Family:  Elaeagnaceae
Synonyms: Elaeagnus rhamnoides, Hippophae littoralis; Hippophae salicifolia sinensis; Rhamnoides hippophae.
Common Name: Sea Buckthorn
Local Name:Thermang (थेर्मंग

Thermang is a spiny, deciduous shrub or small tree, usually growing 1 to 15 metres tall. The Genus name Hippophae of Thermang is   derived from two Latin words ‘Hippo’ means Horse and ‘Phae’ means to shine.  It can tolerate diverse climatic conditions and even grow well in harsh cold deserts. Although Thermang grows easily in new habitat but shows fairly slow growth.

It can equally grow well in very sandy as well as in fairly wet soil but require a sunny location. So,  we can find Thermang  growing perfectly in variety of habitats, like river banks and terraces, dry river beds, forest margins, thickets on mountain slopes, moraines and meadows. Most commonly it isseen growing near the water bodies Thermang is a very cold-hardy plant that can tolerate temperatures down to around -20 to -–45 °c. It is found growing upto an altitude of 2000-4,200 metres in Western Himalayas.  Its plant can be further propagated by either seeds, stem cuttings or suckers.

Thermang  growing wild

Thermang is rich source of nutrients especially Vitamin C, B & E, so it is  highly valued for its antioxidant, cardio protective, antiatherogenic, ant- diabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-carcinogenic, immunomodulatory, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and vasorelaxant effects 1.  Its fruits and leaves are edible. Fruits are eaten both raw and cooked. Being tangy and rich in Vitamin C they are increasingly used in making fruit juices, smoothies, pulp, tea, jam, wine and various cooked dishes of Western Himalayas as a souring agent. Raw fruits are an excellent addition to sprouts, salad etc. Leaves and twigs both fresh and dried  are taken in tea to harness the rich medicinal value of this plant.

Thermang in natural habitat

Thermang also offers a wide range of uses other than food like it is used as a source of medicine, oil, fuel, fodder, timber and materials for both local personal and commercial uses. Itis an easy source of income for local people. Both raw and processed fruits and dried leaves of this plant has market value and are sold at a high rate in local, national and International markets.

Thermang is a well-recognized multipurpose plant and a vital natural resource for the people of cold desert region 0f Western Himalayas. Earlier it was an ordinary useless and thorny bush for the local community which they wanted to eradicate from the fringes of their cultivated land and even from nearby forests.  Only very few knowledgeable people used to harvest  Thermang  from natural habitat but after realizing its medicinal, nutritive, social and economic potential it is now  widely grown as a soil stabilizer, food, ornamental and hedge plant near to houses, restaurants and margins of cultivated land for its multifarious uses.

Thermang Plant:

Shrubs or small trees, 3 to 4 m tall.

Roots are strong and well organised.

Leaves are simple silver-gray, narrow lanceolate and alternate.

Thermang in fruiting

Branches are covered with numerous rigid thorns

Thermang is dioecious and anemophilous. Male plants have flower buds × 2–3 bigger than female plants.

Fruit berries. Berries are oval shaped; 6–9 mm long dark yellow, orange or red when ripe,.

Seed wrapped in soft, juicy and fleshy tissue – the pulp. The seed is 2.8 to 4.2 mm long, dark brown, ellipse-shaped and glossy on the surface.

Thermang leaves can be collected from early spring to beginning of autumn season of the year while edible fruits can be collected from late rainy to early autumn period of the year. Fruits need to be harvested sustainably by either habitat rotation or by keeping some fruits on the parent plant to ensure sustainable development.

Thermang ripe fruits

Edible Uses:

Fruits, leaves and tender twigs of Thermang are mainly eaten. Fruits being string acidulated and aromatic are taken both raw and cooked. Raw they make an excellent addition to sprouts, salads, chutney, desserts, pulp, tea, jam and wine etc. As cooked they are in addition to various traditional sour dishes of Western Himalayas. Most commonly refreshing juice is extracted from fruits and also preserved for off season. Tender twigs and leaves of Thermang are used in tea.



2 cups of sprouted black gram and moong beans;1 finely chopped small or medium sized onion,1 finely chopped  small sized  beetroot,1 finely chopped small sized  apple; ½ cup amount roasted peanuts; Thermang ripe fruits; 1 cup amount; rock salt or black salt as required


Rinse the sprouted black gram and moong beans in water. Use these either raw or steam cooked. Mix all the ingredients except the salt and lemon juice in a bowl. Season with salt.



To prepare chutney take 100 gm chopped mint leaves, 50 -100gm Thermang fruits, 5-6 green chillies, 20 gm coriander leaves/ curry leaves, 2-3 onions, and 1table tablespoon amount ginger.


Grind all above ingredients in a mixer grinder and add salt according to taste. Now chutney is ready to serve.



Ripe fruits of Thermangand other chopped fruits acc.  to taste,1/2kg; curd, 1kg; sweetener like honey/ sugar/ condensed milk, 1-3 teaspoons; cardamom powder,1/4 teaspoon; black salt according to taste.


Take curd in a bowl. Add to it sweetener according to choice and stir well. Add cardamom powder, black salt, ache fruits and other chopped fruits according to preference. Mix well and serve.

Refreshing summer drink;


Thermang fresh fruits, 250g; cold water, 2 glasses; mint leaves, 5-8; sugar/honey/natural sweetener according to taste.


Take Thermang fruits and mint leaves in a blender and add to it two small size water glasses, mix it well and pour in a container. Dilute the extract with water and then add sugar/honey/natural sweetener acc. to taste, stir well and serve.

Jam, pulp and Juice:


Thermang fresh fruits, 2kg; sugar, 300g-500g, salt, 1/2 teaspoon; KMS (Potassium meta Sulphate) or Sodium Benzoate powder, 1 teaspoon.



 Wash fruits with fresh water and put them in a pan. Add salt and 1 glass of water to it and keep for  20 minutes. Now crush fruits to separate juice from seeds and pulp. Juice is extracted with the help of a sieve. The residue (seeds and pulp) is sun dried and used for making tea. Add sugar to the juice and boil till the formation of jam.  Keep jam in a cool place. After cooling add preservatives like KMS (Potassium meta Sulphate) or Sodium Benzoate powder. Place jam in sterilized ceramic jar or bottles. Jam prepared in this way can be stored up to 2 years


The residue (seeds and pulp) separated during jam making are sun dried for one week; it is locally called ‘Bangma’. and used for making tea.


Collect fresh fruits and wash thoroughly with running water. Put fruits in a pan and crush to separate juice from pulp and seeds. Extract the juice with the help of a sieve in a Jar. The seeds and pulps are separated and sun dried for making tea. Add sugar and KMS powder to juice and store in sterilized bottles.  Juice prepared in this manner can be preserved for at least two years.


Thermang fresh fruits, 10 kg; Yeast, 250–500 g.


Extract fruit juice in a pot and add yeast or locally amiable fermenting agent ‘Fab’ to it.  Sometimes some aromatic herbs like root powder of Angelica gluca are added to it for their medicinal benefits.Keep this mixture for fermentation for 4–6 months. The pot is covered with warm clothes during the fermentation period. The fermented juice is now distilled with the help of locally made distillation units. Sweet wine is obtained locally known as ‘Chang/lugri’. The distilled liquor, locally known as ‘Sara’ is stored in the sterilized bottles

Tea from fruits:


Water, 2 cup; Dried fruit pulp and seed residue (Bangma’.), 1 teaspoon; of a pinch of tea leaves powder; ginger and cardamom acc.  to taste;  sugar/honey/jiggery, 2 tea spoons or acc. to taste


To prepare fruit tea, boil water in a pan, add to it  Bangma, tea leaves powder, ginger. cardamom and sugar/honey/jaggery. Let it boil in low flame. Filter it with a sieve and serve.

Tea from leaves:


Milk, 1-2 cups; ginger piece,1/2″; cardamom,1; tea powder (chai patti),1- 2 teaspoons; water, 2 cup; sugar, 3 teaspoons., fresh or dry Thermang leaves,2- 4g.

Thermang  fresh leaves collected for making tea


Boil water in a saucepan, crush cardamom, ginger using mortar and pestle or grinder to a medium coarse powder, add to this boiling water crushed powder, Thermang leaves, sugar and tea powder and boil it for 3-4 minutes on medium flame. Add milk to it and boil it over medium flame for 6-7 minutes or until the bubbles start to rise. Strain tea in cups and serve with snacks.


Take fresh or dried 10 g Thermang  leaves  in 2 cups of water and boil in low flame till it reduces to I cup. Add one teaspoon of sugar or sweetener to it and serve.  This tea is generally taken for harnessing the medicinal benefits of Thermang . It is locally known as ‘Kaaru’.

Thermang  tea ready to serve

Nutritional value:

Thermang  above ground parts  leaves, twig and  fruits are all rich sources of nutrients and their  high nutrient profile can overcome nutrient deficiency if  constantly included in the food plate.


Vitamins Content (mg/g) in dry matter of extract Leaf ; B1 (thiamine) 0.19mg B2 (riboflavin) 0.21mg,  B3 (niacin) 0.14mg, B5 (pantothenic acid) 0.09mg,  B6 (pyridoxine) 0.22mg,  Folic acid 0.07mg 1


B1 (thiamine) 0.06mg, B2 (riboflavin) 0.05mg, B3 (Niacin)  0.29mg, B5 (Pantothenic acid) 0.08, B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.32,  B9 (Folic acid)0.9mg1.


100 g of berries provide vitamin C,  360 to 2500 mg several fold more than other fruits . The plant is a valuable source of the vitamin B group, mainly B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin) . Other vitamins are vitamins A and K, Minerals, K, Na, Mg, Ca, Fe, Zn, Se. The berries provide a good source of carotenoids, mainly ß-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. The saccharide content is also high. The most common carbohydrates are glucose, fructose, and xylose 2, 3,4,5,6.

Seek professional advice before treating this plant medicinally.

Medicinal Value:

Thermang is locally eaten to avoid common cold, fever, diabetes and cardiac disorder. Its fruit are taken as a tonic due to its rich nutrient and medicinal profile.  Recent studies shows that including this plant in food plate especially   leaves, twig and fruits boost immunity, increase anticancer activity and improve antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antineoplastic, immunomodulatory,  antimicrobial, hepatoprotective , gastroprotective, neurological effects . It is considered very effective to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease, digestive infection, liver cirrhosis and cancer 1. Thermang  is very effective in halting or reversing the growth of cancers 7.

The twigs and leaves contain 4 – 5% tannin 8. They are astringent and vermifuge 9.
The tender branches and leaves contain bio-active substances which are used to produce an oil that is quite distinct from the oil produced from the fruit8. This oil is used as an ointment for treating burns 7.
A high-quality medicinal oil is made from the fruit and used in the treatment of cardiac disorders, it is also said to be particularly effective when applied to the skin to heal burns, eczema and radiation injury, and is taken internally in the treatment of stomach and intestinal diseases 7,10,11. The juice is also a component of many vitamin-rich medicaments and cosmetic preparations such as face-creams and toothpastes. A decoction of the fruit has been used as a wash to treat skin irritation and eruptions 11.

Other Uses:

Plant is locally used as a source of fuel, fodder, charcoal, dye and oil. It is sometimes grown as hedge for demarcating boundaries and excluding animals. As Thermang has an extensive root system and suckers grow vigorously, it has been used to protect the soil against erosion. Its  roots also bear bulbils of dove egg size containing bacteria binding nitrogen 12 as well as other essential components in soil 13, so it is quite effective in recultivation or soil conservation schemes, especially on sandy soils14. Further the fibrous root and sucker in roots act as sand binder 15.
Because the plant grows quickly, even in very exposed conditions, and also adds nitrogen to the soil, it can be used as a pioneer species to help the re-establishment of woodland in difficult areas.

The seeds contain 12 – 13% of a slow-drying oil 8.

The vitamin-rich fruit juice is used cosmetically in face-masks etc 10.
Various parts of the plant (especially the fruit and the seed) are used as ingredients in commercial cosmetic preparations for purposes including antimicrobial, antioxidant, emollient, humectant skin conditioner 16.
A yellow dye is also obtained from the fruit, the stems, root and foliage 17
A blackish-brown dye is obtained from the young leaves and shoots17.

The heartwood is brownish-yellow; the sapwood is yellow. The wood is fine-grained, tough, rather hard, heavy, very durable. It is used for fine carpentry, ternary etc17.

Source of Income:

Thermang leaves and fruits both are easy source of income for local people, Fruits are sold both raw and processed. Raw they are sold at the price of Rs 200 to 400/kg in local market. Processed products like pulp (200 to 250/kg); juice (100-150/litter); jam (200-300/kg); wine, (300-400/kg) are sold to locals and the mountain lover tourists.  Acc. to local people selling pulp is most profitable followed by wine.  Thermang  being a  plant of cold climate offers many  advantages to the seller like it helps  in keeping  raw materials and products fresh for a longer time,   raw  fruits and processed items can even be stored without adequate storage facilities. This advantage further enables the manufacturer to sell their products in the market as and when there is high market demand.

Leaves are also dried and sold as tea leaves in local, national or International markets. For making tea leaves are generally collected from the male leaves, the disease free male leaves are collected and washed in running water. Female leaves are also being used for the purpose, but the biochemical constituents are comparatively lesser than male leaves 18. The leaves are dried under shade for a week. Dried leaves are sold at the price of Rs 500 to 800/kg. The people who know the importance of Thermang products, purchase raw fruits pulp, juice, tea (berries husk and dried leaf), wine, jam and dried leaves even without a brand name. Thus using Thermang can help to boost the health, immunity and prosperity of the local community.


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2.     Bal LM, Meda V, Naik SN, Satya S 2011: Sea buckthorn berries: A potential source of valuable nutrients for nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals. Food Res Int 44: 1718-1727

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4.     Michel T, Destandau E, Le Floch G, Lucchesi ME, Elfakir C 2012: Antimicrobial, antioxidant and phytochemical investigations of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) leaf, stem, root and seed. Food Chem 131: 754-760

5.     Bekker NP, Glushenkova AI 2001: Components of certain species of the Elaeagnaceae family. Chem Nat Compd 37: 97-116.

6.     Fatima T, Snyder CL, Schroender WR, Cram D, Datla R, Wishart D, Weselake RJ, Krishna P 2012: Fatty acid composition of developing sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) berry and transcriptome of the mature seed. Pharm Biol 50: 1344-1345.

7.     Matthews, V. (1994). The New Plantsman (vol 1). London: Royal Horticultural Society, ISBN, 1352-4186.

8.     Chopra, R. N., Nayar, S. L., & Chopra, I. C. (1956). Glossary of Indian medicinal plants (Vol. 1, pp. 138-139). New Delhi: Council of Scientific & Industrial Research

9.     Polunin, O. (1969). Flowers of Europe. A field guide. Flowers of Europe. A field guide

10.  Sajid, S. M., Zubair, M., Waqas, M., Nawaz, M., & Ahmad, Z. (2015). A review on quince (Cydonia oblonga): a useful medicinal plant. Global Vetenaria14, 517-524.

11.  Chevallier. A.  (1996); The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Dorling Kindersley. London, ISBN, 9-780751-303148.

12.  Valíček P, Havelka EV 2008: Hippophae rhamnoides (in Czech). Start Benešov. ISBN 978-80-86231-44-0, 86 p.

13.  Lee HI, Kim MS, Lee KM, Park SK, Seo K I, Kim HJ, Kim MJ, Choi MS, Lee MK 2011: Anti-visceral obesity and antioxidant effects of powdered sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) leaf tea in diet-induced obese mice. Food Chem Toxicol 49: 2370-2376

14.  Kumar S, Sagar A 2007: Microbial associates of Hippophae rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn). Plant Pathol J 6: 299-305

15.  Grubb, P. J. (1988, January). The uncoupling of disturbance and recruitment, two kinds of seed bank, and persistence of plant populations at the regional and local scales. In Annales Zoologici Fennici (pp. 23-36). Finnish Academy of Sciences, Societas Scientiarum Fennica, Societas pro Fauna et Flora Fennica and Societas Biologica Fennica Vanamo.


17.  Luker, S. A. L. L. Y. (2011). Crypturaphis grassii (Sternorrhyncha: Aphididae): First records for Cornwall. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History24(4), 205.

18.   Singh, A., Butola, J. S., Samant, S. S., Sharma, P., Lal, M., & Marpa, S. (2012). Indigenous techniques of product development and economic potential of Seabuckthorn: a case study of Cold Desert region of Himachal Pradesh, India. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences82(3), 391-398.

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