Seabuckthorn is one of the most nutritionally dense shrubs on the planet. Every part of the plant contains bio-active compounds that support human health. Unfortunately as demand has increased for the extracts of Seabuckthorn, the potential for adulteration and poor quality has also risen.
We have been engaged with the Seabuckthorn industry for over 20 years and during that time have become familiar with the nutritional constituents of the different parts of the plant. SII (Seabuckthorn International Inc.) has been very fortunate to work closely with one of the top producers of USDA Organic Seabuckthorn extracts in the world. With reference to the scientific literature and through regular 3rd party analysis, we know what the nutritional profile of these extracts should look like so we quickly recognize when they are not right.
High Demand Brings Problems
Because they are in such high demand for skincare products, the quality of Seabuckthorn Seed and Fruit Oils has become increasingly problematic over the past few years. There are a lot of folks out there who are offering Seabuckthorn Oil for sale. We receive emails daily and what we read is frequently surprising and shocking. First of all, the people selling the Seabuckthorn Seed or Fruit Oil are not necessarily the ones who produce it. This means that the seller may not have a clue what he or she is selling.
For example, we have had people send us pictures of Mountain Ash berries thinking it was Seabuckthorn. In one case when we questioned the very low value of the Omega 7 in the Fruit Oil the seller told us that he could sell it to us more cheaply if Omega 7 wasn’t particularly important to us. It is important to us!
In another instance it was clear from the analysis that the Seabuckthorn Oil had been cut with a cheaper oil such as sunflower or canola. If we were not so familiar with the properties and appearance of high quality Seabuckthorn Seed and Fruit Oils we could be fooled into thinking that we were buying the real thing.
This is a very serious issue. As the growing body of scientific literature is showing, Seabuckthorn Oils when taken internally, have demonstrated a significant improvement in a number of health conditions. However, the effectiveness of the oils in treating these conditions is completely dependent on their purity and the values of the bio-active compounds in the oils.
As a company that markets Seabuckthorn Seed and Fruit Oils for their therapeutic action, we are fortunate to have a long history of experience with the oils. This not only includes the nutritional analysis but also the sensory analysis- the smell, the taste and the appearance of the oils. This experience means that we know that the Seabuckthorn Oils we market are of the highest quality and purity available.
Ingredient Adulteration – A Widespread Problem
A recent item in the industry publication New Hope shows that this problem is by no means exclusive to Seabuckthorn Oils:
“Ingredient adulteration is the biggest problem affecting the supplement market today. The American Botanical Council’s Mark Blumenthal talks about what herbal organizations are doing to help brand holders and marketers understand how to properly identify and test incoming raw materials so they will not fall victim to inauthentic material.” You can watch the video of Mark Blumenthal speak about it here.
What About The Consumer?
But what about the consumer? How can they have confidence that they are getting the high quality product they are expecting? Unfortunately this is a complex problem and the responsibility lies with the supplier to ensure the quality of the product. What the consumer can do however is be selective about what and where they purchase. Read labels. Is the product 100% Seabuckthorn Oil or are there additives or carrier oils? Check out the company and their social media. Call or email them and ask questions. And always check that spidey sense before buying!