Sea Buckthorn: plant and cultivation

Sea Buckthorn: plant and cultivation

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Sea buckthorn, a shrub that the gossips in ancient times described as poisonous but officially and in reality it is not at all. Indeed, it is a valuable source of vitamin C, for example, and it is not its only property. Today it is used in the phytotherapy, food and cosmetic fields. Its botanical name, however, is that Hippophae rhamnoides, still holds him to the unjust accusation of toxicity: it derives from "horse" (hippos) and from "I kill" (phao).

Reminds me of the movie "Horses are not killed like this, Actually, Sydney Pollack. Sea buckthorn has nothing to do with this, it is a plant that produces a precious fruit, also used to prepare tasty sweet sauces to accompany salmon. Other than horses.

Sea Buckthorn: plant

Sea Buckthorn is the best known and most important exponent of that group of plants belonging to the Hippophae genus and belongs to the Eleagnaceae family. It looks like a thorny shrub with many intricate branches, up to even 6 meters in height. In truth, if we go to Asia we can find specimens that reach 10 meters.

The Sea Buckthorn leaves they are transient and by caressing them we can realize that nature has covered them with a fine down. They are silver in color, they are also found with tints tending to greenish-yellow but more rarely. The flowers of this shrub are discoid and small, dull yellow.

For the kind of plant that is there'Sea Buckthorn, there is no coexistence in the same specimen of female and male flowers, therefore it can be understood that to obtain the fruits it is necessary to support, organize a meeting, between a male and a female Sea Buckthorn. Once this is done, we will also be able to observe the very precious fruits over time - we will see it better - from above vitamin C content that they can boast.

Otherwise they have a rather banal and anonymous aspect: they resemble a slightly elongated olive, they are edible but have a sour taste. Usually they are not eaten so quickly but syrups are prepared, for example, thus managing to obtain a more pleasant taste.

In addition to leaves, flowers and fruits, fromSea Buckthorn thorns also sprout in abundance, sprinkling the branches, not for nothing this shrub is considered by many to be an ideal "defense" plant and used for the construction of hedges. A natural barbed wire.

Sea Buckthorn: cultivation

Until the end of the eighties we find ours Sea Buckthorn widely cultivated and widespread in mountain areas below 1500 meters in the Friuli and western Alpine regions. In general today we can find it in larger regions, from the Atlantic coasts of Europe to the north-east of China and also, at times, in Central Asia.

In general theSea Buckthorn he prefers desert areas and, strange but true, also hostile environments and climates: it is not for nothing that he is commonly defined as a "survival champion". Few are the shrubs that match it in terms of growth performance in arid areas, its weak point are the shady areas or near trees.

Sea Buckthorn: therapeutic properties

THE sea ​​buckthorn fruits once, in popular medicine, they were used as laxatives, at the same time the leaves and flowers were a remedy for those who suffered from skin diseases or respiratory difficulties, rheumatism and gout. Today it remains a shrub with many uses, indeed, more than once it is to be considered precious and more than ever the fact that it is a poisonous shrub.

Sea buckthorn is mainly known and used for richness in vitamin C: fruits are considered by all experts to be an important source of vitamin C: we find 695 mg in 100 grams of fruits, to understand a glass of juice from these strange olives is like fresh orange juice in terms of vitamin C, useful for example to heal the wounds.

This feature means that sea buckthorn juice is highly recommended to those who have undergone an operation, but let's not forget that vitamin C also has antioxidant properties, enhanced by the synergistic action of beta carotene and vitamin E.

From the fruits we pass to the plant: it is used in the treatment of immune deficiencies, in the prevention of infectious diseases, in states of inappetence and asthenia. There is also the possibility of exploiting the characteristics of Sea Buckthorn with its external use: the fruits have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties and can be a useful cure for gingival problems and inflammation of the oral mucosa. The mother tincture of young leaves and branches is also used, often and willingly in case of mild forms of enteritis.

I hope it is quite clear that theSea Buckthorn it does not deserve to be put together with that series of "bad", potentially toxic plants. There are some contraindications to take into account, of course, as with almost all medicinal plants. In addition to being not recommended for particularly sensitive individuals, theSea Buckthorn it must not be taken by those suffering from kidney stones: vitamin C, in fact, could favor the excretion of oxalates.

Sea Buckthorn: oil

A 200 ml bottle of sea ​​buckthorn oil it is undoubtedly a good reserve of vitamin C that cannot be given up. It is worth the 13 euros it costs and is an alternative way to hire this precious substance.

Sea Buckthorn: capsules

If we prefer the capsules, at 17 euros a stock of 100 with the same benefits we have already talked about. If we are not hypersensitive toSea Buckthorn we can try to use them.

Sea Buckthorn: syrup

As we have said, having a sour taste if ingested directly, the olives produced by this plant are excellent in syrup form: it is worth for 18 euros to try by purchasing this 200 ml bottle of syrup.

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