Not too many people are familiar with the sea buckthorn, also known as the “sea berry” and/or “sandthorn,” but this shrub’s berries are antioxidant fruits that everyone should know about. The sea buckthorn plant – surprise! – is often found in dry sandy areas off the sea coasts of western Europe, but as well as in the sandy regions of Asia, specifically northwestern China.
What makes sea buckthorn berry so special?
Sea buckthorn fruit contains 15 times more vitamin C (asorbic acid) than oranges. It has been used to treat gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood, and metabolic disorders in traditional Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian medicines. The berries contain flavonols such as quercetin and catechans that have antioxidant properties, but its vitamin C content is what really separates it from others. It also contains vitamin A, amino acids, minerals, and carotenids.
Even this plant’s leaves and bark have been used medicinally to treat diarrhea. Today, we use the sea buckthorn oil as an expectorant and also in the treatment of heart disorders, asthma, and high cholesterol. It shows promise in slowing down the age-related degradation of thinking skills (a youth serum in some ways?) and effectively balancing the immune system.
I’ve got the berries. What now?
The sea buckthorn, similar to aronia berry in this particular case, has an especially astringent taste when eaten raw. For this reason, you’ll want to consume the berry as a juice with natural sweeteners. Sea buckthorn fruit is also used to make liquors, jams, and pies. Feel free to get creative with it, and you can use apples and grapes (or their juices) as sweeteners.