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Sea-Buckthorn Leaf Tea Offers Weight Loss Benefits – and More!

Sea Buckthorn Tea for Weight Loss

Did you know that not only the berries but also herbal teas made from the leaves of the sea buckthorn plant can offer some interesting benefits? Drinking sea buckthorn leaf tea (also known as seaberry leaf tea) may be particularly good for people who are trying to lose weight, reduce the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, or improve their overall health by consuming more foods and drinks that contain antioxidants and anti-bacterial phytochemicals. Here's the full scoop.

Weight Loss Benefits

Most people know that excess body weight can cause all sorts of health problems, but most people are unaware that excess body fat around the abdominal area (also known as visceral fat or central obesity) is particularly dangerous as it can significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular dieases and diabetes. A healthy diet and regular exercise are probably the best weight loss weapons out there, but there are also a number of dietary supplements and herbal infusions that have been found to promote weight loss. A study published in the September 2011 issue of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, for example, found that powdered sea buckthorn leaf tea derived from the leaves of the Hippophae rhamnoides plant significantly reduced visceral fat in obese mice. These weight loss effects were attributed to the ability of the sea-buckthorn tea to regulating lipid metabolism.

Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Arthritis Properties

The beneficial effects of drinking sea buckthorn leaf tea are not limited to weight loss benefits. An Indian study published in the November 2005 issue of the journal International Immunopharmacology discovered that sea-buckthorn leaf extract has significant anti-inflammatory activities in mice and that the extract might have potential for the treatment of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory joint disorder characterized by pain and stiffness of the affected areas, affects an estimated 1.3 million American people, and the demand for potential natural remedies for this often debilitating condition is growing rapidly. If you're interested in learning more about how certain foods can help fight rheumatoid arthritis, check out HealWithFood's list of the best foods for rheumatoid arthritis relief.

Antioxidant Activity

Many of the famous health benefits of sea-buckthorn berry juice have been attributed to its strong antioxidant properties. But a group of researchers from India discovered that also sea-buckthorn leaf extracts have strong antioxidant activity in vitro (when measured using ABTS, DPPH, and FRAP methods, all of which are common methods used to evaluate the antioxidant power of foods and drinks). Foods and drinks that contain high levels of antioxidants are believed to protect against many age-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, macular degeneration of the eye, and Alzheimer's disease. Antioxidant-rich infusions such as sea-buckthorn tea also make a nice addition to anti-wrinkle diets due to their ability to scavenge free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules that can cause wrinkles and sagging skin.

Inhibitory Effects Against Pathogenic Bacteria

A study published in the December 2010 edition of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found that extracts derived from the leaves of the sea buckthorn plant had anti-bacterial activity in vitro. The extracts were shown to inhibit the growth of several bacteria, including Bacillus cereus (associated with some foodborne illnesses), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (linked to certain infections in humans), Staphylococcus aureus (linked to eczema, skin infections, and some respiratory diseases), and Enterococcus faecalis (linked to urinary tract infections, endocarditis and bacteremia, meningitis, and other infections).

1. H. I. Lee et al (2011). Anti-visceral obesity and antioxidant effects of powdered sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) leaf tea in diet-induced obese mice. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 49(9), 2370-6.
2. L. Ganju et al (2005). Anti-inflammatory activity of Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) leaves. International Immunopharmacology, 5(12), 1675-1684.
3. N. K. Upadhyay, M. S. Yogendra Kumar, and Asheesh Gupta (2010). Antioxidant, cytoprotective and antibacterial effects of Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) leaves. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 48(12), 3443-3448.