The botanical name Hippophae means ‘shiny horse’ , hippo (cheval) and phaos (shining). According to Theophrates and Dioscorides, horses fed with seabuckthorne would gain weight more quickly and would have a shiny coat. It is also supposed to cure equine blindness. Pegasus was said to eat the leaves to assist becoming airborne.
Sea Buckthorn is a hardy cold resistant shrub with spiny branches. It has a dense root system. It is undemanding and will thrive in poor soils, colonising quickly any open space such as sand dunes and mountainous areas. These characteristics make seabuckthorne and ideal choice to prevent or slow down soil erosion and desertification. It has been used in many places to that effect.
Please note that Sea Buckthorn is completely unrelated to regular Buckthorn. It is found growing from the north of Portugal to the Pyrenees, across the Alps then south in the Balkans, over in Turkey and to the east in central Russia, Mongolia, Korea and Japan.
Seabuckthorne has male and female plants. To produce berries one will of course need both. Despite the poor soil conditions this bush enjoys, the edible orange berries are one of the richest sources of natural vitamins A, C, E - hence the nickname given to the plant 'ACE'. It is also a rich source of vitamin B, carotenes, essential fatty acids (omega 3, 7, 6 & 9), flavonoids and other beneficial components. The berries are bright orange and have a sour taste combined with the characteristic flavour of the fruit. It is said to contain 30 times more vitamin C than an orange.
Every part of the plant is used and nothing goes to waste:
The oil is produced organically in France . It is the CO2 extraction from the seeds and berries and is dark orange.
Sea Buckthorn oil provides an unsurpassed natural source of vitamins A , E, B1, B2, K and P, carotenes, flavonoids, tocopherols, essential fatty acids and phytosterols.
Biological studies suggest that the restorative action of the Sea Buckthorn oil may be in part due to its high content of anri-oxydant and essential fatty acids (EFA), carotenes, tocopherols and phytosterols, which are all important for the maintenance of a healthy skin. 85% of the fatty acid contents is made of omega 3, 6, 7 and 9.
Among the carotenes found in Sea Buckthorn are alfa- and beta-carotenes, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, taraxanthin and phytofluin. Tocopherols are mostly represented by vitamin E and gamma-tocopherol. Phytosterols of Sea Buckthorn include beta-sitosterol, beta-amirol and erithrodiol.
The medicinal properties of Sea Buckthorn oil have been ascribed to its chemical make up and its hign content of flavonoids, carotenoids, fatty acids, vitamins etc... Clinical studies and research carried out throughout the 20th century have demonstrated the usefulness of sea buckthorne to help with many medical conditions and particularly skin repair. A component of the the oil, palmitoleic acid is also a compoent of skin tissue. It is considered a important agent in treating burns, ulcers, wounds, eczema, sun damage, atopic dermatitis, radiation treatment and cosmetic laser surgery.
The oil of sea-buckthorne has become an ingredient of sun block products. It has UV blocking properties, acting also as an emolient, anti-inflammatory and promoting healing and regeneration of tissues.
The Swiss naturopathic Alfred Vogel recommended Sea Buckthorn in his book 'The Nature Doctor', for those who are suffering from constant infections, bleeding of the gums and mucous membranes.
As it promotes cell rejuvenation it makes an ideal ingredient in blends designed for malnourished or prematurely aging skin, wrinkles and dryness. Skin care products made of Sea Buckthorn are valued for their rejuvenating, restorative and anti-aging action.
The oil is a highly contentrated product and only a tiny amount will be sufficient. Generally add 2 to 5% in a blend or use neat (1 to 2 drops only) topically (over a small area) on a wound, burn, eczema ...
The oil is dark orange. It will give the skin a sun-kissed glow that some might like. If not this can easily be concealed by make-up or used only at night. Expect your pillow to be stained, fortunately not in a bad way. A hot wash will disolve all unwanted traces.
Seabuckthorne is a wonderful oil and has rapid healing effect on the skin. Only very little is needed. The oil is very rich and goes a long way. Try it and you will be hooked.
We have put a few ideas for you to try at home. These can be amended to suit tastes and needs. We are always happy to give advise if needed.
These recipes are based on making 100 ml bottle of blend with an essential oil content of 1%
This is packed with anti-oxidents and combine a range of oils specifically chosen to smooth out unwanted lines. Neroli and frankincense are ideal for maintaining a young looking skin. Bergamot adds a hint of freshness and transform the blend into a deliciously fragrant moisturizer.
After Sun oil
This blend is NOT to be used as sun screen. This will not protect the skin from UV rays but will bring a soothing and healing effect to a dry, sun-burnt skin. Use after exposure to the sun or sun bed.
This will have to be melted before use as the shea will solidify in the bottle. If this is not appealing try the following in a jar
The nilotica shea butter that Materia Aromatica stock is naturally soft and creamy. This will make a luxurious body butter to use after a shower and will be easy and no fuss to apply.
Depending on the sensitivity of the skin, use as is or add 10 drops german chamomile.
Claims have been made that seabuckthorne kills the demodex mite and helps with reducing the symptoms of this unfortunate condition due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Claims have been made to the contrary. This has raised a lot of controversy. We would say that it is worth a try as the feedback from our small sample of human 'guinea pigs' has demonstrated an amelioration of the condition of the skin.
The following blend combines oils suited to repair damaged skin, to reduce inflammation caused by broken capillaries, to deal with the demodex mites, should they be the cause of the condition. Apply 1 to 2 drops twice a day. Try for a few weeks.
It makes a great blend that can also be used as a nourishing night oil or rejuvenating oil. It will certainly look after your skin.