The seabuckthorn, otherwise known as seaberry, sandthorn, or yellowthorn is a thorny deciduous shrub around seven meters with yellow or orange berries. Its biological name, Hippophae means horse (hippos) and shiny (phaos) because ancient Greeks fed the berries to horses to make their coats shine. Seaberries have long been a medicinal and dietary food throughout Eurasia. They’re also know as the holy fruit of the Himalaya and feature in Ayurveda and Chinese traditional medicine. The seaberry has a potent nutritional profile. Read more in detail as we review seaberry juice, snacks, supplements, and sea buckthorn oil available in Japan.
Seabuckthorn in the Legends of Genghis Khan
The buckthorn berry has a legendary story going back to the conquests of Genghis Kahn. The tale goes that Genghis Kahn left some sick and injured horses by some seaberry bushes to die. Returning from their conquests, the Mongols comes across the horses again only to see them fully rejuvenated. The great Genghis then instructed his men to always feed the buckthorn plant to their horses.
Although the name buckthorn is descriptive enough, its unclear how the word ‘seaberry’ came into use. Possibly it points to buckthorn trees first being imported and grown on the east shores of England. The English family name Seaberry is likewise traced to Essex.
Nutritional Benefits of Seaberry Buckthorn
Berries often come tops in terms of foods that pack a big punch. Seaberries, however, trump all other berries for protein content, flavonoids and other antioxidants, lipids, and water soluble vitamins. Additionally, the seaberry is almost 12 times higher in Vitamin C than oranges.
Seabuckthorn berries are not a miracle cure, however, various research has established potential health benefits. These include anti-inflammatory effects, pain relief, tissue repair, antimicrobial action, and general immune support. Medically, its extracts are used in cancer therapies, cardiovascular support, ulcer treatments, liver disorders, and burns.
Nutritional content varies between geographic production locations. European varieties average 360 mg/100g of Vitamin C, Chinese sub-continent 2500 mg/100 g, and the US is 695 mg/100 g. Finnish species have less iron and calcium than Chinese varieties, but more cadmium. Berries from China also contain the highest amount of sugars.
Contraindications: Since seabuckthorn juice and oil have a high concentration of specific compounds, caution is advised for some medical conditions.
Types of Seabuckthorn and Seaberry Products
Traditionally, seabuckthorn leaves were brewed into a tea. A hot beverage was also made from the fruit and an antioxidant-rich jam was mixed in with sweeter tasting fruit. These days, seaberry juice is the most popular product follow by sea buckthorn oils, and various cosmetic applications.
Seaberry Juice Available in Japan
Seaberry juice is the most popular way to consume the benefits of seabuckthorn. It’s always best to check the region the seaberries come from. Low cost varieties are probably less dense in nutrients.
Guamaral Seaberry Saji Juice 1L
As production proliferates and new growth regions emerge, Guamaral is a top choice since it procures berries from a sustainable cooperation with Mongolian farmers. Seaberries from Mongolia, Inner Mongolia and Tibet generally have higher Vit C, iron, and fatty acid content.
Guamaral Seaberry & Yuzu 1L
Guamaral as a brand is actually named after Genghis Kahn’s famed white horse. Since straight up seaberry juice can be quite sour or astringent, people generally find that this yuzu mix is a lot easier to drink. Both products are also available in small 360 ml glass bottles.
Sunny Sazzy Seabuckthorn & Mango 900ml
In Japan, seaberry or seabuckthorn juice is called saji-juice [ サジー サニーサジー ]. If you have a sweeter tooth, this mango mixed is a good choice. It uses organic grown mangoes from Okinawa and the product has organic NOP and EU certification.
Houjun Saji Seaberry Juice 1L
This singular Houjun brand by Finesse Japan is popular for its competitive pricing. The product uses stevia as a sweetener and has both organic and manufacturing certifications. The seaberries used come from seabuckthorn trees grown and harvested in Inner Mongolia.
Seabuckthorn Oil & Supplements
Seaberry oil is either condensed from the fruit or the seeds. Sea buckthorn oil is a topical oil meaning that is to be applied to the skin. Soft gel supplements can be used for internal consumption.
Seabuckthorn Oil by Aromatika
Aromatika is an essential oil and fragrance specialist from the Netherlands. This organic cold pressed seabuckthorn oil is sold as a base oil. You can apply it to your skin as you wish and it’s rich in omega oil Vitamins A, C, and E. It is only suitable for external use and should not be consumed as a medicine or food.
Seabuckthorn Seed Oil by SeabuckWonders
This seabuckthorn essential seed oil is verified organic, non-GMO and Vegan. It’s to be used as a topical oil and is particularly rich in omega-oils and Vitamin E. SeabuckWonders is an American company that specializes exclusively in seaberry oils and cosmetics.
Sibu Omega-7 Sea Buckthorn Super Gels
These soft gels are formulated to maximize key benefits from the sea buckthorn plant such as healthy skin, digestive tract, urinary tract, and cardiovascular system. They are certified vegan as well as animal cruelty free. These soft gels are a blend seed oil and fruit oil. The raw ingredients are traded from farmers in Tibet. The only potential drawback is that these gels contain carrageenan. A decent all vegan alternative are SolarRay Capsules (buy link).
Seaberry Snacks Made in Japan
Guamaral makes seaberry and soy protein bars. There are 15 in a pack and the cost works out at￥540 each. Each bar only has 3.7g of protein but the iron content is 10.5g. Overall, they’re rather pricey if your looking more at the protein.
One other desert type sweet containing seaberry is Saji Placenta Gelee. They’re marketed as a beauty product for facial skin, but some may not care for the ingredients. The key ingredients are pig placenta, mango puree, acesulfame K and sucralose, other flavoring, and milk-derived calcium.