HHealth benefits of sea buckthorn or /Hippophae rhamnoides/ is a perennial plant from the willow family. Cornflower is a spiny shrub or small tree reaching up to 6 m in height. The plant has a highly developed root system. The leaves of sea buckthorn are small, linear or linear-lanceolate, bare and green above, up to 8 cm long, narrow, entire, with short petioles. Both the leaves of the herb and its young branches are covered with silvery white scales.

The flowers are unisexual, yellowish, located on separate plants. Female flowers are single, small, located in the axils of the leaves. They have a tubular, slightly bipartite perianth and a single-nested ovary. The male flowers of sea buckthorn are collected in lateral, almost spherical clusters. Each flower has two sepals and four stamens. The fruits of sea buckthorn are spherical, orange-yellowish, juicy, shiny, with only one small stone.

Health benefits of sea buckthorn
Health benefits of sea buckthorn

The taste of the fresh fruit is slightly astringent. Cornflower blooms at the beginning of the summer months, and its fruits ripen from September to December. Sea buckthorn is distributed throughout Europe, Afghanistan, the Himalayas, Tibet, Mongolia, Russia. In our country, it grows around Varna, by the sea and in the border areas with Turkey, and the stocks of the plant in Bulgaria are relatively small.

History of sea buckthorn

The ancient Greeks called sea buckthorn Hippophae, which translates as shining horse. The reason is that the leaves of the plant were an indispensable part of the diet of racing and war horses. A legend also tells that Pegasus, the mythical winged horse from ancient Greek mythology, acquired his miraculous ability after eating the fruits of a Cornflower. In the past, it was believed that Genghis Khan’s warriors owed their strength and flexibility to the regular consumption of safflower oil. But the glorious history of the sea buckthorn does not end here. In the 1980s, sea buckthorn fruit juice became the first fruit juice consumed in space.

Composition of sea buckthorn

The composition of sea buckthorn is quite diverse. The fruits contain vitamin C (up to 450 mg%), B (up to 0.20 mg%), B2 (up to 0.38 mg%), E (up to 14.3 mg%), folic acid (up to 0.79 mg%), isorhamnetin, fatty oil, the composition of which includes glycerides of oleic (10.5%), stearic (10.4%), linoleic and palmitic acids. They also contain carotenoids (up to 0.3 mg% carotene), as well as cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and physalene. All flavonoids found have the same aglucone, isorhamnetol. Two of the flavonoids (3-glucoside and 3-rhamnoglucoside) correspond to the flavonoids found in the flower heads of Calendula officinalis L.

Sea buckthorn

They also contain tannins, sugars, organic acids, fatty oil. Isorhamnetin-3-glucoside, 3-rutinoside, kaempferol, quercetin and kaempferol etc. were also isolated from the fresh fruits of sea buckthorn. Cornflower seeds contain vitamins B2 and E, carotene (provitamin A) and fatty oil. The leaves of the plant contain a significant amount (up to 370 mg%) of vitamin C, carotene (provitamin A), tannins, etc.

5 flavonoids were found in the leaves and fruit of the bush. The twigs of Cornflower contain the same substances as its leaves, as well as a significant amount of tannins. The bark of the herb contains significant amounts of tannins. Serotonin and the alkaloid hypopheine were isolated from it.