It’s no secret that MyHavtorn is one of our favorite brands. We were their first US retailer, and because their products are so effective and thoughtfully made, they’re very close to our hearts. We’ve delved into the benefits of sea buckthorn before, but we realized that we neglected to tell you about the magic of the sea buckthorn leaves — a key ingredient in MyHavtorn’s Essence. Read on for our latest interview with Robin, MyHavtorn’s founder, who also revealed that the leaves make an excellent tea.
Ayla: We’ve learned a lot about the benefits of the sea buckthorn berry. Tell us about the leaves, which you use in your Essence.
ROBIN: The Latin name of Sea Buckthorn is Hippophaë rhamnoides, which means “shining fur.” This refers to horses that eat the leaves and, as a result, get such beautiful and shiny fur. The leaves contain a lot of antioxidants and minerals. Collecting the leaves also a good way to use the resources from the whole plant so we avoid waste when possible.
Ayla: (We love your commitment to sustainability.) Can you tell us about the specific antioxidants and minerals in the leaves?
ROBIN: Sea Buckthorn leaves are rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids, at the level you’ll find in green tea or rooibos. The minerals in the leaves are calcium and magnesium. When brewed as a tea, it naturally contains a low level of caffeine (less than in green tea), and it contains theanine, which is known for its psychological benefits.
Ayla: How do you normally prepare the tea at home?
ROBIN: We like to brew it during dark, cold winter days. Since a warm cup of sea buckthorn leaf tea gives your body and mind refreshing energy, it is a good start to the day. In the Swedish language, we have a verb — fika — and we fika daily. To "fika" is to break in the middle of the day, drink coffee or tea, eat a special treat, and talk with friends. For this ritual, many people choose herbal and sea buckthorn tea, as it is restorative and ultimately positive.
Ayla: Fika sounds absolutely lovely. Tell us more about this ritual.
ROBIN: Fika is huge in Sweden: all Swedes fika almost every day. When my grandmother’s generation serve fika, it is traditional to offer at least 7 different kinds of cookies, pastry, buns etc. But fika can also be done with just a plain cup of coffee or tea. We have a time in Sweden when the fika traditionally should be served: that is 11 am. Nowadays, you fika when it fits your day. But “11 am-fika” is an expression most Swedes still are familiar with. Almost all employers have a specific time when we have a break during the day for a fika. Fika is a time to get a break, talk about good and positive things for some minutes and get new energy!
Ayla: You have officially started a new Ayla tradition: 3pm-fika! Is the sea buckthorn leaf tea something people often drink in Sweden, or is it mainly a custom in your family given that you have a farm where you grow the trees?
ROBIN: Here in the countryside of Sweden, making tea and taking care of plants has always been a natural way of providing our houses with food. This particular sea buckthorn leaf tea is something we have been fortunate to pick from our sea buckthorn trees, an often forgotten treasure beside the sea buckthorn berries. The sea buckthorn tea that we provide is a unique product that is full with antioxidants and minerals. For us, this tea is like drinking your way to beautiful skin.