An archaic urban legend from ancient Greece has it that some old, tired war horses were dropped on an uninhabited island to live out their final days. A year later people found a herd of beautiful, strong war horses on the island. When they determined that it was the same group of horses who'd been eating the leaves and berries of a particular plant, they named the plant "shining horse", which is still reflected in the current Latin name “Hippophae”, combining the Greek words “hippo” (horse) and “phaos” (to shine).
Native to Europe and Asia, these vibrant orange berries have been used as an herbal cure-all by many cultures. Tibetans even declared them as the “holy fruit of the Himalayas.” With its exceptional nutritional profile of over 190 bioactive compounds, it’s no surprise that its reputation is legendary. Today, the majority of Sea Buckthorns can be found growing in China where the versatile berries are processed and used around the world for skincare products, traditional medicine, and even its culinary goodness.
With sea buckthorn berries being known as the single highest vegetal source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and unsaturated fatty acids, you can imagine the immediate effects it has on your skin. Specifically, the extremely rare Omega 7 provides powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties and effectively supports collagen production to ensure healthy, glowing skin. The deep, rich orange color comes from skin nourishing beta-carotene, which is a well-known and appreciated antioxidant powerhouse that protects the skin by neutralizing free radicals and simultaneously slowing down the aging process.
Tissue regeneration is a critical concern for those recovering from severe burns, deep wounds, extreme acne, inflammatory skin conditions, as well as the effects of cancer and chemotherapy. Scientific research shows that sea buckthorn berry has the chemical makeup necessary to help skin heal from trauma and injury. Body tissues, whether the skin on the outside or the tissues that make up the less visible parts of the body, are made up of dozens of building blocks. If some of those crucial building blocks are missing, tissue either does not heal, or heals slowly and ineffectively. Sea buckthorn contains a host of these vital foundation builders to support healthy skin, including vitamins C, A, several B vitamins, E, K, P, F, as well as omega-7, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and sodium.
The berries we sell at the coop were harvested by WOG at Farm 49 in Boulder County, grown by Nadia Artman, a native of Russia. As a flavoring, they are used in kombucha, aquavit, mead, and more. The berries can added to smoothies, juiced, sprinkled on yogurt/ice cream/granola, or made into jam. Nadia makes a sorbet with her sea buckthorn and honey.
Long before helping to start the coop, I discovered sea buckthorn as a juice, but after the health & beauty industry started using it, the juice disappeared from store shelves. Since picking them at Nadia's farm, I've been eating them one by one right out of the freezer - two heaping tablespoons per day. I chew the seed carefully to get the oil out. After I got used to the extreme tartness, they taste like candy to me.
We will try to keep the sea buckthorn in stock from now until January.