Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)
The name Hippophae comes from ancient Greek and means glistening horse. Horses grazed in areas where this shrub grew, and as a result, their fur gained a glossy tone. For us, it is great not only for the skin, but also for the immune system.
The sea buckthorn, now naturalized in Europe, originally came from Asia. It grows mainly in China, Mongolia, India, and Nepal, but also in Siberia. Buckthorn is a bush or shrub. It is thorny (hence its name), grows up to 9 feet tall, and has green-silver leaves and orange berries. In Europe, it is mainly used as a decorative shrub or as a shrub to stabilize highway embankments.
The Plant in the Soil
Sea buckthorn is very easy to cultivate and has many uses. The nitrogen fixing bacteria in its roots enrich the soil. It thrives in dry soil, but it cannot be planted in dry soil because its roots need to settle first. Sea buckthorn has a very broad and deep root system. It creates root offshoots, so it should be planted only where its growth over time will not create problems. It is an ideal pioneer shrub for stabilizing dunes and loose rocks and for creating natural cover on sandy barren soils (especially for reclamation of quarries). Its fine-grain, medium-hard wood is used in carpentry.
Because sea buckthorn is dioecious, one needs to plant both male and female shrubs. The female plant is the one that bears fruit, so it is recommended to plant it in the ratio of 5–10 females to every
1 male. They can be distinguished in spring, due to their flowers. The pollen is spread by the wind, not insects. Thus, one should pay attention to the direction of prevailing winds when planting them, especially in larger plantings (find out the prevailing wind direction in spring). The berries are ripe from September to October.
It can be said that sea buckthorn has four basic functions in our society. In the food industry, it is used to make syrups and marmalade. In agriculture, it fights against soil erosion. In cosmetics, it is used to create aromatic oils and creams, and finally, it plays many important roles in healthcare.
The therapeutic effects of this plant have long been overlooked. It has 10 times more vitamin C than oranges and contains many other therapeutic substances (scientists state that the daily recommended dosage of vitamin C can be satisfied by one sea buckthorn berry). In addition, sea buckthorn is welcome for its store of vitamin A and organic acids.
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