The diversity of sea buckthorn

In the last few years, sea buckthorn has become a truly modern product – in first-class food and beverages, but also in natural cosmetics. There is scarcely any other fruit that contains such a variety of valuable substances. In terms of their vitamin C content, the sea buckthorn berries come out on top. Even citrus fruits and currants can't keep up. Another thing that makes it special is that provitamin A (carotene) and vitamin E are also both present in the one fruit. Sea buckthorn berries are currently known to contain a total of 10 vitamins and various important trace elements. These include vitamin C, provitamin A, vitamin P, vitamin E, vitamin K, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B6, B9 and B12.

Particularly in the cold and low-light winter months, we can use the power of sea buckthorn to strengthen our immune system, e.g., in cases of susceptibility to colds and infections, exhaustion, lack of appetite and for general performance enhancement. Sea buckthorn can make up for a lack of fresh fruit, which is why its fruits were very popular and sought-after during the war and post-war years.

Seven sea buckthorn berries contain as much vitamin C as a lemon. By way of comparison:

(Vitamin C content of various fruit varieties. Average values depend on variety and location, data in milligrams per 100 grams of fresh fruit)











Pepper, red






Sea buckthorn


The vitamin content of sea buckthorn berries is highest shortly before full ripeness. The bright orange berries, which also have strong, orange-coloured juice, are harvested between August and October, depending on their ripeness. However, they should not be exposed to frost, because then they become downright inedible due to the resulting butyric acid.

Sea buckthorn berries can be freshly squeezed to make juice. The vitamin C content in sea buckthorn is much more stable than in other berries because the enzyme ascorbic acid oxidase, which normally breaks down the precious vitamins so quickly, is barely present in sea buckthorn.

We use this fresh juice, whether squeezed at home or bought, in a variety of freshly prepared dishes such as yoghurt and quark, diluted and slightly sweetened as juice, or we use the dried fruits in muesli.

Not only the berries of this robust shrub are valuable, but also the oil from the seeds and the flesh. In juice pressing, this oil remains as a by-product. Like the juice, it is often used in sweet and savoury cuisine, but also in natural cosmetics. Sea buckthorn oil is therefore suitable for internal and external use. Used externally, it has an anti-inflammatory effect, reduces the formation of wrinkles and skin ageing, and makes dry, cracked skin soft and elastic again. Used internally as an edible oil, it calms the stomach and intestines.

Sea buckthorn (Latin: Hippophae rhamnoides) – also known as sandthorn, sallowthorn and seaberry – is a plant species of the genus Hippophae within the family of oleaginous plants (Elaeagnaceae). The botanical genus name Hippophae contains the two Greek words hippo (horse) and phaes (shining). The species name, rhamnoides, goes back to the word rhamnus, which means thorn and refers to the protective thorns of the plant.

It grows where other trees and shrubs hardly have a chance, preferably in sandy, barren soils in dune areas along the North Sea and Baltic Sea. But sea buckthorn is also indigenous in northern Europe as far as Lapland, in the Middle East, East Asia, the Himalayan region and also in Kazakhstan. It can tolerate cold just as well as drought. With its star-shaped root system, it plays an important role in natural erosion protection. People have therefore been using it in coastal preservation for many centuries. Sea buckthorn is a 'retainer' of loose soils and an 'enhancer' of infertile soils because, after a while, humus-rich earth forms at the foot of its shrub.


Niemann, Renate: Sanddorn – die Kraft der Sonne, Uwe Rolf GmbH, Aurich, 2007
Große Enzyklopädie der Arzneipflanzen und Drogen, Area Verlag, Erftstadt, 2006