Birch sap: how to use it and what it is for

Birch sap: how to use it and what it is for

Birch sap is used during the change of seasons for its purifying and diuretic properties, useful for eliminating waste and fighting cellulite

Index

  • What is birch sap
  • How it is used and what it is for
  • Cosmetic properties of birch sap
  • Contraindications and side effects of birch sap
  • Birch, characteristics and properties

What is birch sap

Birch sap, also known as birch water, has been a beverage consumed for centuries in China and Northern Europe for its potential health and beauty benefits.

This is pure birch sap, taken in early spring from the trunks of Betula pendula trees, Betula pubescens and their hybrids, including Betula alba. In fact, during the winter, birch plants store nutrients which, at the time of vegetative restart, are concentrated in the sap. The collection takes place by making holes at the level of the trunks and inserting a small drainage so as to be able to convey the sap inside pots placed on the ground. Immediately after harvesting, the birch water appears clear, colorless, with a slightly sweet taste that tends to become more acidic after a few days due to the fermentation processes.

The content of birch sap varies based on where plants grow and is influenced by soil, climate, plant age, and other factors. In general, birch water contains sugars, amino acids, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals, in particular vitamin C, manganese, magnesium and calcium.

In addition to being an alternative to water, useful for hydrating the body and quenching thirst, birch sap therefore has antioxidant properties and is often used in purifying treatments and as a diuretic to eliminate accumulated waste and fight water retention and cellulite.

How it is used and what it is for

Birch water is available in herbalist shops and stores specializing in health foods. It is sold in bottles and consumed as it is, pure, preferably in the morning on an empty stomach. Thanks to its pleasant taste, birch sap is an alternative to mineral water and flavored water, to hydrate the body, promote diuresis, reduce cellulite and provide vitamins and minerals. Although research on birch sap and its properties is limited, drinking birch water can help:

  • hydrate the body
  • keep your bones healthy
  • protect against free radical damage
  • improve digestive processes
  • reduce inflammation
  • eliminate metabolic waste
  • counteract cellulite

Generally, treatments based on birch sap are carried out during the change of seasons, particularly in spring and autumn, by drinking a glass of birch water in the morning before breakfast, for forty-day cycles. The cycles can then be repeated twenty days a month, taking breaks of ten days between one cycle and the next.

Cosmetic properties of birch sap

In addition to internal use, birch sap can also be used for cosmetic purposes for the beauty of the skin and hair. Inserted into face and body creams, birch water has a moisturizing and antioxidant action useful for keeping the skin young and healthy, while in lotions and shampoos it can help strengthen hair and promote its growth.

Cosmetic products containing birch sap can therefore help prevent the appearance of wrinkles, counteract the loss of elasticity and skin tone, improve skin hydration and protect against damage from free radicals. The cosmetic properties of birch sap are not fully confirmed, but seem to depend on the content of vitamin C, a molecule with a strong antioxidant action and able to stimulate the production of collagen by keratinocytes, the skin cells. Collagen, as it is known, is a protein that guarantees resistance to the epidermis and which helps to keep the skin elastic and hydrated.

Contraindications and side effects of birch sap

Birch water is generally considered safe but its consumption could cause allergic reactions in predisposed people.
There are no known side effects related to the administration of birch sap, but it is advisable not to exceed the recommended doses.

Birch, characteristics and properties

Birch is a plant of the Betulaceae family that grows spontaneously also in the woods of our country.
These are trees that have a whitish bark, long and flexible branches and pointed leaves, jagged at the edges, bright green on the upper page and almost gray on the lower one.

The leaves are rich in flavonoids and have a diuretic and aquaretic action. They are used dried in infusion to promote diuresis and clean up the urinary tract in case of cystitis, gravel and other minor ailments. Although the birch drug is represented by the leaves, the bark, buds, tar and sap of this plant are also used, the latter being exploited for hundreds of years for its potential purifying effect on the body and to eliminate dark spots. from the skin and make the complexion brighter.

The therapeutic properties of birch were initially suggested by the whiteness of the bark of the plant, a symbol of purification and rebirth. In the past, birch beams were used to purify the air and drive away evil, while the extracts obtained from the various parts of the plant were used in spring purification treatments, to eliminate the waste accumulated by the body.

Today, birch leaves and sap are administered to drain and purify the body, while bud derivatives are used to treat flu symptoms, excessive fatigue and to keep the mouth and teeth healthy.

Sources:

USDA
Research Gate
Elsevier

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