Humans have been using seabuckthorn for at least 12 centuries. The Tibetan medical classic, the Rgyud bzi ("The Four Tantras"), attributed to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), lists 84 prescriptions for the preparation of seabuckthorn medicines.
Seabuckthorn is used as a traditional medicinal plant in the Hindu-Khush-Himalayan mountain region, especially in India, Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal and China. Local people in this region still collect berries for medicine, graze animals in the forest, and plant seabuckthorn to protect water channels and to fence their farmland.
Different parts of seabuckthorn have been used as traditional therapies for diseases. Grown widely throughout its native China and other mainland regions of Asia, seabuckthorn is an herbal remedy reputedly used over centuries to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation and alleviate pain.
Bark and leaves may be used for treating diarrhea and dermatological disorders. Berry oil, taken either orally or applied topically, may be used as a skin softener.
For its hemostatic and anti-inﬂammatory effects, berry fruits are added to medications for pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood and metabolic disorders in Indian, Chinese and Tibetan medicines. Seabuckthorn berry components have potential activity against cancer and dengue virus.
Fresh juice, syrup and berry or seed oils may be used for colds, fever, exhaustion, as an analgesic or treatment for stomach ulcers, cancer, and metabolic disorders.
Called 'Chharma' in Himachal Pradesh, India, oil from fruits and seeds is used for liver diseases, disorders of the gastrointestinal system, including peptic ulcers and gastritis, eczema, canker sores and other ulcerative disorders of mucosal tissues, wounds, inflammation, burns, frostbite, psoriasis, rosacea, lupus erythematosus, and chronic dermatoses.
Seabuckthorn is a source of raw materials for nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, pharmaceutical, and veterinary applications. The berries, leaves, cork, and roots of sea buckthorn are highly appreciated for the rich content of vitamins, carotenoides, flavonoids, steroids, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, essential oils, essential fatty acids, and serotonin. These constituents, separately or combined, may have unique health-supporting or healing properties.
Seabuckthorn oil is one of the most frequently prescribed phytomedicines by Russian and Chinese physicians for a plethora of ailments, including stomach ulcers, burns, hemorrhoids, and as an ingredient for skin and hair care products.
In traditional Siberian medicine, the seed oil and leaf extracts of sea buckthorn are frequently used to maintain eye sight, hearing ability, fight off cataracts, cure eczema, improve physical performance, and ward off winter depression. Dozens of sea buckthorn cultivars were developed for their agronomic traits, chemical composition, and adaptation to poor dry and sandy soils, higher altitudes, wasted lands, and extremely cold areas in Russia. Each cultivar is known to have its own unique morphological traits, colour, flavour, carotenoids, oil composition (mostly unsaturated essential fatty acids), and vitamin content.