[NAFEX] Seabuckthorn Uses

hector black hblack at twlakes.net
Wed Jun 11 18:51:35 EDT 2003

Hello All,
    There was an international conference on Sea Buckthorn in Russia in the
70s I think.  I got a copy of the report but may have loaned it without
return.  Experts from China and Russia were the main participants.
Evidently there are at least 3 species.  It is highly thought of, I
understand, in China for juice.  I read that it is canned and used much as
we use orange juice. I've seen it in Russia as juice also.   Lots of Vit C.
Sea buckthorn oil is quite valuable and used to treat radiation burns in
Russia.  It comes primarily from the seeds.
    You are quite right, there are male and female plants, and they are wind
pollinated.  I've seen them growing wild in some parts of Russia - it also
grows in Europe and is happy near the seacoast.  Like all Elaeagnaceae, it
fixes nitrogen and can survive in poor soils eventually enriching them and
making them capable of supporting other plant life.
    The Dutch have developed an ornamental form because the bright yellow
berries and silvery gray foliage look great together.
    We had trouble growing them in TN until we planted them in a very sandy
soil.  Their other problem is spring frosts.  The "flowers" are
inconspicuous, being just a pistil on the females and pollen in the males.
Japanese beetles do quite a bit of damage to the foliage and there is some
die-back from fungus in our hot,  humid climate
    The Latin name "Hippophae" refers to the fact that horses eating the
foliage develop a glossy coat.
    Fruits are loaded with anthocyanins and vitamins as are all the
Elaeagnus species with which I am familiar.

    Russia and China have done a lot of work in selection and breeding
plants that have more oil, others that have larger berries, and plants that
are thorn free.  Because it grows in marginal soils and improves them,
produces a very healthful fruit it would be wonderful to have some trials in
the US.
    Seems to me I recall their being tried in Canada in one of the western
    Hector Black, zone 6 middle TN

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dean Kreutzer" <deankreutzer at hotmail.com>
To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 9:37 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] Seabuckthorn Uses

> Hello All,
> >Can some NAFEXER tell me what is the exact use of seabuckthorn?
> Seabuckthorn is widely planted and domesticated in Russia, East Germany,
> China, Finland and we also have it here in Canada.  It was used as a
> of Vitamin C instead of Oranges, and also there is much interest in the
> pharmacutical and hand cream industries.  I have tried the juice and
> although it does remind you of orange juice in appearance and texture, the
> flavor is definately it's own.  I did go for a second glass, so it wasn't
> too bad.
> The main problem for growing as a crop is that currently it is being
> harvested by hand, which is time consuming and expensive, and can be
> painful(most have thorns).  People are working on mechanical harvesters
> may have them in place, but I haven't kept up to date on the technology.
> The plants are VERY hardy, beyond -40F, saline tolerant, and the fruits
> be harvested in the middle of winter as they hang on the tree for that
>   I've seen berries that are close to the size of a US dime, and the trees
> are very, very productive.  I believe that there are male and female
>   The cultivars from Asia are vastly superior than what was introduced in
> Canada in the 80's for use in shelterbelts.  I believe poor quality
> was named sinensis, if I'm not mistaken.
> Dean Kreutzer
> Regina, Saskatchewan Canada
> USDA 3
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