Two Armenian Medicinal Herbs (Berries)
Sea Buckthorn Oil – History
Sea Buckthorn is named “Hippophae” which in Greek means shiny horse. Ancient Greeks fed their race horses the leaves. It is noted in an ancient legend that the flying horse Pegasus ate the leaves of Sea Buckthorn. References to the medicinal use of Sea Buckthorn were found in Ancient Greek texts attributed to Theophrastus and Dioskorid.
It is said that Ghenghis Khan, the Mogul conqueror who established one of the largest empires from China to Eastern Europe in the 13th century, relied on three assets: well organized armies, strict discipline and Sea Buckthorn. Sea Buckthorn berries and seed oil made Ghenghis Khan’s soldiers stronger than his enemies. It is known that Sea Buckthorn contains high concentrations of primary anti-oxidants as well as other powerful nutrients.
The old text describing the use of Sea Buckthorn in Tibet was
the RGyud Bzi (The Four Books of Pharmacopoeia) dated to the Tang Dynasty (619-907AD) by Yu Tuo Yuan Dan Kong Bu, written between 773 – 783 A.D., later revised by a family member, the younger Yu Tuo Yuan Dan Kong Bu (1118 – 1193 A.D.). This was translated from Tibetan into Chinese by Ma Shucai and Lo Dashang in 1987.
In more recent times there is “Jing Zhu Ben Cao” (Introduction to Pharmacology), by the Tibetan pharmacologists Di Ma Er and Dan Zeng Peng Cuo in 1835 and translated by Mao Jizu and Lo Dashang in 1986.
It is concluded from the ancient literature that Sea Buckthorn is a mild drug with the following characteristic effects:
lowering fever, diminishing inflammation, counteracting toxicity and abscesses, cleaning the lungs and treating cough.
Treating colds and keeping warm, reducing phlegm, clearing sputum, mildly laxative, easing respiration, and increasing the vital energy of spleen and lungs.
1.Significant effect in treating tumors and growths, especially of the stomach and the esophagus. It also is effective against boils and abscesses.
2.Together with Rheum palamatum, Sea buckthorn is a general prescription for the treatment of different kinds of gynecological diseases.
Habitat and characteristics
Sea Buckthorn is a hardy, multi-purpose shrub with orange or yellow berries. Sea buckthorn is predominantly distributed in temperate regions. It is, however, highly adaptable to varying and extreme conditions, drought, high altitudes, salinity, alkalinity, and inundation. Further, it has a strong ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen due to a root nodule association with Frankia, a soil actinomycete, and it rapidly develops an extensive root system and canopy, thus quickly covering large areas of soil.
Soil and water conservation
Due to its exceptional hardiness Sea Buckthorn is an ideal plant for
natural resource conservation in extreme and marginal areas, besides its considerable economic potential. Sea Buckthorn is a dioecious, wind-pollinated plant. It can be propagated by air seeding, sowing, hardwood, softwood or root cuttings. Only the latter three methods will produce plants with the same genotype as the parent plant.
Sea Buckthorn’s environmental value is divers and includes soil and water conservation, e.g., desertification control, land reclamation and rehabilitation, erosion and water loss control (gully control, flood control, etc.), reforestation and afforestation, and establishment of wildlife habitats in China; reclamation of open-cast mines and post-industrial dumps and wastelands in Poland; establishment of farm shelter belts in Canada, etc.
Example: Desertification control in Jianping County, Liaoning Province, Northeast China. According to historic records, Jianping County enjoyed a time when mountains were green and the water was clean. Indiscriminate logging, however, over the centuries had led to a forest coverage rate of only 1.9% and serious land degradation. The eroded area in Jianping County had reached 81% of the total area. The semi-arid climate, frequent disasters such as floods, droughts, storms and the degraded natural environment had made Jianping County one of the poorest areas in China.
After having validated sea buckthorn as the most competitive species in this harsh environment for the purpose of controlling water losses and soil erosion, a total of 67,000 hectares of sea buckthorn forest were planted in the County. The establishment of sea buckthorn plantations created the largest sea buckthorn forest in the world.
This helped to increase the vegetation cover from 4% in the 1950s to 34% in the 1990s. Run-off and soil erosion were reduced by 90% and 70%, respectively. Fodder, fuel wood and berries contribute to local economic development. Several wild animal species have found a habitat, including pheasant, hare and fox.
The unique features of the plant, especially its combination of environmental and rural development characteristics with nutritional and medical applications, have contributed to the substantial interest and recognition it has received internationally from researchers and development practitioners.
Methods of extraction
Sea Buckthorn oil extract is obtained from the wild crafted berries by multistage extraction into high grade olive or almond oil. The extraction technology is based on the method originally designed in Russia, where Sea Buckthorn oil became available as a commercial product more than 50 years ago. It was further improved with advanced bio-compatible techniques to develop safe, effective, stable, all-natural skin care product.
Sea Buckthorn oil is an example of traditional herbal medicine formulation called oil extract. Just like alcohol extracts and tinctures are obtained by the extraction of herbs with ethyl alcohol, the oil extracts are manufactured by extraction of herbs with vegetable oils. Olive oil is used most frequently, Almond, Apricot and several others oils are utilized occasionally.
When possible oil extracts permit a more natural and safe product for internal consumption and a more gentle product for topical application.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is sometimes mentioned as a viable alternative to direct oil extraction. CO2 extracts may not contain the full spectrum nutrients present in oil extracts, which are beneficial for health benefits. CO2 extracts, however, are more concentrated and may have more enhanced selective properties than the oil extracts.
According to Russian and Chinese scientists, Sea Buckthorn contains 190 bio-active components of which 106 are in the oil. The oil is the best single source known to man for Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, unsaturated fatty acids, essential amino acids and flavonoids.
1. High natural Vitamin E (D-Alfa-toxopherol) in Sea Buckthorn oil:
the vitamin E content in Sea Buckthorn oil is two times higher than wheat oil, 9 times higher than corn oil and 35 times higher than soybean oil. D-a-tocopherol (the most potent vitamin E form) is the major form of vitamin E in Sea Buckthorn oil.
2. Ideal Essential Fatty Acids Profile:
More than ninety percent of the total fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids. Sea Buckthorn oil contains Omega-3 (28-30%), Omega-6 (36-40%) and Omega-9 (17-20%) oil.
Sea Buckthorn contains 11 out of 14 essential trace minerals4. It contains more potassium than sodium. Sea Buckthorn oil does not contain minerals that are harmful to the body.
Flavonoids are a group of pigments that contribute to the color of many fruits. Researchers later found that they are useful in the prevention of many health conditions. The Flavonoids in Sea Buckthorn are used to maintain healthy cholesterol and heart4.
Sea Buckthorn oil can be taken internally for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, skin problems, burns, digestive tract disorders, the immune system, anti-senility, anti-inflammation and anti-radiation effects.
1. Support healthy mucous in stomach:
Sea Buckthorn oil is an ideal remedy in supporting healthy gastrointestinal mucous when use internally. Topical applications of Sea Buckthorn oil help supporting normal skin function during irritated conditions.
2. Maintain healthy cholesterol profile and heart conditions:
flavonoids isolated from Sea Buckthorn oil can support healthy cholesterol profile. One study from China showed total cholesterol declined from 238¡ 79mg% to 180¡ 36mg% in 77 patients. The HDL (the good cholesterol) increased from 56.¡ 13mg% to 86.8¡ 28mg%5 in the same patients.
3. Anti-oxidants and balancing the immune system:
Sea Buckthorn oil contains substantial amounts of vitamin E, C, Beta-carotene, and essential fatty acids. These nutrients are considered the most potent anti-oxidative agents. Dr. Diandong Li from the China Medical Academy did a study on mice. He found that Sea Buckthorn increased the activity of interleukin-2 and the number of T-cells2.
My personal experience with Sea Buckthorn oil is using it topically. A friend of mine severely burned her finger. She was left with an open wound that was very ugly. I gave her Sea Buckthorn oil to use. She applied it everyday. Her wound healed remarkably well in three weeks. There was very little scar tissue. I also recommended Sea Buckthorn oil to a lady who had two sons with very white skin who lived in Arizona. The boys’ skin easily reddened and became sunburned. She asked me if I knew about a natural sun protective oil. I suggested Sea Buckthorn oil. Her sons went skiing and brought along the bottle of Sea Buckthorn oil. One of the boys used the oil on his face. After three hours of skiing he was pleasantly surprised to see that for the first time in his life he actually tanned rather than sunburn his facial skin. Sea Buckthorn oil has a natural sun protective power and is most useful as a healing oil for any kind of burn. It was used after the disaster at Chernobyl to heal radiation burns.
Sea Buckthorn oil is naturally a rich red color and will tint the skin on application. It can also stain clothing. After fifteen minutes the tint will gradually disappear as the oil is absorbed into the skin.
Sea Buckthorn oil is one of the best natural oils for rejuvenating mature and wrinkled skin due to its Vitamin E, C, and Vitamin A precursors, essential fatty acids, and phytosterols. It is an effective skin care remedy and cosmetic aid with nourishing, revitalizing and restorative action. Use it for healing skin damage from radiation or sunburn, skin ulcers, burns, irritated, dry, itchy skin, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and wounds. It can reduce inflammation, relieve pain, promote tissue regeneration, and reduce age-induced skin wrinkling and premature skin aging.
Applied on the scalp, the oil strengthens hair roots and improves the quality of hair growth and luster. Taken internally, the oil is useful for coughs, sore throat and bronchial problems.
Use in Armenia
Sea Buckthorn oil has a long history of use as an herbal remedy in Armenia. It is principally used for all sorts of wounds, scars and skin irritations such as eczema and as a topical application for thinning hair; internally, for stomach problems and digestive troubles. It is reputed for treatment of stomach and intestinal ulcers, mouth sores, coughs, and all mucus membrane ailments. It is a part of cancer treatment protocols to help offset the effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
The Armenian name for Sea Buckthorn oil is chetchkhani uhough.
It is eaten as a fresh fruit, made into jam and syrup, and most commonly used as an oil extract (made with olive oil).
Rosehip Oil for Skin Rejuvenation
Rosa Affinis Rubiginosa or commonly known in Chile as Rosa Mosqueta
What is Rosehip Seed Oil? Botanical Rosa Mosqueta is a truly remarkable oil with outstanding skin rejuvenating properties. Rosehip Seed Oil has been used by generations of the Andean Indians of Chile who recognize its healing and skincare benefits. Lightly massaged into the skin, this oil acts on the cell membranes, supports their immune reaction, and initiates their regeneration.
Rosehip Seed Oil as a Moisturizer
Rosehip seed oil penetrates the skin’s upper layers very quickly making it a superb moisturizer. It supports the keratin migration cycle that is responsible for the natural regeneration of skin cells. After using Rosehip oil there is an increase of renewed cells in the epidermis. The cells also produce more collagen & elastin, which make the skin look smoother, firmer and suppler. The natural process of removing old skin and cleaning hair follicles is enhanced giving a cleaner youthful appearance.
Rosehip Seed oil is an excellent natural moisturizing oil for routine daily skin care. In addition to its healing of sensitive, allergic, sun damaged, hyper pigmented, dry, aging, or problem skin, it also provides immediate relief for dry skin and eczema.
Morning and evening gently massage with your fingers 3-4 drops of Rose Hip Oil into your skin for about 30 seconds (this helps the oil to penetrate more deeply).
Overnight, the light oil allows your skin to breathe, while it repairs itself and generates new cells. Rosehip oil can also be heated and massaged into dry or flaking areas of the hair and scalp as a moisturizer and hair repair oil. Dermatologist tested, its mild pH (around 5.1) makes it ideal for direct application to the hair, scalp and skin.
Rosehip Seed Oil Vs Scarring
Extensive studies have shown Rosehip seed oil to have a positive effect on scars and stretch marks. Scars caused by injury or surgery are effectively treated to reduce the red coloration and the appearance of lumps that often occur. Rosehip seed oil can be applied as soon as the initial healing has taken place. Excellent results have been obtained through its anti-inflammatory properties in improving burning skin and dermatitis caused by radiotherapy.
Rosehip seed oil has been known to aid in the regeneration of scar tissue. Stretch marks can be and existing ones can be effectively faded prevented with regular use due to the improved elasticity of the skin and the skin softening and moisturizing properties of Rosehip seed oil. It is also useful in reducing old acne scars & pigment spots although it is not recommended for very oily or acne skin types.
Rosehip Seed Oil Vs Aging or Damaged Skin
Rosehip seed oil has remarkable skin rejuvenating properties. It is extremely effective against irregular skin pigmentation, burns, and early aging wrinkles. In fact, Rosehip seed oil is recommended for people who spend much of their time in the sun as it reduces the appearance of wrinkles and premature aging often associated with exposure to the sun. Scientific research has shown that the oil contains substances that retard the aging process of the skin. A five month study of women living in sunny climates who showed symptoms of photo-aging, or surface wrinkles, brown spots, eyelids, etc, revealed that applying Rosehip seed oil everyday actually worked in causing surface wrinkles to disappear, spots to fade until, at the end of the fourth month, the disappearance became almost complete. Skin presented a smooth and fresh aspect and the spots had almost disappeared.
The positive action of Rosa Mosqueta – Rose Hip Oil in helping to regenerate damaged skin tissues was originally attributed to its high content of essential unsaturated fatty acids, namely oleic (15-20%), linoleic (44-50%) and linolenic (30-35%). They are called essential because our body is not able to reproduce them.
Rosehip Seed oil & Trans-retinoic Acid (Vitamin A)
Rosehip seed oil is an excellent source of topical trans-retinoic acid (vitamin A) in a natural form. Retinoic acid, found in Tretinoin, also called Retinol (Vitamin A), is a topical application for treating a variety of skin disorders which has been well researched and recognized for almost 30 years. Synthetic Tretinoin is a very strong substance and must be applied under medical supervision with possible undesirable side effects. Rosehip Seed Oil, however, produces all the benefits of Tretinoin, but without the undesirable effects since it is in a natural state as part of a complex system of unsaturated fatty acids. Therefore, its action is controlled and slowly released by nature, eliminating the rash of overdoses.