Sea-buckthorn Trees

Originally published 11/12/13 by Liliana Usvat


Sea Buckthorn plants are incredibly important natural resources in the mountainous regions of China and Russia, and the Canadian prairies. The plant will grow naturally in both sandy, and clay soils. In fact the plant will thrive in nearly any soil type, but it is extremely intolerant of shady planting sites. The shrubs themselves are also very cold-hardy. The plants can withstand winter temperatures of up to -40 degrees Celsius (-43 degress F). It is also commonly found growing at high altitudes of 4000 to 14000 feet.

It is commonly planted to prevent soil erosion, but also serves as an economic resource for food and medicine products.

Legends History and Facts


  • Legends date back to ancient Greece about the potency of the sea-buckthorns berry as an inside-out body healer and the mythical Pegasus was said to have eaten the berries to gain the power to fly.
  • Speculation exists that points to Genghis Khan feading his horse-driven army sea buckthorn in its incredibly successful conquest that, at its peak, spanned 16% of the Earth’s total land area.
  • More recently, sea buckthorn was a sponsored drink at the Beijing Olympics and also
  • A tool used by Russian Cosmonauts for nutrition and radiation protection in space.

Planting Conditions


  • In central Europe and Asia it occurs as a subalpine shrub above tree line in mountains, and other sunny areas such as river banks.
  • They are tolerant of salt in the air and soil, but demand full sunlight for good growth and do not tolerate shady conditions near larger trees.
  • They typically grow in dry, sandy areas.
  • In western Europe, it is largely confined to sea coasts where salt spray off the seaprevents other larger plants from out-competing it, but in central Asia it is more widespread in dry semi-desert sites where other plants cannot survive the dry conditions.
  • The plant is exploited for soil and water conservation purposes.
  • Sea-buckthorn is also a popular garden and landscaping shrub with an aggressive basal shoot system used for barrier hedges and windbreaks, and to stabilize riverbanks and steep slopes
  • The plant is the regional flora of the Finnish region of Satakunta.
  • Sea-buckthorn was once distributed free of charge to Canadian prairie farmers by PFRA (The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration) to be used in shelter belts

Traditional medicine


Vitamin C – Sea Buckthorn Contains 10 x Vit C as Found in Oranges  360-2500 mg/100g of berries. Sea Buckthorn oil contains more than 10 times the amount of Vitamin C than is found in oranges. It provides a natural and potent source of anti-oxidants that benefit our skin by protecting the cell walls and DNA structure against the damage caused by dietary and environmental free radicals – pollution and sun damage. Also boosts the production of collagen, improves skin texture & pigment distribution. Acts as an anti inflammatory.

Different parts of sea-buckthorn have been used as traditional therapies for diseases.

Bark and leaves have been used for treating diarrhea and dermatological disorders. Berry oil, taken either orally or applied topically, is believed to be a skin softener.

In Indian, Chinese and Tibetan medicines, sea-buckthorn fruit may be added to medications in belief it affects pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood or metabolic disorders. Basic research using leaf extracts as a model of tea consumption showed potential anti-obesity properties

It has been proved by topical application that it has significant curative effects on skin cancer. It has a good anti-inflammation effect similar to hydrocortisone and does not have any side effects of cortisone drugs.

Sea buckthorn leaves and flowers are used for treating arthritis, gastrointestinal ulcers, gout, and skin rashes caused by infectious diseases such as measles. A tea containing sea buckthorn leaves is used as a source of vitamins, antioxidants, protein building blocks (amino acids), fatty acids and minerals; for improving blood pressure and lowering cholesterol; preventing and controlling blood vessel diseases; andboosting immunity.

Sea buckthorn berries are used for preventing infections, improving sight, and slowing the aging process.

Some people apply sea buckthorn berries, berry concentrate, and berry or seed oil directly to the skin for preventing sunburn; for treating radiation damage from x-raysand sunburns; for healing wounds including bedsores, burns, and cuts; for acne, dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, skin ulcers, and skin color changes after giving birth; and for protecting mucus membranes.

Sea buckthorn contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and other active ingredients. It  have some positive influnce against stomach and intestinal ulcers, and heartburn symptoms.

In foods, sea buckthorn berries are used to make jellies, juices, purees, and sauces.


Hippophae, the sea-buckthorns, are deciduous shrubs in the family Elaeagnaceae.  It is also referred to as sandthorn, sallowthorn, or seaberry.

The shrubs reach 0.5–6 metres (1.6–20 ft) tall, rarely up to 10 metres (33 ft) in central Asia. The leaf arrangement can be alternate, or opposite.

Common sea-buckthorn has branches that are dense and stiff, and very thorny. The leaves are a distinct pale silvery-green, lanceolate, 3–8 centimetres (1.2–3.1 in) long and less than 7 millimetres (0.28 in) broad. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The male produces brownish flowers which produce wind-distributed pollen. The female plants produce orange berry-like fruit 6–9 millimetres (0.24–0.35 in) in diameter, soft, juicy and rich in oils. The roots distribute rapidly and extensively, providing a non-leguminous nitrogen fixation role in surrounding soils.



Over the past 20 years, experimental crops have been grown in the United States, one in Nevada and one in Arizona, and in several provinces of Canada

Growing Sea Buckthorn

Sea buckthorn is very resistant to frost injury, making it more suitable for planting in a location in your orchard that is not suitable for other crops.  If ample land is available, a north or north east slope is still preferential.  The plant prefers well drained loam soils with high organic matter.  Drainage is important because areas where water pools will drown the roots.  The plants are very salt tolerant and adaptable to a wide range of soil pH.

Prior to actual planting the site should be kept free of weeds for a year to reduce subsequent perennial weed growth.



Sea buckthorn is planted much like any other plant, with seeds or cuttings. It’s important to prune and maintain the plant without letting it grow completely wild due to the difficult harvesting process.

If left alone the plant can grow quite large and is full of thorns and delicate berries. It’s best to prune it on a regular basis and train it in a manageable growth pattern for future harvesting.

Fortunately, the plant is very hardy and you need not worry about high heat or blistering colds.

The trees should be planted in rows 13 feet (4m) between rows and 3 feet (1m) between trees within the rows. The plants are dioecious, meaning there are both male and female plants.  Ideally Male plants must be spread evenly throughout the female plants at 7% to 12% of the total population.  The male and female plants are indistinguishable as seedlings so it is preferable to purchase cloned cultivars and males in an dedicated orchard system.

Planting from seeds

  • These stratified Sea buckthorn seeds can be seeded indoors in pots in January or early February in vermiculite/peat moss mixture (40:60).  The containers are placed in a greenhouse with a temperature range between 25-27C and a 70-90% relative humidity.
  • Germination will occur in @10 days.
  • A moderate amount of air circulation is recommended.  Seedlings should be acclimated (hardened off)before transplanting in the spring.
  • One seedling per pot should be allowed to grow for 3 months before transplantation to the field in early May.
  • In light sandy soil the root is buried 6-8 cm deep to encourage the development of another tier of roots and the new seedlings should be watered as required.
  • High density planting in the field can be 1M x 1M.  More commonly the rows are planted with plants 1M apart and 4M between rows.

How to prepare the crust and branches of buckthorn

Powder – is obtained from the bark left to dry for two weeks and then ground with an electric coffee grinder . Obtained as a whitish-gray powder with special healing virtues of which is given half a teaspoon four times a day.
Tincture – seven tablespoons of powdered bark is put into a 250 ml bottle Alcohol 70-80 degrees. Let it soak for 15 days, stirring often, then strain . Do this 3 times a day a teaspoon diluted in 100 ml water. Externally, depending on tolerance dilute and apply on wounds that scar .
Decoct – is made from unpeeled branches and leaves any remaining . Two hands of bark of buckthorn , chopped in advance , leave a pint of water over night when filter. Macerate obtained is put aside , and the branches are chopped and cook for twenty minutes over low heat , then filter and let it cool . Finally , combine the two extracts , obtaining about three quarters of a liter of preparation that is consumed throughout the day .
Preparation disinfectant – Boil a handful of sea buckthorn branches , chopped in half a liter of vinegar on low heat for 10 minutes, then let cool and filter. Branches left after filtering burn completely , and the ash is combined with a bit of vinegar obtained previously , so as to form a paste , which is applied on the affected areas .

How do prepare the fruit of sea buckthorn

In place sea buckthorn honey syrup ,

Fresh juice is made from this fruit soon collected , washed with cold water and then crushed in blender or grinder . Obtain a thick juice , orange in color, which is consumed within 24 hours of preparation . 2-3 spoons to be taken four times a day , usually diluted with apple juice .
The syrup is prepared by mixing half a liter of juice with a half kg of honey. After homogenization , the mixture was kept in a well-stoppered bottle in a refrigerator , where resist a few months. Take each four to six tablespoons per day, lasting cures .

Dried fruit powder is obtained by grinding with electric coffee grinder dried fruit . Administer one teaspoon four times a day as fortified and remineralizing .
Sea buckthorn oil can be extracted only with special equipment .

Administer 30 drops three times a day, in the course of at least three weeks.

Internal use

Low immunity , susceptibility to infection – there will be a cure seabuckthorn juice , 3 tablespoons of the drink , four times daily , diluted with water or apple juice . This juice has powerful remineralizing effects and vitaminizante , helping the body fight disease . Moreover, sea buckthorn fruit has antibiotic properties , directly combating the bacterial infections .

Acute hepatitis , chronic hepatitis evolutionary cirrhosis in early stages – a great efficiency with the following preparation : a quart of decoction of bark , obtained above recipe , combine half a cup ( 100 ml ) of fresh juice seabuckthorn fruit . Result in a palatable drink very little , but antiviral effects , liver tonic and regenerative extraordinary . Drink two cups (about 400 ml ) of this mixture daily in the course of at least two months.

Adjuvant in influenza, bronchitis , pneumonia – 6 tablespoons taken daily buckthorn syrup on an empty stomach with water . It is a rapid immune stimulant , increases resistance to attacks of fever, promote healing .

Internal bleeding – as first aid until professional medical treatment , given two teaspoons of sea buckthorn bark powder on an empty stomach with water . It has astringent and healing extremely powerful .

Children rickety , dystrophic very susceptible to diseases – are given daily 6 teaspoons of mixture in equal parts of fruit juice with decoction of stems of buckthorn . Despite taste and remineralizing effects vitaminizante inequality. In Romanian folk medicine , it is further recommended weekly bath with decoction made ​​strains of underbrush .

Diseases of the spleen – combine some buckthorn bark tincture three sides by sea buckthorn juice . Obtain a low-alcohol preparation of which take one tablespoon four times a day, in the course of 60 days .

Male and female sterility , premature aging – is a cure with sea buckthorn oil , which is taking 30 drops , twice a day. It is a very strong fortified E ( vitamin youth and fertility ) and boosts hormonal activity , both women and men .

Depression, anxiety – it is a complete treatment seabuckthorn extract , obtained by combining in 2:1 proportion with decoction of the juice of sea buckthorn sea buckthorn . This preparation is rich in serotonin among others – a neurotransmitter that induces a state of calm, courage and optimism.

Adjuvant in various dermatoses – a cure is four – six weeks with sea buckthorn oil , which strongly stimulates trophic processes in the skin . Take 30-50 drops of sea buckthorn oil twice a day.

Diarrhea , dysentery – that emergency remedy , take 1-3 teaspoons of powdered bark of buckthorn . In the long run , good results are obtained by treatment with decoction of bark , from which I drink 3 cups a day. Has strong astringent and antibiotic ( neutralizes bacteria in the gut ) , is useful in the treatment of enteritis , colitis , as well as hemorrhagic cystitis .

Catina external treatments

Infectious eczema – applied on the affected disinfectant preparation obtained by combining vinegar buckthorn branches with the ash from burning them. Must apply twice daily until complete healing.

For skin protection against UV rays and cold – we recommend combining 50 drops of sea buckthorn oil with a tablespoon of ordinary ointment , cream obtaining an excellent protective virtues . In folk medicine , it is used a crude preparation , but amazingly good effects : three tablespoons of sea buckthorn fine powder , obtained by grinding the dried fruit , followed by a subsequent screening , combined with four tablespoons of butter and mix well until smooth. This grease is kept cool and apply whenever needed .

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21 thoughts on “Sea-buckthorn Trees”

  1. Hi there can you please help me in pointing me to a producer so i can buy three trees of seabuckthorn , your heap it will be appreciated.


  2. Hello!
    Do you know where in (northern) California I could find some trees to go forage sea buckthorn?
    We do not have a garden, so I cannot buy a tree 🙂
    THank you


    • Hi there,

      No, unfortunately we don’t! If there are any someone would have had to intentionally plant it as it’s not native to that area (but would definitely survive there).


  3. Hi, thanks for creating this article. We planted our first seabuckthorn trees last year and this year only had leaves on top half of tree. Any ideas?

    • Hello,

      We aren’t experts in sea buckthorn tree care. However, sea buckthorn trees should be pruned to encourage growth.

      Hope that helps.


    • Hi Liz,

      To learn more about growing sea buckthorn plants you can refer to this article. This site also a bit more about the temperatures that they plant can handle!

      Thank you,

  4. hello
    hope you are doing well
    i grown seabuckthorn seed in soil mixture peat mass/vermiculte/perlite with 3:1:1 ratio in room where humidity is 80-90% and temperature is 22-25oC.but it is not grow very well how much time they need a light either room light is ok or sunlight is necessary. can you give me some suggestions to grow seabuckthorn with newly seeds. i am thankful to you for this kindness. i am waiting your quick response.

  5. Hi. I was wondering if the text of this information was originally in Chinese? I work with colleagues in China and the English seems it was translated from another language. If a Chinese version is available, I’d like to be able to let my wife read it, since her English is not so good. Anyhow, we bought some property in northern Michigan and we’re planning to plant medicinal plants over the next few years. The Sea Buckhorn would be a good choice and I’d like my wife to better understand about the qualities of this plant.

  6. I really appreciate your information that bark from a sea buckthorn tree can help normalize bowel movements and treat skin conditions. My son and I both have deep cystic acne. It would be great to buy a sea buckthorn tree for our yard so we can enjoy a natural acne remedy.


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