Among the top food stories topping the list of the last decade, spanning the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the present, is that of a golden orange fruit with a harsh apricot flavor. Its Latin binomial throughout the world is Hippophae rhamnoides (sand thorn). But it goes by a wide variety of names depending, of course, on where it is grown and used geographically, as the short list below indicates.
GERMAN Sanddorn (sandthorn)
ENGLISH. sea buckthorn
HUNGARIAN Homokt screws
SPAIN Buckthorn / Olivella spinosa
INDIA Jadu-paudha (magic plant)
As can be seen, it is in extensive use in much of Europe and Asia. Its history is somewhat old and goes back several centuries. For our purposes here, we will use the name sandthorn by which the fruit is commonly known in much of Europe.
An ancient remedy
According to Eastern history, the Chinese were the first culture to use this berry as a remedy. More than a thousand years ago, it was recorded in Yue Wang Yao then of the Tang dynasty and in Sibu Yidian, whose writing was completed in the 8th century.
For those uninitiated in Eastern medicine, Sibu Yidian is the classic Tibetan medical book which is in four voluminous volumes and consists of a total of 158 chapters. Thirty chapters deal with sandstone medicines. They mention pharmacological effects by inducing expectoration of phlegm (a disgusting topic in itself) by opening inhibited lung energy, dispersing dampness, toning YIN and strengthening YANG. By doing so, the entire respiratory system benefits and revitalizes. More than sixty entries refer to its ability to strengthen the spleen and stomach, promote blood circulation, and remove old and stagnant blood. There are some 84 sandstone recipes, which come in the form of seven different preparations: decoction, powder, pill, medicinal extract, tincture, ash, and, believe it or not, shortbread!
In the 18th century, Sibu Yidian was translated into Mongolian, and from there into various European languages for evaluation and commentary. In 1903, Sibu Yidian was published in the Cyrillic alphabet in Saint Petersburg, where it became a favorite subject of study for many Russian scientists. In 1952, Xu Zhonghu, an associate professor at the Sichuan Medical College in mainland China, rediscovered the sandthorn in Tibet. After this, his school took the lead in the medicinal preparation of the berry, and Mr. Xu wrote an academic thesis on it. It was titled The Preliminary Research on the Fruit Juice of Seabuckthorn (another name by which it is known) and was published in 1956. In 1977, the berry was listed in the official Chinese Pharmacopoeia for the first time.
A cocktail of ingredients
Plant taxonomists are still unsure whether to call the sandthorn a shrub or a tree, because “the distinction between the two forms…is in many cases unclear.” The dark color varies from white to black or brown to gray. A distinguishing feature for which H. rhamnoides is known is its “abundance of spines”5, or in the more familiar parlance of berry pickers as the “ouch factor!” What makes this berry the most popular in the world right now is its “unique composition” of numerous nutrients that one scientific source has correctly described as a “cocktail of combined components usually only found separately” in many other sources of foods.6 Various sources have placed their combined bioactive substances at 190 for the berries, of which 106 are found in the oil alone.
Based on these facts alone, the hawthorn berry leaves other exotic fruits such as mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), açai (Euterpe oleraceae), goji (lycium babarum), and noni (Morinda citrifolia) eating dust as it blazes its own trail of top nutrition around the world. world. When compared to them, Sandthorn Berry is the Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion in terms of his extremely high nutritional values, knocking out the others ‘cold as a mackerel’ in the marketing ring of the competition.
Show me yours and I’ll show you mine
The many makers of these other exotic fruit juices have a selfish mindset when it comes to bragging about what’s in their particular flagship ingredients. The big dispute between all of them is usually about antioxidants, as in “mine is bigger than yours” regarding the amounts that each supposedly contains.
Antioxidants are the latest buzzword in nutritional science these days, because they help maintain a balance in free radical formation within the body. Free radicals are necessary to sustain life, strange as it may seem to some, but they can also end up destroying life itself if they get out of control. In fact, we couldn’t exist without these electron-starved scavenger molecules, which are the byproducts of burning oxygen in our cells. But at the same time, as a growing body of scientific research has discovered, they can also cause us to age faster, ache in many places, and even die, starting gradually at the cellular level and eventually proceeding from there to the vital organs and master glands. . Think of them as sharks flying madly through the cellular seas in each of us, ripping and tearing at our molecules like sharks in a feeding frenzy when they get out of hand. They’ve been involved in everything from Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, and cataracts to dandruff, Down syndrome, emphysema, and hangovers, not to mention heart disease, paralysis, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, and accidents. cerebrovascular.
But the cavalry to the rescue is antioxidants, “one of nature’s fiercest protection systems” (as two Chicago Tribune Science writers so aptly put it years ago). This army of helpful chemicals found in nature degrades, neutralizes, and detoxifies free radicals. It is because of these many forms of antioxidants that our cells frequently repair themselves. Free radicals are produced when molecules break apart and lose electrical balance. In chemical terms, they are molecules with unpaired electrons; In short, they are confused particles that have lost their soulmates.
Electrons: electrically charged particles that revolve around all atoms and molecules, normally orbiting in pairs. But when the body breaks down an oxygen atom as it produces energy, the reaction removes an electron. That leaves an unpaired electron, in other words, a free radical. The damaged molecule desperately searches for another electron with which to cohabit and become whole again.
The only way it can do that is by stealing an electron from somewhere else, thus throwing another molecule out of whack. This unpleasant process continues to cause a chain reaction. Finally, two free radicals fuse and form a stable molecule. But before that happens, countless erratic electrons collide in search of a mate, causing incredible molecular chaos. In their ‘feeding frenzies’, these molecular sharks exploit the fragile balance of cells. They break the intricate process in which messages from genes are transcribed into proteins. They destroy enzymes and other molecules. Additional free radical food sources include refrigerated leftovers that contain fats and oils and cheeseburgers and French fries.
The obvious solution is to incorporate things into the diet on a daily basis that are rich in antioxidants. This is where the hawthorn berry comes into play. It is intensely rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids, fat-soluble pigments found in dark green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as avocados, carrots, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, paprika, pineapples, pumpkins, rose hips, sweet potatoes, strawberries . , tomatoes and watermelon, among others. To date, some 600 carotenoids have been identified from natural sources, of which 39 have been isolated from hawthorn fruits. The average carotenoid content per 100 grams of sandthorn berry is 950 milligrams, most of which is found in the fruit’s membranes and its fleshy mesocarp. This is by far more than is found in some of the exotic fruits mentioned above.
Carotenoids protect cells and tissues from the damaging effects induced by free radicals and singlet oxygen. They improve the functions of the immune system, protect against sunburn, inhibit the development of certain types of tumors, and prevent the oxidation of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and coronary heart disease.
In terms of everything else they do for the human body, antioxidants provide a kind of “mental health” stability to the radicals of the schizophrenia tree. And they are most abundant in hawthorn berries. Show me your exotic fruit antioxidants and I’ll gladly show you mine from sandthorn, they’re bigger, better and more beautiful by far! Which makes Snadthorn Berry and AlpineV ‘very good for you’!