What is Sea Buckthorn?

What is Sea Buckthorn? Sea buckthorn is a bushy Eurasian shrub or small tree with orange berries which typically grows on sandy coasts and it is found in Siberia, Finland, India, Germany, Mongolia and numerous other European and Asian countries. The berries, leaves and bark have been used for centuries not only in the food industry for humans and pets but also in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. There are male and female sea buckthorn trees and the only difference between them is that only the female trees carry fruit. History has it that Ghengis Khan fed seabuckthorn berries to his army and the leaves to his horses to keep them healthy before the battle. Medicinal texts from Tibet refer to the herbal remedies made of seabuckthorn for skin and digestive disorders from as early as 600 A.D. Seaberry, as otherwise known, is also used medicinally and dates back to the time of Alexander the Great. In this period of history, soldiers are known to have added seaberry leaves and fruit to their horses fodder to boost their overall health and make their coats shiny. In fact, this is where the botanical name for seaberry is derived, from the Greek word for horse – hippo – and to shine –phaos Sea buckthorn has gain popularity as a superfood in the recent years and it is being used in various forms by Olympic athletes and even astronauts to protect themselves from the effects of cosmic radiation. Sea buckthorn contains high levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, flavonoids and phytosterols. It also has a complete fatty acid profile that includes omega-3s, -6s, -7s and -9s. It is equivalent to acai berry in its high levels of antioxidants but with the advantage over acai of its omega complex profile. Harvest time of the berries is in August and the fruit is being frozen to be used in various applications. The freezer is the best way to store sea buckthorn berries; because of the high level of oil in the berries, they don’t stay fresh for long after harvest. Harvesting of the berries is being done by hand.