What Is Sea Buckthorn And What Can I Do With It?


What Is Sea Buckthorn And What Can I Do With It?

Originally posted by Robin Triskele

Gorgeous seabuckthorn, with its glorious thin silvery green leaves and plump, juicy bright orange berries… it definitely stands out amongst the rest. The seabuckthorn is hailed as natures most balanced fruit and is well known for being an omega powerhouse, containing omega 3,6,7 and 9.  It is used extensively in beauty products and medicinally.

Today I have  a recipe for vinegar to integrate into my kitchen as well as my medicine cabinet. Infused vinegar is a fantastic way to preserve the medicinal properties, vitamins and minerals of herbs and berries. Apple cider vinegar is a prime example.Not only can you use it in salads but you can also have it  in acup of water daily as a general tonic….

Sea Buckthorn and Rosemary Vinegar




  • 2 cups Sea Buckthorn berries
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Few sprigs Rosemary
  • Quart Jar


Remove berries from the branch carefully, and remember….this plant is called the seabuckTHORN for a reason, the thorns are very thick and will cause a serious ouch! Rinse the berries well and allow to dry overnight to remove the risk of water in your vinegar which can sometimes cloud or cause bacteria. Place the berries into a sterilized jar with the sprigs of Rosemary ( hint: bruising the herb will speed the time for the vinegar to mature).

I usually use a quart jar… and sometimes double or triple the recipe depending on my harvest, as I often make many smaller bottles of the finished vinegar for gifts, they are a gorgeous colour and look fantastic once bottled. Gently heat the vinegar , remove just before boiling and let cool slightly. Pour the warm vinegar into the jar to the top and place the lid on. Be sure to use a plastic lid or seal as opposed to a metal one, vinegar will corrode the lid and cause rust and possible contamination. Place in a dark cupboard for 3-4 weeks to let the flavor mature. Remove the jar from the cupboard and strain your vinegar, then place into bottles for future use.
I use these quite often for pressies and gift baskets! Just add a few berries (I always forage extra for winter tea! ),  add a long sprig of Rosemary, and VOILA, a gourmet gift for any occasion that never fails to impress.

This vinegar is healthy and delicious, so use freely on salads or as a tonic to benefit from the medicinal properties.

Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn

seabuckthorn250Prized and by the Tibetans for over 13 centuries , it is called the‘Holy Fruit of the Himalayas’.
Seabuckthorn is rich in both macronutrients and micronutrients as it containsvitamins B1, B2, folic acid, C, E, beta-carotene (provitamin A), and K. The berry also has a huge amount of naturally occurringantioxidants including polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, phytosterols and tocopherols

Seabuckthorn hosts a plethora of health benefits to includecardiovascular health, anticancer, pain relief, tissue regeneration, and skin health.  It is a very powerful anti-inflammatory as it is well known to help rheumatism, and has proven very beneficial in cancer prevention and treatment.

The seabuckthorn has a very high vitamin C content – and averages 10-15 times more than oranges, making the fruit one of the most enriched plant sources of vitamin C.
Sea buckthorn leaves are also used to make a mild tasting tea similar to green tea and contain high amounts of beta carotene and antioxidants. The oil and leaves are added to skin care products for hydration, soothing inflammation and overall nourishment.

As if you weren’t convinced yet, Sea buckthorn is actually good for the environment too! It’s a sustainable plant that helps fight soil erosion and is being used in parts of the world to provide good oxygen to the environment, keep the land intact and it plays an integral role in balancing the ecosystem.

Have you ever used, or do you use, seabuckthorn?  We’d love to know how you use it – leave us a comment!


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52 thoughts on “What Is Sea Buckthorn And What Can I Do With It?”

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I love Sea Buckthorn berries. I like the flavour very much, especially in making smoothies, baking pies, etc. Since the omega fats are in the berry itselves, will they have the same healthy impact on the skin when you only eat them compared to applying the oil or the berry on the skin itselves.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Kind regards,
    Nanne Nicolai

    • Hello Nanne,

      Great question! Yes, you do get benefits from taking the berry internally in food. This is the same sort of concept as eating fish to up your omega intake. If you want to boost your results even more you can apply oil to the skin and continue to eat sea buckthorn in your daily diet. Sea buckthorn berries are very good for you with vitamins B1, B2, folic acid, C, E, beta-carotene (provitamin A), and K. It contains carotenoids, flavonoids, phenols, terpenes and lots more. When you consume sea buckthorn oil internally or use it on your skin, it is a concentrated amount of these vitamins and nutrients but eating the berries are a great way to get all the vitamins too.

      It’s so cool that you have access to fresh berries to make into your food on a regular basis! The berries aren’t that easy to find in all parts of the world.

      Thanks for asking!

    • Hi Jamie,

      Yes, people do use the leaves for tea. We have seen people add crushed leaves to homemade soap as well because they are exfoliating as well as theraputic for the skin. The key is to make sure the leaves are dried first. The leaves of the sea buckthorn are extremely nutritious. Here is a link to an article showing some of the great nutritional content of sea buckthorn leaves. I hope that helps!

      Thanks for your great question.

    • I have grown several varieties of bush sea buckthorn here on the sand dunes of West Cornwall U.K. for a number of years together with a male and female Himalayan Tree Buckthorn ( H. Salicifolia ) which I planted 25yrs ago and have
      attained a height of 50ft. I make tea from the male by cutting back the prolific growth in summer drying and grinding and combine the berries with the juice of apples and also grapes while using berries from the tree to add to cereals each morning. Imagine how I felt when I discovered the latest research online just a year ago. This latest relatively unknown member of the group is predicted to have enormous potential. go to Hippophae Salicifolia D Don – A Plant With Multifarious Benefits on the internet. This is an article from the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

  2. I’m new to using sea buckthorn and recently ordered a small amount of the dried berries to see what it tastes like and what’s it’s all about. I see you noted earlier the dried form is not optimal but does it still have some nutritive qualities? Can you cook with them?? I’m going to try making an elderberry syrup with those dried berries and wondered if it was good, bad or indifferent to add some of the sea buckthorn berries in the mixture? THANKS!

    • Hello,

      Sea buckthorn is a very popular ingredient for foods in many countries. They are very tart tasting, almost bitter, so try to keep that in mind when cooking with the berries. It could work with your recipe but it might not, it really depends on what flavor you are going for! Do some tasting before committing it to your whole recipe.

      Sea buckthorn berries also have the same nutritional properties as an oil supplement but in less concentrated amounts. Enjoy and good luck on your new recipe!

  3. Can any one send me the authentic health and side effects of the Himalayan berry.What is its role in oral cancer treatment.

    • Hello,

      Many cancer patients use sbt oil in helping to recover from chemo. It actually has anti-radiation properties that can help the body heal. Also, sbt is known to help boost immunity, which is very important to help in the recovery from cancer treatments.

      Here is an article that talks about some of the general benefits of sbt.


  4. I just realized I have the supplement that is in powder form in a capsule/300 mg. will this provide the same dry mouth benefits as the the soft gel supplement with the liquid/oil ? Please advise as I want to use what will be effective. Thanks.

    • Hello,

      We typically do not recommend the powder form of sea buckthorn. When they process the product to turn it into powder, they have to use very high temperatures, which cause the sea buckthorn to lose a lot of it’s vitamins and nutrients. Often, the powder is a by product of other forms of processing of the sea buckthorn plant.
      For dry conditions especially, you should be taking an oil based supplement. The omegas are the most important part of the moisturization of your cells and usually there are little to no omegas left in a dry powder form of sea buckthorn.
      There are still some nutritional benefits to a powder form of sea buckthorn but you should try to find an oil form to help with your condition.

      Good luck!

  5. Dear Sirs
    we are professional aesthetic company and now really interetsed in business and use of SBT on rejuvenate,
    just we want to know how we can buy Seeds of SBT or complete trees in DUBAI or ISTANBUL,even in IRAN,
    please help us and give us idea to make PLant and produce oil

    bets regards
    Dr ALi Parsa

    • Hello,

      We would suggest purchasing already existing plants because it takes 3 or 4 years for a sbt tree to produce fruit. If you are trying to grow the plants from seed, you could have a very long road ahead of you! There are suppliers that you can purchase male and female baby trees from and they would be able to guide you in the actual growing of the plants. We don’t know of specific sellers in your region but we are aware that Sea buckthorn grows naturally in areas of Pakistan, Turkey and Kazakhstan.

      It may be more beneficial for you to find a grower who specializes in growing sea buckthorn who has their own crop. That way you can simply buy the fruit and focus on creating a great final product, the oil, since that is what you seem the most interested in.

      Hope that helps and thanks for your great question!

  6. Planted 13 SBTs 3 years ago, and have just started harvesting the orange berries on some of the plants (it is July), and some plants still have very green berries.. Many squish when picking them and some seem fermented.(Read somewhere that birds have been seen drunk on the fermented berries). I want to know the best way to juice them. I have a steam juicer, and that would seem easiest as the juice is preserved for long-term storage this way. I read in one review of a steam juicer not to juice sea buckthorns this way as they end up smelling like “vomit.” Another online post noted that cooking with SBT berries produces a “whole house smells like sick.” smell, but does not enter into the final product. So, I’m a bit reluctant to use my steam juicer – at the very least, indoors! Wondering if the bad smell concern is a “red herring.” (I realize that steam juicing may remove some nutritional value, but so will any cooking of the berries). I also have a centrifugal juice extractor which would not heat the berries as much to make juice, but if I want to can the juice I would still have to process it in a hot water bath. Looking for some advice.
    Also, I have grown a miracle berry plant; it produces berries that for an hour or so after eating make sour things taste sweet. I’m wondering if this would make an acceptable substitute for all the sugar many drink recipes call for – just eat a miracle berry before drinking a SBT drink.
    Finally, one of the medical websites noted that SBT berries may interfere with some medications, and may thin blood, so people on blood thinner meds should be aware of this. Any thoughts. Appreciate your website on this amazing berry.

    • Hi Curt,

      How lucky you are to have your very own SBT trees! We don’t have too much experience with juicing our own SBT, but found this online book that may give you a lot more guidance than we can.

      Yes, if you heat the berries too much they will lose nutritional value. Sounds like your centrifuge might be a better option since you won’t need to heat them as much. If you have a high power blender, it may be better to make a raw puree. That way you won’t need to heat them. Since you have a juicer you can juice some oranges to mix with your puree. Even then you may need to add a bit of sugar because SBT juice is incredibly sour and does have quite an odor. And of course, if you need to use your steam juicer, process them outdoors if you can, because they do stink. Sounds like a great experiment to try with your miracle berry! Let us know how that works for you. It would be great if you didn’t have to add anything to make it palatable.

      This is the reason why we advise consumers who do not have access to sea buckthorn berries like you, not to buy the juice in stores. It’s usually so processed and full of sugar that it loses all of it’s nutritional value. I’m sure your batch with be great, since it’s so fresh!

      Yes, it is true that people who are on blood thinners should be aware that sea buckthorn can have a blood thinning effect. It shouldn’t be a concern for people who do not suffer from this condition. Definitely talk to your doctor if you suffer from this condition before drinking sea buckthorn, we aren’t sure what it could do for you.

      Good luck and let us know how it goes for you!

      Thanks for your great question.

    • i am processing the berries indoors at the moment, the house is very steamy with a wonderful orangy musky aroma, i like it.

  7. My SB trees produce red berries in late August. We are in west central Saskatchewan, Canada. Any idea what variety of trees we have?

    • Hello,

      Hm, that is an interesting question. Does the plant grow naturally or did you plant it? Are you able to take a photo and send it to Info@seabuckthorninsider.com ? It’s hard to say without seeing it. There are many plants that are in the buckthorn family that are related and grow berries but would not be considered sea buckthorn per se. Though there are many subspecies of hippophae rhamnoides and maybe yours is one of them. Send a picture and we should be able to help you identify it.


    • I planted a few sb about 3 years ago and they’re loaded with berries. I’m also in Sk. I didn’t realize there were different varieties of them. Trying to learn what to do with the berries. They are orange now.

  8. I have two SB plants when i bought them i thought i had bought two flowering almond bushes , However at last i found out that they are SB bushes i love them but do not know the best way to use them in receipes the branches are loaded with green and red berries can you advise please we are senior persons.Dorothy Rowan.Portland ontario Canada between Kingston and Ottawa.

  9. Thanks for your help the berries we have are the size of a cherry the greenish ones are tart to the taste how ever the leaves are more fuller than the ones you have shown me.I will keep looking as you say there are so many different types of bushes and trees and they are wonderful.Dorothy. Rowan.

  10. Hi, I have been collecting Sea Buckthorn berries and was wondering whether I should freeze them for use over the year. Do you think they would freeze well and still retain their nutritional qualities?

  11. Hello there,
    Very glad to have found this site!
    Just home from picking sbt berries for first time and wanting to freeze them for use over the winter…wondering what the best practices are for this?
    Do I let sit overnight in the fridge first? Are they to be washed before or after freezing?
    Do you freeze in container/baggies or first freeze in single layers on cookie sheets before bagging.
    Thanks very much!

    • Hi,

      It’s probably best to just freeze them. You should probably wash them first too. If you put them in a container of some kind that is likely the best way to store them.


    • Hello there,

      In terms of medicinal dosage, we aren’t quite sure of the exact amount. However we found this guide that will help you on your search. It seems that you can take the tea just like you would any other tea.

      Hope that helps!

    • Hi There,

      You could probably use them in homemade granola bars or trail-mix. If they are blendable you could add them to smoothies or juices as well.


  12. Hi,
    I purchased some frozen sea buckthorns in the US, grown in Poland. I added them to a rewarmed bowl of a vegetable bean soup, and thought that they added an interesting flavor that I liked. I went looking for recipes for adding the sea buckthorns to braised meat, or a veggie stew, thinking that this would be quite good. Do you have any experience?

    • I am stan and I squish berries in a cup with boiling water and add more water to drink before I eat in the morning and the pie is awsome

  13. I have pumpkin and sea buckthorn berry jam can I reboil to make chilli chutney…is this safe ..Thanks in advance

    • Hi Derek,

      We have had people tell us that it’s helped with asthma. However, we aren’t sure if it could help with COPD. Sorry, there doesn’t seem to be too much information on this subject yet.

      Thank you

  14. Are the frozen sbt that are sold in the US just as good as fresh sbt? Meaning, does the producer add presevatives, sugar? Thank you

  15. I’ve just foraged a load of sea buckthorn from the sand dunes in Southport UK . I spent last night getting berries off and juicing in a slow juicer macerator I have. Berries go in my cereal in the morning. I think I will freeze the juice in ice cube moulds to use on fish or instead of ;lemon juice in recipes. I don’t do sugar so am a bit restricted how I use them.

  16. Dear Sir/Madam

    For some years now I have used defrosted sea buckthorn berries everyday on my yogurt – I like the tartness of the berry and of course the health benefits – but I would very much like to know if it is possible to ferment defrosted sea buckthorn berries ? and if so can you provide me with a recipe ? I saw a research paper from Korea explaining how the lactobacillus gasseri in the berries have the ability to repress purine activation which is needed as an energy resource for replication of the corona virus.
    Kind regards


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