‘Tis a Very Sexy Berry!

Darkened not completely dark let us walk in the darkened field
trees in the field outlined against that which is less dark
under the trees are bushes with orange berries dark green leaves
not poetry’s mixing of yellow light blue sky darker than that
darkness of the leaves a modulation of the accumulated darkness
orange of the berries another modulation spreading out toward us
it is like the reverberation of a bell rung three times
like the call of a voice the call of a voice that is not there.

We will not look up how they got their name in a book of names
we will not trace the name’s root conjecture its first murmuring
the root of the berries their leaves is succoured by darkness
darkness like a large block of stone hauled on a wooden sled
like stone formed and reformed by a dark sea rolling in turmoil.

John Taggart, “Orange Berries Dark Green Leaves” from Is Music: Selected Poems. Copyright © 2010 by John Taggart.

Source: Is Music: Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2010)

If you haven’t figured out by now, I just love poetry.

First, a disclaimer, because the FDA is watching:  I must inform you that nothing that follows should be construed to imply that this plant, nor its constituents, cures or prevents any disease.  Also, this article is not a substitute for going to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis of your health concerns. Before you use any nutritional supplement or herbal remedy, see your physician to make certain it is safe for you to do so, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, very old or very young.

Okay.  With that out of the way…

Sea Buckthorn…a veritable Superfood.

Sea Buckhorn has been on the berry landscape now for thousands of years now, despite the fact that I’ve only just recently heard of it.

I heard of it because of a rumor that met my ears about Omega-7 fatty acids (FA).  The rumor (and because it’s a rumor, I will not name names) is that, if you are a woman or female transsexual suffering from dry vagina and subsequently painful sexapades, that Omega-7 is the FA for you.  This fatty acid, the rumor purports, is a handy-dandy natural lube enhancer, and every clerk at Vitamin Shoppe and the like knows this.

Being a doctor and a woman, I was intrigued, and so I’ve done a bit of research on Omega-7.  It turns out that the easiest way to obtain the benefits of Omega-7 is from the wiley Sea Buckthorn plant.

It also turns out that, even though the plant has garnered much interest recently in North America, there is a paucity of U.S. research on sea buckhorn.  Despite this, there are documented benefits in over 130 scientific studies worldwide, historical and recent anecdotal successes, and just plain common-sense benefits of its constituents.  So I’ve added sea buckthorn supplements and topical applications to my Emerson Ecologics custom order form.

It turns out that the sea buckhorn is a very versatile Superberry!  In fact, it is one of the most nutrient-rich berries known to mankind.  Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.), is native to Europe and Asia in high, temperate zones, and is very high in everything that makes a food a Superfood.

Sea buckthorn is said to diminish inflammation, is an antimicrobial, a pain reliever, and promoter of tissue regeneration.  It is good for heart and vascular health and preventing cardiovascular disease.  It balances cholesterol and lipid content in the blood and thus helps prevent fatty liver. It helps increasing appetite and stomach digestion, is great for skin health and acne, and is a powerful natural antioxidant, antibiotic, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory.

It is useful in combating urinary tract infection, yeast infection, and related gynecological problems. It helps coordinate the reproductive system with the endocrine (hormonal) and nervous systems (thus the happy, lubricated vagina), and helps with menopausal changes.

It is a natural stool-softener, and is used in Asia for gastrointestinal disease, autoimmune diseases, respiratory disease, and skin disease.  It has anti-aging properties and is commonly used overseas to smooth wrinkles and discoloration of the skin.  It is wonderful for balancing hormones and the nervous system.  If you have cold hands and feet, sea buckthorn seems to be good for preventing chilblains.  It also seems to be great for eye health.

It has been used medicinally in China and Russia since 1977 to treat the adverse symptoms of chemotherapy and radiation; including oral mucositis, vaginal mucositis, cervical erosion, radiation damage, burns, scalds, duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers, and skin ulcers caused by malnutrition.  Additionally, the leaves and bark have been shown to have cancer-fighting properties.

Aside from the alleged encouragement of vaginal mucosa lubrication-producing qualities, clearing these health concerns would make you feel pretty sexy anyway…don’t you think?

Happiness comes in little orange packages!

This is a great food for all ages, as it contains over 100 nutrients and extranutritional constituents normally found in limited quantities in food, such as flavonoids, linolenic acid, glucosides, phenols, polyphenols, terpenes, and carotene. The berry pulp and the seeds are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, vitamins (very high in A, C and E), minerals (including trace minerals such as iron, copper, manganese, selenium), which all neutralize free-radicals (are anti-oxidants).  They have lots of omega 3, 6, 7, and 9 fatty acids which make them a viable alternative to fish oil for vegetarians. However, like the other good vegetarian source of omegas, flax seed, the time between harvest and consumption is short.  Unless prepared in a preservative matrix, the berries and seeds need to be flash-frozen, refrigerated, and their oils need to be consumed within two weeks of harvest.

It does have a nice amount of Vitamin K per 100 gram serving: 110-230 mg in the seed oil and 54-59 mg in the pulp oil.  I should tell you that, because a lot of people are on warafin (Coumadin) and are told by their M.D.s to avoid Vitamin K in their diet.  But we need Vitamin K!  In reality, people on warafin should have a consistent amount of Vitamin K – not none at all!  In fact, patients who have a low intake of vitamin K have been found to have more fluctuation in their INR (the test used to measure the effect and dosage of warfarin). Maintain a consistent intake of vitamin K by maintaining a consistent diet that includes vitamin K.  For more information on that, visit the ClotCare Online Resource page: http://www.clotcare.com/vitaminkandwarfarin.aspx.  It’s a great source of information:

I thought this was sea buckthorn berry! What is this???!!!

The shrubs are drought resistant and have the ability to prevent soil erosion, but it is not overly-hearty and shouldn’t be planted in extremely dry or wet terrain. It also has the ability to fix soil’s nitrogen levels.  On the downside, you have to wait until the berries are harvestable, when the plant is five years of age.  Then you have to wait two more years to harvest again.  Plus, the plant has a lot of thorns, making harvesting a bit of an ordeal; so in order to preserve the plant you have to shake the berries off as opposed to cutting and stripping.  If you plan to grow your own, 7-9% male shrubbery is sufficient to fertilize the remaining population of female, berry-producing plants.

A bit of trivia: A legend says the ancient Greeks found that sick horses that were “let out to pasture” surprisingly regained their health and vitality by eating this berry. They named the shrub Hippophae rhamnoides L, meaning “trees that make horses shine,” and consequently used sea buckthorn leaves as a constituent in the diet of race horses. According to another legend, Pegasus used sea buckthorn leaves to help him fly.  Also, it is called “the Holy Fruit of the Himalayas” in Tibet.

Pegasus says, “Eat your berries!”

 

Happy Berry Picking!

 

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About Dr. Claire

CLAIRE FITZPATRICK is a Doctor of Chiropractic in New York City. Her specialty is helping women and men aged 30-55 eliminate signs and symptoms of early aging. She is owner of JOY! Health and Bodyworks, LLC a holistic, integrative network of holistic practitioners who specialize in health issues related to early aging. She is the author of the ebook, "The Nine Essentials of Health: A Must Have Guide for Healthy Living."

Posted on 12/17/2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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