L’argousier (Hippophae rhamnoides L.)
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.)
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L. of the Elaeagnaceae family) is a spiny, dioecious shrub with small orange berries. It is a pioneer plant that naturally grows on the Himalayan foothills, in Russia, and as far as the southern French Alps. Sea buckthorn has created great interest on multiple levels and to varying degrees, depending on the country. The high content of vitamin C and other antioxidants in its berries makes it an attractive source of nutrition; as such, a number of products, such as sea buckthorn juice and syrup, have appeared on the market. In addition, its fruit is noteworthy for its oilproducing properties: the oil extracted from the seeds or pulp has properties long recognized in Tibet and Russia. Sea buckthorn seed oil is especially rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, while the plant’s pulp oil mainly consists of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids; both types of oil contain high levels of vitamin E. Anecdotal and historical evidence and modern research have confirmed the effectiveness of sea buckthorn oil in protecting and regenerating the skin and mucous membranes. Various studies, notably in China, are exploring the therapeutic potential of sea buckthorn in other areas of healthcare (for instance, the prevention of cardiovascular disease). Moreover, sea buckthorn has demonstrated high ecological value; it has been planted on a large scale to combat soil erosion, particularly in China and Canada.
Sea buckthorn, Hippophae rhamnoides L., Vitamin C, Oil