Apr 10th, 2013 by Susan McLoughlin
Inflammation (Latin, īnflammō,- “I ignite, set alight”) is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. To read more go to Wikipedia entry.
This type of response, defined as “acute inflammation” is not what concerns present day health practitioners. No, that would be “chronic inflammation” a very different breed of cat. Chronic inflammation is a low grade, persistent and non-localized stimulation of the inflammatory response. Over time this can lead to a breakdown in the systems of the body leading to a greater susceptibility to disease. While the causes are not fully documented lifestyle has been cited as a major contributing factor in the current epidemic. This can be interpreted as good news of sorts since our lifestyle choices are something we have complete control over. Sugar, bad fats, unrefined carbohydrates - the three major components of prepackaged and fast foods are cited as significant contributors to chronic inflammation. Lack of exercise and obesity almost as much.
Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.), named a ’superfruit’ for its robust nutritional properties, is poised to outrun and outgun many other functional foods, and the health industry is standing up and taking notice.
In studying the superfood and superfruit phenomena, nutritional science is recognising that Mother Nature is capable of providing, in such varied single foods as wheatgrass juice, garlic, blueberries and now seabuckthorn, a foodborne ‘inoculation’ against ill-health that the laboratory cannot yet match.
Almost the entire plant is suitable for consumption and topical application. The fruit pulp, rich in such antioxidants as vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and numerous flavonoids (complimentary micronutrients that work in concert with more familiar vitamins), plus the rare and valuable Omega 7 (known to support wound healing and cell health), can be pressed for juice, freeze dried and packaged as a supplement, and incorporated into topical skin preparations. The fruit oil can be extracted separately and taken internally or externally.
Oil from the seeds is high in several fatty acids, including omegas three and 6 in a critical 1:1 ratio; applied topically, the seed oil heals radiation burns, reduces scarring, heals or improves psoriasis and a host of other skin conditions, and taken internally it has been proven to improve heart health and gastro-intestinal disorders.
The leaves, high in vitamins, minerals, protein and natural anti-inflammatory compounds, are dried for tea, powdered for an ingredient in soaps and creams, and steeped to make a soothing rinse for irritated skin. Studies are ongoing to determine the healing and nutritive possibilities of seabuckthorn bark.
All told, this superfruit, known to ease and soften scar tissue and arteriosclerosis, reduce inflammation and cell death and reverse burn damage, has over 191 known bio-active compounds for topical and internal applications. In fact, Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council has stated: “If there ever was an herb that could qualify for the next generation of herbal luminaries, I would nominate Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides).”