Seabuckthorn can reduce stress disorders

New Delhi: Seabuckthorn, a plant which grows widely under extreme environment, may be a panacea for stress-induced diseases like heart problems, according to scientists.

The Seabuckthorn plant, usually found in Western Himalayas, could also be used for enhancing performance of soldiers positioned at high altitudes, the scientists claim.

"Seabuckthorn have high potential to counter the adverse effects of oxidative stress," says R C Sawhney of Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi, in a study.

Sawhney said these disorders are mostly caused due to generation of free radicals causing oxidative damage to the basic life molecules like proteins, fats and DNA which in turn
trigger the disease process.

"Although it is difficult to completely remove all the stress factors from our day-to-day work environment but stress-induced oxidative damage can be curtailed to a great extent," the study says.

"The plant can also used to help enhance performance of the soldiers operating under extreme environment conditions which can lead to various stress-induced disorders," it says.

Virendra Singh from Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Palampur Agriculture University, said "every part of the plant is being utilised in health

"Fruits and leaves are important sources of vitamins and anti-oxidants, which have potential in health food, cosmetic and drug industries," he said.

According to the researchers, the oldest written evidence of Seabuckthorn use in medicine dates back to 2500 years in "rgyud bzi", the fundamental text book of Sowa Rigpa in Amchi/Tibetan system of medicine based on Ayurvedic theory of

There are about 200 popular Seabuckthorn-based formulations in Sowa Rigpa which are in use for almost all types of ailments, Sawhney said.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has already stated that expanding Seabuckthorn cultivation is part of mitigating strategies against climate change.

The plant is being used around the world for soil and water conservation.

Meanwhile, the government has taken initiative to bring one million hectres of land area under seabuckthorn cultivation by 2020. China has 1.1 million hectares under sea buckthorn cultivation, while India has only 11,500 hectares.

Seabuckthorn plant gives oval shaped and flame-coloured fruits which are highly nutritious.