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Sea buckthorn (not to be confused with common buckthorn ) is a plant native to high altitude regions of China and Russia, but today it is cultivated in many other areas, including the Saskatchewan province of Canada. The fruits of the plant have a long history of use as food. It was also used in ancient Chinese medicine for treating skin problems and digestive disorders. The whole berry or its oil extract are the parts used medicinally.
Like many other berries, sea buckthorn berries are rich in vitamin C , vitamin A , and a variety of bioflavonoids and carotenoids . However, there are no well-established therapeutic uses of this herb.
The only substantial, well-designed study of sea buckthorn examined its possible efficacy for reducing the frequency and duration of the common cold . This double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 254 people failed to find any evidence of benefit. 1 The study just mentioned also found, rather incidentally, that use of sea buckthorn was associated with a reduction in C-reactive protein, an emerging marker for heart disease. However, contrary to widespread advertising, this incidental observation has no immediate practical meaning. High levels of C-reactive...
As a widely consumed food, whole sea buckthorn berries are presumed to be safe. Oil extracts of plants, however, are often much less safe than the whole plants, and the safety of sea buckthorn oil has not been established.
Use by pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with liver or kidney disease has not been investigated.