, phenolic acids, phosphatides, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, phylloquinone, physalien, polyunsaturated fatty acids, Prielbrusie, proteins, protocatechuic acid, pulp oil, purging thorn, quercetin, quinic acid, rakytník resetlákovitý (Czech), RH-3, Rhamnoides hippophae Moench, rhamnose, rokitnik, rokitnik zwyczajny (Polish), rote Schlehen (German), saccharose, salicylic acid, sallow thorn, Sandbeere (German), Sanddorn (German), sandthorn, sandtidse (Danish), sandtidsel (Danish), sandtorn (Danish), SBL-1, sceitbezien, seabuckthorn, sea-buckthorn, seabuckthorn oil, sea-buckthorn oil, seabuckthorn powder, seed oil, seed residues of Hippophae rhamnoides L., Seedorn (German), serotonin, sha ji (Chinese), shaji (Chinese), silverbuske (Swedish), star-bu (Lao), stearic acid, sterols, støggved (Norwegian), Stranddorn (German), succinic acid, sugar, syringetin, tænnved (Norwegian), tannic acid, tanning agents, tannins, terpenoids, tetrahydrofolate, tindved (Danish, Norwegian), tinnan (Norwegian), tinne (Norwegian), tinnved (Norwegian), tocopherols, tocotrienols, tørn (Norwegian), tornan (Norwegian), tørri (Norwegian), total flavones of Hippophae rhamnoides L. (TFH), trans-resveratrol, triterpenoids, tyrni (Finnish), unsaturated fatty acids, vanillic acid, vitamin B, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, water, Weidendorn (German), Weisseldorn (German), xanthophylls, yellow spine, zeaxanthin.
  • Note: Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is different from alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula), common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), and cascara or California buckthorn (Rhamnus purshiana), although these plants have similar common names.

Background
  • Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is found in Europe and Asia, mainly in eastern Europe and central Asia. The plant's orange fruit and the oil from its pulp and seeds have been used in the past to treat many conditions, such as skin and digestive problems and coughs. Promising early evidence supports the use of sea buckthorn for dry eyes, burns, and scaly, itchy rashes.
  • The antioxidant effects of sea buckthorn are well known. These benefits may affect the impact of sea buckthorn on cancer, heart disease, immune function, inflammation, liver disorders, injuries caused by radiation, and eye disorders.
  • There is a lack of high quality information on the side effects of sea buckthorn.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Sea buckthorn seed oil and pulp oil may improve symptoms of atopic dermatitis, a skin disorder that causes scaly, itchy rashes. However, results are mixed. More research is needed before a strong conclusion can be made.

B


Sea buckthorn contains fatty acids and antioxidants that may reduce the risk of dry eyes. Early evidence supports the use of sea buckthorn oil for dry eyes. However, more research is needed in this area to confirm these findings.

B


The antioxidant effects of sea buckthorn are well known. These benefits may affect the impact of sea buckthorn on cancer, heart disease, immune function, inflammation, liver disorders, injuries caused by radiation, and eye disorders. Although not well studied in humans, early research suggests that sea buckthorn may protect against radiation and oxidative stress. However, results are inconsistent. Further study is needed.

C


Early results suggest that sea buckthorn oil may reduce pain, swelling, and oozing caused by burns and may improve healing. However, more high-quality studies are needed to confirm these results.

C


Early results suggest that sea buckthorn may improve liver health in people with cirrhosis (scarring of the liver caused by chronic disease). Although promising, more high-quality research is needed in this area.

C


Sea buckthorn has been used in the past to prevent and treat colds. However, there is a lack of human research to support its use for this purpose. Further study is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.

C


Early study suggests that sea buckthorn preparations (including berries, berry oil, and extract) may lower blood sugar levels. However, more research is needed on the possible benefit of sea buckthorn alone.

C


The antioxidant effects of sea buckthorn are well known. These benefits may affect the impact of sea buckthorn on heart disease. Early research suggests that it may reduce chest pain and improve heart function in people with ischemic heart disease (reduced blood supply to the heart). However, further study is needed.

C


Early research suggests that sea buckthorn may lower blood pressure. However, strong evidence is lacking and further study is needed before firm conclusions can be made.

C


Sea buckthorn has been studied as a possible treatment for high cholesterol. However, strong evidence is lacking and more research is needed in this area.

C


Early research suggests that sea buckthorn may improve symptoms of pneumonia in children. More research is needed in this area before a firm conclusion can be made.

C


Sea buckthorn has been studied as a possible treatment for ulcers on the lining of the stomach or intestines. Early human research suggests that sea buckthorn oil may benefit peptic ulcers when used with other therapies. More high-quality studies are needed to confirm these findings.

C


Sea buckthorn may help decrease weight and waist circumference in overweight or obese people. More high-quality research is needed in this area.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Abscess (pus buildup), ACE-inhibitor activity, aging, antibacterial, antiviral, arthritis, asthma, astringent (shrinks body tissues), bedsores, blood flow enhancement, blood thinner, brain function and well-being in the elderly, cancer, chemotherapy support, colon inflammation, cosmetic, cough, demulcent (soothing agent), dengue (virus spread by mosquitoes), diarrhea, digestive disorders, digestive tonic, dry skin, ear infections, enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine), exercise performance, expectorant (clears mucus), fatigue, fever, food uses, frostbite, gout, gynecological disorders, heart disorders (due to cold stress), H. pylori infection, hypoxia (lack of oxygen), immune function, inflammation, laxative, liver protection, lung disease, lupus (immune disease causing chronic inflammation), metabolic disorders, nutrition, pain relief, parasites, poisoning, psoriasis (chronic skin redness and irritation), Qi-deficiency and blood-stasis syndrome in heart disease (Eastern medicine), radiation side effects, scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), skin irritation, skin pigmentation disorders, skin ulcers, stomach ache, stomach acid reduction, stomach disorders, stroke prevention, sunscreen, swollen mucous membranes, tonic, tooth disease, urinary tract infection, vision improvement, wound healing.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

  • The following forms and doses of sea buckthorn have been taken by mouth: 1-2 cups of sea buckthorn leaf tea, daily; 1-3 seed oil capsules (500 milligrams per capsule), three times daily; 3-5 milliliters of sea buckthorn seed oil, three times daily; up to two "dropperfuls" of sea buckthorn berry oil, three times daily. Sea buckthorn berry or seed oil have also been applied to the skin 3-4 times daily.
  • For antioxidant effects, sea buckthorn juice has been taken by mouth for eight weeks, although the amount taken was unclear.
  • For atopic dermatitis (itchy, scaly skin), 10 capsules containing 500 milligrams of sea buckthorn pulp oil have been taken by mouth daily for four months. Creams containing 10-20% sea buckthorn have been applied to the skin for four weeks.
  • For heart disease, 10 milligrams of sea buckthorn has been taken by mouth three times daily for three months.
  • For cirrhosis (scarring of the liver caused by chronic disease), 15 grams of sea buckthorn extract has been taken by mouth three times daily for six months.
  • For dry eyes, two grams of sea buckthorn oil has been taken by mouth for three months.
  • For weight loss, 100 grams of fresh sea buckthorn berries have been taken by mouth daily for 33-35 days.
  • For burns, sea buckthorn oil dressings have been applied to the skin.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for sea buckthorn in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to sea buckthorn, its parts, or other members of the Elaeagnaceae family.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Sea buckthorn is likely safe when used in amounts normally found in food.
  • Sea buckthorn is possibly safe when used in amounts for medicinal purposes for fewer than six months.
  • Sea buckthorn may cause abnormal heart rhythms, changes in heart rate, changes in the immune system, dizziness, headache, rash, tissue swelling (caused by fluid buildup), or yellow staining of the skin.
  • Sea buckthorn may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in people with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be needed.
  • Sea buckthorn may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or low blood sugar, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, and medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Sea buckthorn may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people with low blood pressure or in those taking drugs or herbs and supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Use cautiously in people who are taking agents that affect the immune system, agents that regulate heart rate, agents that treat disorders of the stomach or intestines, anticancer agents (specifically cyclophosphamide or epirubicin (farmorubicin)), and antigout agents.
  • Use cautiously in people who perform rigorous activity or exercise, or those who have autoimmune diseases or heart rhythm disorders.
  • Use cautiously when applying sea buckthorn to the skin.
  • Avoid using doses higher than normal food amounts in children and in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Avoid in people with known allergy or sensitivity to sea buckthorn, its parts, or other members of the Elaeagnaceae family.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • There is a lack of scientific evidence on the use of sea buckthorn during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Avoid using doses higher than normal food amounts in pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Sea buckthorn may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding or clotting. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
  • Sea buckthorn may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using other medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking insulin or drugs for diabetes by mouth should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be needed.
  • Sea buckthorn may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking drugs that lower blood pressure.
  • Sea buckthorn may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be altered in the blood, and may cause altered effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. People using any medications should check the package insert, and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
  • Sea buckthorn may also interact with agents that affect the immune system, agents that affect the liver, agents that treat heart disorders, agents that treat stomach and intestine disorders, antibiotics, anticancer agents (including cyclophosphamide or epirubicin (farmorubicin)), antigout agents, anti-inflammatory agents, antiulcer agents, antivirals, cholesterol-lowering agents, heart rate-regulating agents, weight loss agents, or wound-healing agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Sea buckthorn may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding or clotting. Many cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Many other herbs and supplements may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
  • Sea buckthorn may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using other herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
  • Sea buckthorn may lower blood pressure. Caution is advised in people taking herbs or supplements that lower blood pressure.
  • Sea buckthorn may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may be altered in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system.
  • Sea buckthorn may also interact with antibacterials, anticancer herbs and supplements, antigout herbs and supplements, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, antioxidants, antivirals, cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, fatty acids, heart rate-regulating herbs and supplements, herbs and supplements that affect the immune system, herbs and supplements that treat heart disorders, herbs and supplements that treat liver disorders, herbs and supplements that treat stomach and intestine disorders, herbs and supplements that treat ulcers, weight loss herbs and supplements, or wound-healing herbs and supplements.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Agrawala PK and Adhikari JS. Modulation of radiation-induced cytotoxicity in U 87 cells by RH-3 (a preparation of Hippophae rhamnoides). Indian J.Med.Res. 2009;130(5):542-549.
  2. Bath-Hextall FJ, Jenkinson C, Humphreys R, et al. Dietary supplements for established atopic eczema. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2012;2:CD005205.
  3. Chen L, He T, Han Y, et al. Pentamethylquercetin improves adiponectin expression in differentiated 3T3-L1 cells via a mechanism that implicates PPARgamma together with TNF-alpha and IL-6. Molecules. 2011;16(7):5754-5768.
  4. Geetha S, Ram MS, Sharma SK, et al. Cytoprotective and antioxidant activity of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) flavones against tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced cytotoxicity in lymphocytes. J.Med.Food 2009;12(1):151-158.
  5. Grad SC, Muresan I, and Dumitrascu DL. Generalized yellow skin caused by high intake of sea buckthorn. Forsch.Komplementmed. 2012;19(3):153-156.
  6. Hausner H, Hartvig DL, Reinbach HC, et al. Effects of repeated exposure on acceptance of initially disliked and liked Nordic snack bars in 9-11 year-old children. Clin.Nutr. 2012;31(1):137-143.
  7. Jarvinen RL, Larmo PS, Setala NL, et al. Effects of oral sea buckthorn oil on tear film Fatty acids in individuals with dry eye. Cornea 2011;30(9):1013-1019.
  8. Kwon DJ, Bae YS, Ju SM, et al. Casuarinin suppresses TNF-alpha-induced ICAM-1 expression via blockade of NF-kappaB activation in HaCaT cells. Biochem.Biophys.Res.Commun. 6-17-2011;409(4):780-785.
  9. Kwon DJ, Bae YS, Ju SM, et al. Casuarinin suppresses TARC/CCL17 and MDC/CCL22 production via blockade of NF-kappaB and STAT1 activation in HaCaT cells. Biochem.Biophys.Res.Commun. 1-27-2012;417(4):1254-1259.
  10. Larmo PS, Jarvinen RL, Setala NL, et al. Oral sea buckthorn oil attenuates tear film osmolarity and symptoms in individuals with dry eye. J.Nutr. 2010;140(8):1462-1468.
  11. Larmo PS, Yang B, Hurme SA, et al. Effect of a low dose of sea buckthorn berries on circulating concentrations of cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and flavonols in healthy adults. Eur.J.Nutr. 2009;48(5):277-282.
  12. Lehtonen HM, Jarvinen R, Linderborg K, et al. Postprandial hyperglycemia and insulin response are affected by sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides ssp. turkestanica) berry and its ethanol-soluble metabolites. Eur.J.Clin.Nutr. 2010;64(12):1465-1471.
  13. Lehtonen HM, Suomela JP, Tahvonen R, et al. Different berries and berry fractions have various but slightly positive effects on the associated variables of metabolic diseases on overweight and obese women. Eur.J.Clin.Nutr. 2011;65(3):394-401.
  14. Li G, Zeng X, Xie Y, et al. Pharmacokinetic properties of isorhamnetin, kaempferol and quercetin after oral gavage of total flavones of Hippophae rhamnoides L. in rats using a UPLC-MS method. Fitoterapia 2012;83(1):182-191.
  15. Linderborg KM, Lehtonen HM, Jarvinen R, et al. The fibres and polyphenols in sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) extraction residues delay postprandial lipemia. Int.J.Food Sci.Nutr. 2012;63(4):483-490.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.


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