· By Kaushal M. Kulkarni, M.D.
4 Reasons to Use Sea Buckthorn for Dry Mouth
Is there anything worse than that thick, sticky feeling of dry mouth? When your breath turns rancid, and even speaking and chewing feel like a chore? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Fortunately, a number of prescription and over-the-counter remedies exist, one of which is sea buckthorn.
If you have never considered (or heard of!) sea buckthorn as a remedy for dry mouth, then you certainly aren’t alone. Though remote populations have been finding a use for this ancient plant for thousands of years, it is only much more recently that the Western world has begun to take note of its many benefits.
In this article, we discuss sea buckthorn and its many benefits, plus break down four big reasons you should be taking sea buckthorn supplements to help fight chronic dry mouth. Let’s get to it!
What is Sea Berry?
Though its name may suggest otherwise, sea buckthorn, or sea berry – or Hippophae rhamnoides l, officially – is not found in the sea or ocean. It is actually a small shrub-like plant native to mountainous regions in Asia, eastern Europe, and northern Europe. In fact, about 90% of the world’s sea berry plants grow in China, Mongolia, India, Ukraine, and Russia.
Sea berry may also be referred to as sea buckthorn oil, sea buckthorn berry, sandthorn, or sallowthorn. Today, sea berry is mainly cultivated for medicinal purposes. This is because sea berry is chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that yield a number of health benefits.
Benefits of Sea Berry
Remote populations in the aforementioned parts of the world have been using the sea berry’s seeds, leaves, berries, and flowers for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Though these early peoples likely weren’t aware of things like vitamins and antioxidants, they probably were able to recognize the benefits of consuming parts of the sea berry plant.
These days, we know that sea berry is a great source of:
- Omega 3, 6, 7, and 9
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamins B1, B2, and B6
No wonder sea berry has come to be known as the “holy fruit of the Himalayas!” This unique blend of compounds – and especially the lipids and antioxidants – makes sea berry especially beneficial for treating dryness. For this reason, you often see sea berry listed as an ingredient in beauty and other skincare products. Below, we detail a few ways in which sea berry can improve dryness.
Arguably, dry skin is the most common reason for using sea berry, and its oil can be found in dozens of skin care and cosmetics products. This is because sea berry oil contains near-perfect ratios of Omega fatty acids and the ability to repair and regenerate skin.
Interestingly, products made for more mature skin often contain oil from the sea berry plant’s seeds because the seeds have both Omega 3 and Omega 6. However, products formulated for “problem” skin – that is, skin that suffers from issues like chronic dryness, eczema, or psoriasis – most often contain oil from the sea berry fruit. Sea berry fruit is full of Omega 6 and the much rarer Omega 7.
Chronic dry eye is one of the most common reasons for someone to take a sea berry supplement. There are two main causes of dry eye: inflammation in the eye that causes an aqueous deficiency, and a weaker tear layer that causes too-rapid evaporation.
Preliminary research has shown that the lipids and other oils in sea berry have a positive effect on eye dryness, though more research is needed to figure out exactly why that is.
A number of studies have been done on the effects of sea berry on post-menopausal women. In every case, researchers have found that sea buckthorn oil supplements have specifically helped with vaginal atrophy – that is, when the vaginal mucosa becomes too thin to secrete a sufficient amount of moisture. This very commonly occurs with the decrease in estrogen that comes with menopause.
Xerostomia, better known as dry mouth, is a surprisingly common issue caused by salivary glands that are not properly functioning. It is thought that 1 in 5 seniors experience chronic dry mouth, though sometimes this dysfunction is the result of taking certain medications.
A recent study found that taking a sea berry oil capsule (supplement) for four consecutive weeks helped to relieve the worst symptoms of dry mouth, most likely because sea berry’s blend of natural oils improved the quality of the mucosa in the mouth.
Below, we break down four very good reasons to use sea berry as a treatment for dry mouth.
4 Reasons to Use Sea Berry for Dry Mouth
1. Sea Berry Oil Contains Omega 7
Not only does sea berry oil contain Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9, all of which are important for keeping our body lubricated in all the right places, but it also contains the much rarer Omega 7. In fact, sea berry happens to be the richest source of Omega 7 found anywhere in the plant kingdom.
Omega 7 is one of the most important components of properly functioning mucosal membranes in the mouth. Without a sufficient amount of Omega 7, these mucosal membranes dry out, leading to uncomfortable feelings of dryness and all that comes with it.
2. It’s Antibacterial
A 2019 study found that sea berry pulp oil has both antimicrobial and anti-biofilm capacities when used as a mouthwash. As described in the study’s published report, “The [sea berry]-based mouthwash was bactericidal against S. gordonii and P. gingivalis” and “bacteriostatic against A. viscosus.”
This study suggests that while the typical sea berry supplement doesn’t contain the same amounts of pulp as was used in the study, orally ingested sea berry can both help with dry mouth while also destroying harmful bacteria.
3. Improves the Quality of Saliva
The inside of your mouth stays moist when its mucosa membranes are producing sufficient amounts of quality saliva. Sea berry contains an especially effective blend of fatty acids that not only helps the mucosa to produce saliva, but improves the quality of the saliva that is produced. Quality saliva is crucial for avoiding dry mouth.
4. Sea Berry is Natural
The sea berry plant, or sea buckthorn plant, has grown in parts of Asia and Eastern Europe for centuries. Sea berry supplements are made using the plant’s berries, leaves, and seeds, all of which are incredible sources for some of the most beneficial vitamins and minerals. Sea berry oil supplements are 100% natural, making them a clear choice when it comes to choosing a product to help with your dry mouth.
People Also Ask
1. What is sea buckthorn berry good for?
Sea buckthorn has been cultivated for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Its berries and oil are said to yield myriad benefits, including protecting skin, promoting heart health, improving symptoms of dry eye, improving symptoms of dry mouth, and boosting immunity, among other things.
2. Does sea buckthorn oil help with dryness?
Because sea buckthorn’s list of natural ingredients includes Omega 7, antioxidants, and linoleic acid, among other vitamins and minerals, sea buckthorn works as a natural moisturizer for the mouth, eyes, skin, hair, and vagina.
3. How do you use dried sea buckthorn berries?
Dried sea buckthorn berries can be used in delicious kitchen concoctions like smoothies, desserts, juices, jams, and pies. They can also be used as an ingredient in supplements, cosmetics, body moisturizers, and hair care products.
4. Can you take sea buckthorn oil orally?
Sea buckthorn oil can be added to food or product, applied directly to hair or skin, or taken orally in capsule form.
5. What supplements help with dry mouth?
Sea berry, known also as sea buckthorn, is an all-natural plant product that contains vitamins, minerals, Omega fatty acids, and antioxidants. This unique blend makes sea berry an effective, easy, and natural way to treat dry mouth.
The oils – and especially the four Omega fatty acids – derived from the sea berry plant are chock full of benefits. In addition to easing the symptoms of dry eye, vaginal dryness and menopause, and dry skin, sea berry supplements can help alleviate dry mouth.
It does this by providing the mucosa in the mouth with the Omega 3, Omega, 6, Omega, 9 and Omega 7 they need to produce a sufficient amount of quality saliva. The fact that sea berry makes for an all-natural alternative to other products claiming to cure dry mouth makes these supplements a no-brainer!