Scientists say that a superfood berry was widely consumed by Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army as they set out to conquer the known world in the 4th century BC.
The orange fruit, hippophaes, otherwise known as the sea buckthorns, was a regular item in the army’s staple.
Scientists say that hippophaes contains 192 vitamins which are all absorbable by the body.
Ancient Greeks had actually noticed that sick or wounded horses would heal when chewing the plant’s leafs.
In this observation lies the Greek etymology of the word hippophaes, which stands for “ippos” (horse in Greek) and “phaos” (eat).
After this discovery, hippophaes became an essential stimulant for warriors in all military campaigns, offering greater endurance and strength.
Sea buckthorns with the ranges of its eight subspecies can be found from the Atlantic coasts of Europe across to northwestern Mongolia and northwestern China.
It was therefore easily accessible to Alexander and his troops as they unleashed an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, creating one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India.
The plant is quite undemanding when it comes to location. It prefers chalky and sandy soil and can grow on rocky mountain ledges as well as on seaside dunes.
In modern day medicine, its berries are used for preventing infections, improving sight, and slowing the aging process.
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; and boosting immunity.
Scientists warn however that the appropriate dose of sea buckthorn depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions.
At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for sea buckthorn. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important.