SEA BUCKTHORN

Rasayana from Europe SEA BUCKTHORN

Dr Sanjeev Sood

Sea Buckthorn is so well known and appreciated in Europe and western countries as an exceptional revitalizer and mineralizer that it can be considered one of the best western Rasayana herbs parallel to Amla. It is native from northwestern Europe, through central Asia to the Altai Mountains to western and northern China and the northern Himalayas.
ImageThe botanical name of the plant: Hippophae rhamnoides, comes from the Latin "hippophae" meaning "shining horse", as in the Ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire it was given to race horses in order to improve their performance and look. According to the legends, Sea Buckthorn leaves were the preferable food of the flying horse of the Greek mythology, Pegasus, and they were also helpful to get Pegasus air born.
The references to medicinal use of Sea Buckthorne were found in the Ancient Greek texts and in classic Tibetan medicinal texts. It is called Oblepika in Russia, Sauddorn in Germany, Argousier in France, Espino Amarillo in Spain, Finbar in Sweden, Tindved in Denmark, Tindved in Denmark, Rokitnik in Poland, Yashildoo Chatsargana in Mongolia, Catina in Romania and it is also a traditional component of Tibetan herbal medicines where it is called Star-Bu or D'har-Bu.
Sea Buckthorn has been used for centuries in both Europe and Asia as food and for its pharmaceutical properties. It was used in ancient times to lower fever, reduce inflammation, counteract toxicity and abscesses, clean the lungs, treat colds and coughs, and treat tumors and growths, especially of the stomach and the esophagus.
It belongs to the family Elaeagnaceae. It is a medium deciduous shrub 6 to 13 feet (2 to 4 m) in height. The trees are dioecious, meaning there are male and female plants and only the female ones produce fruits. Branches are dense and stiff and very thorny, the leaves are a distinct pale silvery-green, alternate and narrow and flowers are small, yellow and appear before the leaves. The female plants produce orange fruits, 6-9 mm in diameter, soft and juicy.
The plants are very hardy and can withstand temperatures of -45 to 103 degree F (-23 to 40 degree C). Sea Buckthorn is frequently used for land reclamation and to prevent soil erosion because of its extensive root system and its ability to fix nitrogen and other nutrients. It grows naturally in sandy soil and at an altitude of 1200-1400 meters (4000-14000 feet) in cold climates, though it can be cultivated at lower altitudes and in temperate zones, but it cannot grow in the shade. The English name of the plant: Sea Buckthorn might be related to the fact that in England the spiny shrubs and trees used to grow in sand dunes along the sea beaches.
Main constituents: the fruits are very rich in vitamin C: 400 to 1500 mg vitamin C for 100 g fruit, more than in strawberries, kiwi, oranges, tomatoes and carrots. It is supposed that all the Sea Buckthorn on the earth would be enough for satisfying the vitamin C needs for the whole population of the planet. It also contains Vitamin E: 200 mg%, more than wheat, corn and soya germs. Sea Buckthorn has 10 times more carotene than carrots (alpha and beta carotene, precursors of Vitamin A). The presence of both carotene and vitamin E in the fruits offers them strong antioxidant and therefore antitumor properties. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, PP, F and provitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium Potassium, Sodium, Iron, Fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6, essential amino acids and flavonoides


 

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