Indian Sea Buckthorn

  • Brahma Singh


The sea buckthorn (SBT; Hippophae rhamnoides) in the family Elaeagnaceae is a deciduous shrub with a vast area of natural growth in temperate regions of the world, mainly in Mongolia, China, Tibet, Russia, Canada, India, Pakistan, and Nepal. The ancient Greeks noticed that horses fed with the leaves and new branches of SBT exhibited shiny hair and skin and a significant visible gain in weight. This resulted in the naming of the genus Hippophae (from hippo [horse] and phaos [shine]) (Singh 2005).The most common species of the genus Hippophae is rhamnoides, which is known by various names, such as Siberian pineapple, sand thorn, sea berry, and sallow thorn. In India the importance and widespread occurrence of SBT has been documented, pioneered by the author, over the past 25 years, in the cold deserts of Ladakh (State of Jammu and Kashmir) and in Lahaul and Spiti (H P), where it is known by many local names, such as Sastalulu, Shangti, Dhurchuk, Chumma, Tarwaa, Sirmaa, Chhurmak, and Leh berry. On September 23, 2015, a renowned Indian yoga guru, Baba Ram Deo of Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, named the plant Brahmaphal, in a transfer of technology function at the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), Leh (Jammu and Kashmir), acknowledging the contribution of the author in finding this plant in Ladakh, an area known as a barren cold desert, and popularizing the plant in scientific and business communities in India. Hence, the Hindi name for SBT is also given as Brahmaphal. The author has seen it growing wild in other Indian Himalayan states such as Uttarakhand, Sikkim, West Bengal (Darjeeling hills), and Arunachal Pradesh. It mostly grows wild along river beds or wherever there are small water streams and even irrigation channels. Sea buckthorn is one of the future crops. The shrub has a remarkable lifespan of more than 100–150 years, and it has a number of eco-environmental and commercial benefits (Rana and Verma 2011).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brahma Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Former Director, Life SciencesDefence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)New DelhiIndia

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