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Hippophae rhamnoides

Hippophae rhamnoides


No documentation

Vernacular Name

Sea buckthorn, seabuckthorn, sandthorn, seaberry.


There are several species and sub-species of Hippophae rhamnoides. H. rhamnoides is used for a wide variety of purposes including a food source, condiment and medicinal plant.  The plant is high in Vitamin C.  As a food or nutritional resource, this plant is used in beverages, baby foods, jams and jellies.  The plant is also a source of nutrients for a variety of insects and birds.

H. rhamnoides is a shrub that grows up to 10m tall, though in most regions is considerably smaller.  The plant has thick, thorny branches that produce small, grayish-green lanceolate leaves.  The plants are either male or female with the female plants producing small orange berries.  The male plants produce small brown flowers.

Origin / Habitat

The various species of H. rhamnoides are native to Europe and Asia with the largest amount of plants being found in China.  The plants require full sunlight and are not tolerant of shaded areas.  They are hardy enough to withstand salty air and soil as long as there is a good amount of soil drainage as they prefer sandy conditions.

Chemical Constituents

Flavonoids including catechins, rutin, quercetin, isorhamnetin, and kaempferol sterols tocopherols and tocotrienols, carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene.  trans-resveratrol, catechin, myricetin, quercetin, p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid, L-ascorbic acid (AA), and gallic acid l-quebrachitol. Juice contains chromium, copper, manganese, molybdenum, iron, and potassium. The fruits contain vitamin C in values of approximately 400mg/100 g. Linoleic (34%), alpha-linolenic (25%), and oleic (19%) acids are the major fatty acids in the seed oil, whereas palmitic (33%), oleic (26%), and palmitoleic (25%) acids are the major fatty acids in the pulp oil. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9]

Plant Part Used

Seed oil, pulp oil, fruit, fruit juice, leaf.

Medicinal Uses


Antioxidant – leaf, fruit
Liver health – seed oil
Immune health
Wound healing – seed oil
Neuroprotective - leaf
Atopic dermatitis – seed oil
Cancer protection
Gastric ulcer

Most Frequently Reported Uses

Antioxidant – leaf, fruit
Liver health – seed oil
Immune health
Wound healing – seed oil


Dosage Range

Seed oil: doses of 5-45gm (encapsulated) daily have been used. 5ml applied externally to lesions of the skin or mucous membranes have also been reported.
Fruit Juice: 150-400mL daily.

Most Common Dosage

Fruit pulp (raw): 28gm (1 ounce) daily
Fruit juice: 300mL daily
Fruit pulp powdered extract: 200mg, 2 times daily of a 5-20% standardized extract

Standardization Dosage

Standardized to 5-20% flavonoids



The laboratory studies have reported that extracts of H. rhamnoides berry have antioxidant activity and may protect against oxidative stress.[10],[11] The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant flavones found in H. rhamnoides leaf have been reported in laboratory studies to decrease microglial activation and neuro-inflammation, and to also help decrease the symptoms of arthritis.[12],[13]

The laboratory studies have reported that extracts of H. rhamnoides improve immunity by modulating cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha).[14],[15]  

The laboratory studies have also found that the seed oil has anti-atherogenic effects on rat vasculature, including decreases in total cholesterol, decreased LDL oxidation and increased HDL levels, suggesting a possible use in cardiovascular disease. Animal studies have also reported that H. rhamnoides seed oil can decrease the effects of oxidative stress on the vasculature, helping improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.[16]

The laboratory animal studies have found that the seed oil from H. rhamnoides helps heal wounds, especially burns.[17] The seed oil was found to possess antioxidant properties as shown by a significant increase in reduced glutathione (GSH) level and reduced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in wound granulation tissue.

The laboratory animal studies have also reported that H. rhamnoides fruit extract may lower blood sugar levels, have antitumor activity, enhance physical performance, and protect the liver against environmental toxins.[18],[19],[20],[21],[22] The protection against whole-body irradiation has been reported in mice; an alcoholic extract of the berries rendered nearly 82% survival as compared with no survival in untreated irradiated control.[23]

Several laboratory animal studies have found that extracts of H. rhamnoides seed and fruit pulp have protective and healing properties in gastric ulcers.[24],[25]


A placebo-controlled, double-blind study was conducted found that extract of pulp oils of H. rhamnoides had a positive effect on atopic dermatitis.[26] Another in a placebo-controlled, parallel, randomized, double-blind study found that the seed and pulp oil administered for 4 months did not lead to changes in the skin glycerophospholipids of 16 atopic dermatitis patients.[27]

A human study out of China found that burn wounds in 151 patients treated with H. rhamnoides seed oil showed more exudation reduction, pain relief, and faster epithelial cell growth and wound healing when compared with the control patients (treated with vaseline gauze).[28]

H. rhamnoides juice given to human subjects for 8 weeks did not significantly change total cholesterol, LDL or platelet aggregation. There was a 20% increase in plasma HDL-C concentration and a moderate decrease in LDL oxidation.[29]

In another human study using 88 patients, total flavones in H. rhamnoides did not alter the sympathetic activity in treatment of hypertension when compared with patients being treated with nifedipine and extended-release verapamil.[30]  H. rhamnoides berry extract was reported in a clinical study to lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in humans.[31]

The use of H. rhamnoides seed oil (15gm, 3 times daily) in patients with liver cirrhosis found that the treated patients had reduced serum levels of laminin, hyaluronic acid, total bile acid, and collagen types III and IV, suggesting a possible use of the seed oil for prevention and treatment of liver diseases.[32] Laboratory studies also support the use of H. rhamnoides for hepatoprotection.[33],[34]

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

Based on pharmacology, do not use unless under the supervision of a doctor if you have a bleeding disorders or are taking blood-thinning medications such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin).

Based on a laboratory study, H. rhamnoides may decrease the damage of some chemotherapy drugs to cellular DNA and bone marrow, such as cisplatin and cyclophosphamide.[36],[37]

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

H. rhamnoides has been reported safe in recommended doses.

Only use under the supervision of a doctor if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking anticoagulant medications, as H. rhamnoides has been reported to have platelet aggregation inhibiting properties.[35] Discontinue if allergy occurs.


No documentation

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

No documentation


  1. Zu Y, Li C, Fu Y, Zhao C. Simultaneous determination of catechin, rutin, quercetin kaempferol and isorhamnetin in the extract of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) leaves by RP-HPLC with DAD. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 7Jun2006;41(3):714-719.
  2. Chawla R, Arora R, Singh S, et al. Radioprotective and antioxidant activity of fractionated extracts of berries of Hippophae rhamnoides. J Med Food. Mar2007;10(1):101-109.
  3. Zheng RX, Xu XD, Tian Z, Yang JS. Chemical constituents from the fruits of Hippophae rhamnoides. Nat Prod Res. 2009;23(15):1451-1456.
  4. Andersson SC, Rumpunen K, Johansson E, Olsson ME. Tocopherols and tocotrienols in sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) berries during ripening. J Agric Food Chem. 13Aug2008;56(15):6701-6706.
  5. Andersson SC, Olsson ME, Johansson E, Rumpunen K. Carotenoids in sea buckthorn ( Hippophae rhamnoides L.) berries during ripening and use of pheophytin a as a maturity marker. J Agric Food Chem. 14 Jan2009;57(1):250-258.
  6. Gorbatsova J, Lõugas T, Vokk R, Kaljurand M. Comparison of the contents of various antioxidants of sea buckthorn berries using CE. Electrophoresis. Nov2007;28(22):4136-4142.
  7. Kallio H, Lassila M, Järvenpää E, Haraldsson GG, Jonsdottir S, Yang B. Inositols and methylinositols in sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides) berries. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 15May 2009;877(14-15):1426-1432.
  8. Gutzeit D, Winterhalter P, Jerz G. Nutritional assessment of processing effects on major and trace element content in sea buckthorn juice (Hippophaë rhamnoides L. ssp. rhamnoides). J Food Sci. Aug2008;73(6):97-102.
  9. Gutzeit D, Baleanu G, Winterhalter P, Jerz G. Vitamin C content in sea buckthorn berries (Hippophaë rhamnoides L. ssp. rhamnoides) and related products: a kinetic study on storage stability and the determination of processing effects. J Food Sci. Nov2008;73(9):615-20.
  10. Saggu S, Kumar R. Modulatory effect of seabuckthorn leaf extract on oxidative stress parameters in rats during exposure to cold, hypoxia and restraint (C-H-R) stress and post stress recovery. J Pharm Pharmacol. Dec2007;59(12):1739-1745.
  11. Chauhan AS, Negi PS, Ramteke RS. Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of aqueous extract of Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) seeds. Fitoterapia. Dec2007;78(7-8):590-592.
  12. Narayanan S, Ruma D, Gitika B, Sharma SK, Pauline T, Ram MS, Ilavazhagan G, Sawhney RC, Kumar D, Banerjee PK. Antioxidant activities of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) during hypoxia induced oxidative stress in glial cells.Mol Cell Biochem. Oct2005;278(1-2):9-14.
  13. Ganju L, Padwad Y, Singh R, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) leaves. Int Immunopharmacol. Nov2005;5(12):1675-1684.
  14. Mishra KP, Chanda S, Karan D, Ganju L, Sawhney RC. Effect of Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) flavone on immune system: an in-vitro approach. Phytother Res. Nov2008;22(11):1490-1495.
  15. Mishra KP, Chanda S, Karan D, Ganju L, Sawhney RC. Effect of Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) flavone on immune system: an in-vitro approach. Phytother Res. Nov2008;22(11):1490-1495.
  16. Basu M, Prasad R, Jayamurthy P, et al. Anti-atherogenic effects of seabuckthorn (Hippophaea rhamnoides) seed oil. Phytomedicine. Nov2007;14(11):770-777.
  17. Upadhyay NK, Kumar R, Mandotra SK, et al. Safety and healing efficacy of Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) seed oil on burn wounds in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 10Feb2009. [Epub ahead of print]
  18. Zhang W, Zhao J, Wang J, Pang X, Zhuang X, Zhu X, Qu W.Hypoglycemic effect of aqueous extract of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) seed residues in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Phytother Res. 7Jul2009. [Epub ahead of print]
  19. Hsu YW, Tsai CF, Chen WK, Lu FJ. Protective effects of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) seed oil against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. Food Chem Toxicol. Sep2009;47(9):2281-2288.
  20. Geetha S, Ram MS, Sharma SK, et al. Cytoprotective and antioxidant activity of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) flavones against tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced cytotoxicity in lymphocytes. J Med Food. Feb 2009;12(1):151-158.
  21. Saggu S, Kumar R. Effect of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) leaf aqueous and ethanol extracts on avoidance learning during stressful endurance performance of rats: a dose dependent study. Phytother Res. Sep2008;22(9):1183-1187.
  22. Yasukawa K, Kitanaka S, Kawata K, Goto K. Anti-tumor promoters phenolics and triterpenoid from Hippophae rhamnoides. Fitoterapia. 23Jan2009. [Epub ahead of print]
  23. Kumar IP, Namita S, Goel HC. Modulation of chromatin organization by RH-3, a preparation of Hippophae rhamnoides , a possible role in radioprotection. Mol Cell Biochem . 2002;238:1-9.
  24. Xing J, Yang B, Dong Y, Wang B, Wang J, Kallio HP. Effects of sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides L.) seed and pulp oils on experimental models of gastric ulcer in rats. Fitoterapia. Dec2002;73(7-8):644-650.
  25. Süleyman H, Demirezer LO, Büyükokuroglu ME, et al. Antiulcerogenic effect of Hippophae rhamnoides L.Phytother Res. Nov2001;15(7):625-627.
  26. Yang B, Kalimo KO, Mattila LM, et al. Effects of dietary supplementation with sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides) seed and pulp oils on atopic dermatitis. J Nutr Biochem. Nov1999;10(11):622-630.
  27. Yang B, Kalimo KO, Tahvonen RL, Mattila LM, Katajisto JK, Kallio HP. Effect of dietary supplementation with sea buckthorn ( Hippophae rhamnoides ) seed and pulp oils on the fatty acid composition of skin glycerophospholipids of patients with atopic dermatitis. J Nutr Biochem . 2000;11:338-340.
  28. Wang ZY, Luo XL, He CP. Management of burn wounds with Hippophae rhamnoides oil. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. Jan2006;26(1):124-125.
  29. Eccleston C, Baoru Y, Tahvonen R, et al. Effects of an antioxidant-rich juice (sea buckthorn) on risk factors for coronary heart disease in humans. J Nutr Biochem. Jun2002;13(6):346-354.
  30. Zhang X, Zhang M, Gao Z, Wang J, Wang Z. Effect of total flavones of Hippophae rhamnoides L. on sympathetic activity in hypertension [in Chinese]. Hua Xi Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao . 2001;32:547-550.
  31. Larmo P, Alin J, Salminen E, Kallio H, Tahvonen R. Effects of sea buckthorn berries on infections and inflammation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. Sep2008;62(9):1123-1130.
  32. Gao ZL, Gu XH, Cheng FT, Jiang FH. Effect of sea buckthorn on liver fibrosis: a clinical study. World J Gastroenterol. Jul2003;9(7):1615-1617.
  33. Cheng TJ, Pu JK, Wu LW, Ma ZR, Cao Z, Li TJ. An preliminary study on hepato-protective action of seed oil of Hippophae rhamnoides L. (HR) and mechanism of the action. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. Jun 1994;19(6):367-70, 384.
  34. Cheng TJ. Protective action of seed oil of Hippophae rhamnoides L. (HR) against experimental liver injury in mice. Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. Jul1992;26(4):227-229.
  35. Johansson AK, Korte H, Yang B, Stanley JC, Kallio HP. Sea buckthorn berry oil inhibits platelet aggregation. J Nutr Biochem. Oct2000;11(10):491-495.
  36. Nersesian AK, Zil'fian VN, Kumkumadzhian VA, Proshian NV. Antimutagenic properties of sea buckthorn oil. Genetika. Feb1990;26(2):378-380.
  37. Nersesyan A, Muradyan R. Sea-buckthorn juice protects mice against genotoxic action of cisplatin. Exp Oncol. 2004;26(2):153-155.

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