Every part of the Sea Buckthorn plant, including its berries, seeds, leaves and bark, has its own unique nutritive profile and offers different benefits. Whether used alone or in combination, the possible uses for these components are endless. Though we could discuss the potential applications and benefits of the different parts of the plant and their by-products for hours, perhaps it’s best to start by focusing on the most well-known offering derived from the Sea Buckthorn plant. Of course, we’re referring to Sea Buckthorn Oil.
There are two main types of Sea Buckthorn Oil: the Fruit Oil and the Seed Oil. Both oils come from the Sea Buckthorn berry. The Fruit Oil is extracted from the fleshy pulp of the berry, while the Seed Oil is extracted from the berry’s small dark seeds.
Though the Fruit Oil and Seed Oil share some similarities, including nutritional profiles containing Omega fatty acids, tocopherols, tocotrienols, and carotenoids, the two oils are very different. Not only are they visually distinct from each other— the Fruit Oil is very rich dark orange to red in colour and quite viscous, while the Seed Oil is yellow to pale orange and more fluid—but they also have noticeably different nutritive profiles. Of course, it is also important to note that the bioavailability of both oils varies depending on the plant varietal, the growing conditions, the time of harvest, and the method of oil extraction.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the two oils is in their fatty acid profiles. Fruit Oil contains the EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Omega 6 and, perhaps more significantly, the rare and highly sought-after Omega 7 fatty acid. The Seed Oil contains the EFAs Omegas 3 and 6 in a near-perfect 1:1 ratio, and is also a rich source of Omega 9.
Research indicates that Omega 7 supports and soothes the skin and mucous membranes, including those found in the gastrointestinal and urogenital tracks. It also assists with skin repair and cell regeneration, making the Fruit Oil desirable for use in skincare products for problem skin. However, due to its rich orange colour, it must be used sparingly or diluted when applied topically. The Oompa Loompa look isn’t so appealing! Omega 9, on the other hand, has been shown to support immune function and may lower cholesterol levels. It is also very nourishing and protective for the skin, and thus Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil is wonderful for use on dry or mature skin.
Combining Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil and Seed Oil in the proper ratio provides a healthy balance of the EFAs Omegas 3 and 6 and nonessential fatty acids Omegas 7 and 9 (in addition to the rest of the minerals, amino acids, vitamins, and other bioactive substances present in each oil!). And it’s easy to incorporate Sea Buckthorn oils into your daily routine, since both the Fruit Oil and the Seed Oil can be applied topically and taken internally. Apply a few drops to your skin to nourish and protect your complexion, or add a little to your favorite smoothie, herbal tea (preferably Mont Echo Sea Buckthorn Tea!), or salad dressing for daily internal support, and start reaping the benefits of these extraordinary oils!