Seabuckthorn, a plant with numerous medicinal properties, grows wild in India. Rural communities are the losers
seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) grows in the cold desert regions in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. Scientists value it for its medicinal properties. The deciduous bushy-tree is another one of the plants found in India that private companies from the rest of the world trade in but which the Indian government doesn't consider valuable enough to be cultivated.
A study carried out by the department of biochemistry and food chemistry of the University of Turku, Finland and the Institute of Food Research, uk, has shown that the seabuckthorn seed oil acts as an inhibitor of platelet aggregation in blood. This reduces the risk of heart attacks and blockage of veins and arteries.
Prescribed dosage of seabuckthorn oil capsules can reduce both cholesterol and triglyceride (a harmful fat that blocks veins and arteries) formation, reducing chances of stroke. A series of clinical trials conducted on 12 patients has shown that seabuckthorn oil could be valuable for treating patients susceptible to blood clotting.
Hiporamin, a drug prepared from the plant, acts against viruses causing herpes simplex and influenza. It also has antibacterial property according to a study carried out by the All Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants based in Moscow, Russia. The oil extracted from the fruit pulp of the plant is useful for treating atopic dermatitis, a skin disease characterized by dry, scaly and itchy skin. Though generally controlled by genetic disorders, external factors can also lead to the skin disorder. Steroids and antihistamins (anti-allergic chemicals) are used for treatment. But they have many harmful side effects. "Patients with atopic dermatitis have a disturbed fatty acid content in the skin and oral administration of the oil normalises the fatty acid composition," says Heikki Kallio, researcher at the University of Turku, Finland.
The seabuckthorn fruit is rich in vitamins such as A, B, C and K (see table: Vitamin rich fruit). According to Brahma Singh, director of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Field Research Laboratory (frl) based at Leh began by researching the utility of the plant as fodder and fuel wood for the local community. Over a period of time it has found better reasons to grow it -- frl uses the seabuckthorn fruits to prepare a nutritive drink which does not freeze even at -20 c ," says D P Attrey, Director of the Forest Research Laboratory.
Vitamin rich fruit
|The fruit of seabuckthorn is replete with vitamins|
|Aliment caused by
deficiency of the
the tongue and
sores in the mouth
Source:Virendra Singh 2001,Seabuckthorn-a wonder plant of dry temperature
Himalayas,Invited papers and abstract-International workshop on seabuck-thorn,
Himavhal Pradesh Agricultural University,Palampur,Himachal Pradesh
Seauckthorn fruit oil is rich in vitamin E and Beta carotene
(in milligrames per 100 grammes) has antioxidant properties
(in milligrammes per 100 grammes) required to produce vitamin A
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