Gaia Herbs | plant intelligence

Sea Buckthorn


The Sea Buckthorn is a deciduous shrub given it’s name to avoid confusion with the True Buckthorns in the Rhamnaceae family. This belongs to a different plant family, the Elegnaceae and is thought to be native to a wide range of the northern hemisphere from the Atlantic coasts of Europe all the way across to China. The vast majority of Sea Buckthorn can be found growing in China. It is an important food source for many birds and animals and a highly nutritious one at that. It is a dense shrub that can grow anywhere between 1 and 20 feet tall with opposite, lanceolate, silvery green leaves and very thorny branches which make it difficult to harvest the waxy yellow fruits. In Central Asia it grows in semi arid desert like climates and thrives in places where other plants find it difficult to survive. Various parts of the plant including the leaves have been reported in traditional medicinal use, and the fruits have been processed for juice, jams, and liquors for quite some time.


Sea Buckthorn fruits are a good source of Vitamin C and other antioxidant flavonoids in addition to minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids and Vitamin E. The vitamin c content is quite high reaching as high as 1550 mg per 100 grams of material making it one of the best naturally occurring sources of this well-known vitamin. It has also been reported to support digestion, cardiovascular function, invigorate blood and help ease occasional joint pain.

Uses of Sea Buckthorn


    This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

    Active Constituents

    Ascorbic acid, Beta Carotene, Beta Sitosterol, Carotenoids, Essential fatty acids, Lycopene, Malic Acid, Quercetin, Vitamin E, and Zeaxanthin.

    Parts Used

    • Fruit Juice

    Important precautions

    If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

    Additional Resources

    Jeppsson N, Gao XQ (2000). Changes in the contents of kaempferol, quercetin and L-ascorbic acid in sea buckthorn berries during maturation. Agri Food Sci Finland, 9, 17-22.

    Li TSC & Schroeder WR (1996). Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoide L.): A multipurpose plant. Hort Technology, 6, 370-80.

    Yang B, Kallio HP (2001). Fatty acid composition of lipids in sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) berries of different origins. J Agric Food Chem, 49, 1939-47.

    Yang B, Kallio H (2002). Composition and physiological effects of sea buckthorn (Hippophae) lipids. Trends Food Sci Technol, 13, 160-67.

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