During ancient times, the sea buckthorn plant was regarded as poisonous for horses, so its scientific name answers to this idea: Hippophae (Horse killer). Today, we know that sea buckthorn is harmless for horses and that it is one of the plants with the highest concentration of vitamin C known.
Sea Buckthorn Plant Scientific Facts
- Scientific synonyms: Echinacea pallida Nutt.
- French: Argoussier.
- Spanish: Espino amarillo.
- Environment: Spread along river banks and sandy soils all over Europe and naturalized to America.
- Description: Thorny shrub of the Elaeagnaceae family, growing from one to three meters high, deciduous, with narrow, lanceolate leaves. It has unisexual flowers (it is a dioicous plant), small, and green in color. The plant’s fruits are yellow or orange berries.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The berries.
Healing Properties and Indications
The berries of the sea buckthorn plant contain organic acids, flavonic glycosides, carotene (provitamin A), B vitamins, and mainly vitamin C (600 mg per 100 g, ten times more than lemon). Its properties are as follows:
- Antiscorbutic, invigorator, and immunostimulant, due to its content in vitamins (especially vitamin C). It is recommended for repeating infections (decrease of defenses), influenza, physical exhaustion, imbalanced diet, and as a rule, whenever the vital tone of the body needs to be increased.
- Mildly cardiotonic and activator of the circulatory system due to its content in flavonic glycosides. It is typically used as a complement for the foxglove plant treatments.
- Mildly diuretic and appetizer.
How to use Sea Buckthorn
- Berries. The fruit of sea buckthorn can be eaten when well-ripened (three handfuls per day), though they have a slightly sour flavor.
- Syrup. Boil the juice of the berries for 15 minutes, then add half of its weight of sugar. Preserve it into a glass bottle, well sealed. Take three spoonfuls daily.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 758. Print.