Sea Buckthorn berries a tale of heaven’s Himalayan fruit
A wintry Himalayan breeze whisks past Lham as he enters home. It was a Sunday, and that time of the year when Lham’s relatives from distant villages arrived for a family get-together. He helps his mother who’s busy preparing a traditional dish of momos or dumplings, and a chili chutney in the kitchen. Lham’s mother Tsering places a tray with cups full of a beautiful orange berry tea. Lham’s grand-aunt Sonam takes a sip, and exclaims loudly in their traditional language,” This is good, you have brewed it well Tsering. You know, I have been consuming these berries from the time I was a child! I hear from some of the others, who say companies and tourists are now requesting to buy these berries. Buy! Can you imagine?”
Tsering replies bemused, “Yes Aunty, my blood pressure and sugar levels got cured because I drink this tea every day now, and I hardly have wrinkles!” Lham’s father Tenzin says,” I do remember Tashi who had a severe skin ailment and he got cured when he used the oil from the berries.” Dolma, Lham’s cousin chimes in, “Yes, my skin glows even more, and I have thicker hair because I consume the juice and the tea!” Grand-aunt Sonam exclaims, “I have rarely fallen ill, and it’s not only because of the clean Himalayan air, it’s also because I have been drinking this tea all my life. It’s good for the immunity, my grandmother used to tell me when I was a child, and I’ve never needed glasses because my eyesight is so good even now. My bones are always strong, and I never have to worry about my digestion!” Lham turns to his father Tenzin and says, “You know Father, even I was not aware till I read about it on my phone. These berries have more than a 100 nutrients!
Dorjee, Lham’s Grand-uncle turns around listening to this, nods his head knowingly, and says “Lham, these berries are ancient, and have been in our lands for thousands of years. The berries may grow only in the colder regions, but love the warmth of the sun. Our ancestors have eaten these berries, and drunk its precious tea knowing fully well that these berries are essential for our health and well-being. The seeds are carried by the water, and wherever they wash up, they grow into beautiful bushes which can be seen for miles around because of the radiant orange colour of the berries. Our grandparents used to tell us that these berries were found throughout the Himalayas, and were then carried back by travelers who would store them as shriveled berries in order to nourish themselves when journeying across terrains, and eventually brought it to other parts of the world.”
Lham whips out his phone, turns to his father and shows him a YouTube video of someone speaking about its high anti-oxidant levels, and Vitamin C levels 15 times higher than oranges. “You know father, it helps the liver & kidneys, the heart, and reduces swelling of the intestines. It also has all the Omega Acids which are otherwise found in fish!” Grand-aunt Sonam, suddenly exclaims, “Ha! Me, give up eating fish! Although, I do feel like a bloated fish right now, and my stomach is ready to burst with the excellent food you have fed me today Tsering. I won’t get any sleep if I have to keep passing wind all night! Pass me another large mug of the tea will you?!” Everyone enjoys a hearty laugh with Grand-aunt Sonam, and the merriment continues into the evening as this becomes yet another memorable gathering for Lham and his family to remember in the days to come.
About the author
Harsha Singh hails from India. Her natural inclination towards healing and spirituality led her to her spiritual father Dr. & Master Zhi Gang Sha. As a certified healing practitioner, she co-owns her own soul healing initiative, Tao Varenya. Her love for food began at a young age, like most people, where her mother taught her to cook from the age of 13. This passion has led her to source medicinal herbs and spices for clients.
Her aim is to create food products and delve into farming in order to provide people with fresh, pure, healthy, and unique produce. Though lactose intolerant, she cant help but incorporate anything that screams dairy into her dishes! Harsha’s highly developed olfactory sense ensures that she can catch a whiff of cheese a mile away!