Hippophae rhamnoides, also known as sea buckthorn, is a member of the Elaeagnaceae family. Hippophae is one of the oldest land plants, dated back to the ice age. First reports referring to its therapeutic effects appear in the 4th century B.C. According to historical sources, hippophae was part of Alexander the Great soldiers’ diet. It was observed that sick and injured horses were healed by leaves and fruit of this plant. References of its use as drug are also found in classical Tibetan and Chinese medicine; other sources report that in the 13th century Jenkins Khan had been using it in his campaigns.
It was not until 1929 that the first biochemical analysis of Hippophae fruits took place, and since then, our knowledge of its medicinal properties is increasing. Nowadays, Hippophae is one of the most prestigious plants of modern alternative medicine. Hippophae germinates as wild large shrub in Eurasia; oil of its fruits is extracted by crushing, no chemicals added. According to biochemical analysis made, Hippophae oil contains more than 190 nutrients and organic substances.
It contains plenty of vitamins that regulate body functions and increase resistance to disease and stress significantly. Its high content of vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12) has a positive impact on nervous system; vitamins A and D benefit eyes and help skin, hair and nails look healthier. Hippophae is also extremely rich in vitamin E that enhances mental and physical performance.
It is also rich in minerals and trace elements that contribute to blood pressure regulation (potassium); energy metabolism and muscle function (magnesium); bone/ teeth health and better neuromuscular function (calcium); oxygen transfer to peripheral tissues (iron); enhanced immunization, wound healing and protection against free radicals (zinc, selenium) and enhanced carbohydrates metabolism.
According to surveys, lack of essential fatty acids from food is related to poor functioning of cardiovascular, nervous and immune system. Hippophae was proved to be the best source of Omega 3 (linolenic acid) Omega 6 (oleic acid), Omega 7 (palmitoleic acid) and Omega 9 (linoleic acid) which help to regulate hormonal function and blood pressure and reduce levels of LDL-cholesterol.
Hippophae contains B-sitosterol that helps to reduce blood cholesterol effectively.
It is extremely rich in antioxidants (lycopene, zeaxanthin and flavonoids). Thus, scientific research indicates that it contributes to suppression of free radicals, responsible for the occurrence of various types of cancer (e.g. colon, breast, prostate, pancreas and endometrium).
According to the above, Hippophae can be used to protect our body from smoking and stress injury, to enhance mental and physical performance, to improve skin/ hair/ nail appearance and to ameliorate chronic disease symptoms (e.g. joint pain, depression, hypertension etc).