Dryness Relief is the Top Reported Benefit of Sea Buckthorn
One of the top benefits of sea buckthorn oil is its ability to fight dryness throughout the body. This is something that long time users of sea buckthorn oil supplements report, and it’s also been the subject of research studies.
Why are Researchers Interested in Sea Buckthorn Oil?
Sea buckthorn continues to grow in popularity as an ingredient for beauty and personal care products. Researchers from around the world know that the oil has been used as a natural remedy throughout the centuries.
On a chemical level, sea buckthorn oils have a unique blend of compounds making it useful for a number of health applications.
How Does Sea Buckthorn Oil Fight Dryness?
Each study that we will discuss goes into greater detail about sea buckthorn oil can affect dryness in different areas. In every case, the lipid content and antioxidant content are the major components that help fight dryness.
Each study below used a blend of sea buckthorn seed and berry oil to get the benefits from the omega 3, omega 6, omega 9, and omega 7. The oils have an astonishing amount of other bioactive compounds.
Dryness is Inflammation
When it comes to dryness related to the dysfunction of mucous membranes in the body, inflammation is often the cause. Sea buckthorn oil creates a hydrating effect but, in most cases, it’s actually due to the antioxidant and soothing properties. As we will see, sea buckthorn oil works on a cellular level to help bring stasis and relief to a number of dryness related conditions.
Coconut Oil is the Placebo
An interesting note from the studies is that most used a placebo made from a coconut oil blend. While most plant oils contain lipids like omegas 6 and 9, they don’t come close to sea buckthorn oil’s complex nutrition. The fact that coconut oil is used as a placebo over and over again is an interesting fact to remember when comparing the benefits of plant based oils.
Dry Eye Study
One study looked at the possibility that sea buckthorn oil could benefit dry eye. There were two main kinds of dry eye that the researchers focused on. Aqueous deficient dry eye is related to inflammation in the eyes, while evaporative dry is caused by a deficiency in the lipid layer of the eye.
Sea buckthorn is well known in traditional Asian medicine and researchers were interested in its lipid content in particular. Previous research showed benefits for eye dryness from sea buckthorn oil, but more information was needed to understand why.
Other work on the ingredients effect on mucous membrane and skin health lead researchers to believe that more research could be beneficial.
Sea Buckthorn Oil Blend in Study
A capsule blend of sea buckthorn seed and berry created with supercritical CO2 extraction oil was given to participants over a period of three months. Participants were women close to menopausal age who all suffered from different kinds of eye dryness. There was also a placebo group, and all participants were advised not to use other supplements during the trial.
The study showed that the sea buckthorn oil blend helped reduce the inflammation that leads to dry eyes. Researchers thought that the combination of lipids, and importantly, the antioxidant content was important for achieving this affect.
While previous studies looked primarily at the lipid content in sea buckthorn for dryness, this study looked at the carotenoids in the oils, β-carotene and zeaxanthin. In addition to the antioxidant benefits, the anti-inflammatory properties of sea buckthorn came into play.
User Reported Benefits
Other research on sea buckthorn exists and the understanding of how sea buckthorn oil supports the many kinds of dryness conditions of the eye continues to grow each year. One of the top reported benefits of sea buckthorn oil by users is in the area of dry eye. With consistent use over a period of a few months, many users report improvements on dry eye conditions.
A study focused on the effects of sea buckthorn oil on vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women. Vaginal atrophy describes the thinning of the vaginal mucosa which also causes dryness. Because the treatments for this condition are limited and not suitable for many women, researchers wanted to know if the natural components of sea buckthorn oil could be a viable treatment option.
The area most affected by vaginal atrophy is the epithelium layer which is made up of squamous cells. This inner layer helps to prevent pathogens from entering the body and also contains important immune cells. Dysfunction and dryness of the epithelium cause discomfort for women and can lead to other serious health issues.
Vaginal atrophy is associated with the decrease of estrogen after menopause. The traditional Western treatment for this condition is estrogen therapy. By replacing lost estrogen with a topical or oral treatment, much of the structure and function can return.
However, this kind of treatment is not an option for women who are breast cancer patients. Estrogen therapy is also associated with endometrial and breast cancer, so many women want to avoid this kind of treatment.
Sea Buckthorn Oil as a Traditional Treatment
Sea buckthorn oil was used as a treatment for female reproductive health in traditional medicine in Asia. Traditional medicine used the oil to specifically treat issues with the uterus and other reproductive organs.
This study also used a blend of sea buckthorn oil made with supercritical CO2 extraction. A group of 116 women suffering from symptoms were the test subjects and placebo groups were used. Participants were not to use other oil supplements during the trial, which was three months long.
Using the dosage that was used in a previous study on Sjogren’s syndrome patients, subjects were given a capsule blend of sea buckthorn oils three capsules twice a day. The placebo oil was made from fractionated palm and coconut oil.
The study showed benefits on the integrity of the epithelium layer in the sea buckthorn group. Researchers believe that the bioactive compounds in the oil where the biggest factors in the benefits.
Dry Mouth Studies
Several studies have looked at the possible benefits of sea buckthorn oil for dry mouth. Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is a common issue which is usually associated the dysfunction of salivary glands. A study used a blend of sea buckthorn seed and berry oil in capsule form for four weeks with positive results. The oil blend helped improve the health of the mucosa of the mouth and relived symptoms of participants.
Another study treated children with ulcerative stomatitis, a condition that sometimes causes dry mouth along with issues with the esophagus. This group was also treated with a blend of sea buckthorn oil with positive effects for the subjects.
Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation throughout the body, especially in the eyes, mouth, and genital mucosa. The mucous membranes are affected, and dryness can be a problem for those suffering with the disease.
The many symptoms can be hard to manage, and especially the dryness symptoms. Sufferers of Sjogren’s disease may struggle with managing the different dryness symptoms. Despite the fact that dryness is caused by the same source, there has not been one solution to treat it.
Researchers were interested in how the lipid content of sea buckthorn oil, especially omega 3 and omega 6.
Using a blend of sea buckthorn oils, researchers looked at the improvement of a few different areas of women suffering with Sjogren’s syndrome. Mouth dryness, eye dryness, vaginal dryness along with itching, burning and other symptoms were all observed over a period of three months.
Sea Buckthorn Benefits Sjogren’s in Study
Participants of the study saw benefits in all areas with sea buckthorn oil supplementation. Dryness in the eyes, mouth, and genital mucosa improved in most of the participants who took sea buckthorn oil.
Even more Dryness Benefits
These are just a few examples of sea buckthorn’s benefits for dryness. Positive results for dry mouth, dry eyes, vaginal dryness, or Sjogren’s related dryness aren’t the only areas that sea buckthorn can help.
Users of sea buckthorn oil also report supple skin, hair, and healthier nails. There are many studies and research related to sea buckthorn’s effect on skin health including dryness.
We are just beginning to understand how sea buckthorn oil can benefit our bodies on a cellular level. But each year, we are getting a better understanding of why the oil has survived for thousands of years as the go to health remedy in many cultures.
Larmo, P. S., Järvinen, R. L., Setälä, N. L., Yang, B., Viitanen, M. H., Engblom, J. R., Tahvonen, R. L., & Kallio, H. P. (2010). Oral sea buckthorn oil attenuates tear film osmolarity and symptoms in individuals with dry eye. The Journal of nutrition, 140(8), 1462–1468. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.109.118901
Larmo, P. S., Yang, B., Hyssälä, J., Kallio, H. P., & Erkkola, R. (2014). Effects of sea buckthorn oil intake on vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Maturitas, 79(3), 316–321.
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