Humans have been using sea-buckthorn for at least 12 centuries. The Tibetan medical classic, the Rgyud bzi ("The Four Tantras"), attributed to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), lists 84 prescriptions for the preparation of sea-buckthorn medicines.

Seabuckthorn River - Home Page PictureThe ancient Greeks named the plant Hippophaë "glittering horse", its leaves were part of the diet for racing horses, and they also believed that horses became plump and healthy when maintained on pastures with these trees.

According to another legend, sea-buckthorn leaves were one of the preferred foods of the Pegasus (flying horse). The plant was also widely used as a folk medicine in the Roman Empire, Mongolia and Russia.

Ghenghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, one of the largest empires in the 13th century, relied on three treasures: well organised armies, strict discipline and sea-buckthorn. It was believed that sea-buckthorn oil made Ghenghis Khan's soldiers stronger and much more agile than those of his enemies.

However, it is only in recent decades that people have had a better understanding of sea-buckthorn. The scholars who are engaged in scientific research on sea-buckthorn in various countries have "re-discovered" its important value to humans by carrying out a large number of scientific experiments. Russian and Chinese scientists particularly have made a considerable contribution to the research and development of sea-buckthorn.

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