The 6 health benefits of birch sap

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Birch sap helps us keep fit

For France Guillain *, sailor at the origin of the well-being method that bears her name, it is undoubtedly the sap of the birch that offers the most benefits to our health: ” it’s a living drink packed with essential nutrients, a true gift from nature that no one should be without “, she explains.

Rich in vitamins, amino acids and trace elements like magnesium, this translucent liquid that flows from the tree tastes slightly sweet. Regularly consuming this natural fortifier would therefore be an excellent way to gain tone and prevent certain conditions such as stones, joint pain or rheumatism.

She’s the queen of detox

For effective drainage of the body, we can count on the diuretic and depurative properties of birch juice, obtained from a decoction of the leaves of the tree.

Consumed pure or diluted in water, you can add a little lemon juice to your taste. But the sap also has a role to play in eliminating toxins: by stimulating the emunctories (the organs responsible for removing waste), it helps our body to get rid of the superfluous. To do well, we recommend a cure twice a year at the time of the change of season, and preferably taken on an empty stomach.

Birch sap is good for our bones

Calcium is a mineral salt essential for bone building. Along with phosphorus, which is involved in the binding and use of calcium, it is this which ensures the strength of our skeleton and our teeth. Good news, birch sap is full of these two allies against osteoporosis. As a bonus, it also contains organic silicon, a valuable asset in case of fractures or weakening of the cartilage.

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She wants our skin good

Birch sap is also believed to have significant effects on the skin, nails and hair. A cure can help anyone who suffers from psoriasis, eczema or sores. The best time to start: “In the spring, at harvest time. But it keeps very well in the fridge, and can be eaten all year round “ explains France Guillain. For optimal results, we usually recommend 5 liters of sap to be taken as a 20-day treatment, with a daily dose of a quarter of a liter to be taken between meals (125 ml in the morning, then 125 ml in the afternoon) .

It is the ally of our silhouette

It must be said, there is little chance that birch will help you slim down if you do not adjust your diet. On the other hand, a birch sap cure can do wonders on cellulite and water retention when you adopt the right reflexes: ” skip sodas, alcohol, tobacco, and liquid dairy products during the cure, cut back on coffee, eat more raw foods, and take the time to chew well. You can hope to see the bad fat around the waist and thighs melt significantly. “, says France Guillain.

It protects us from aging

This plant elixir does not stop time, it helps us to preserve our cells from attacks related to lifestyle. Like all plants, birch sap contains manganese, a powerful antioxidant. But it is also full of an explosive cocktail to fight against cell aging: copper, which helps free radicals maintain their antioxidant function; flavonoids and selenium which protects neurons.

How to choose the right birch sap?

Opt for products from organic farms, where the trees are not treated with pesticides. They are now easily found in organic and health food stores (Santarôme, Ladrôme …). And to make the most of the benefits of birch sap, you can choose it fresh rather than pasteurized. Some producers even offer to order their harvest on the internet (SoSève, Vegetal Water, Birch sap from the Vosges, etc.).

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When to start harvesting birch sap?

Harvesting of birch sap is generally done between February and March: with the (timid) return of spring, the sap begins to rise in the trees … and this is where it must be collected so that it is fresh!

During the harvest period (which lasts between 3 and 4 weeks depending on the region and the farm), the birch sap has a clear texture (like water) and a translucent color (you can see through it). If the sap is whitish and / or viscous, it means that the time of harvest has passed.

What material is used to harvest birch sap? For an artisanal harvest, we will use an empty and clean water bottle of about 5 L, a plastic tube a few millimeters in diameter, as well as a drill with a drill bit adapted to the trees. Harvesting takes between 12 hours and 24 hours … time for the bottle to fill.

What does birch sap taste like?

Birch sap does not have an unpleasant taste: slightly sweet at harvest, this translucent and limpid liquid like water gradually becomes harsh and tangy over time – without losing its nutritional qualities or its health benefits !

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How does the taste of birch sap change? Through a (natural) fermentation process, birch sap gains notes that make you think of coconut milk or whey. However, it is best to consume birch sap in the spring, right after harvest, as its slightly sweet taste is more neutral and is more suitable for delicate palates.

Birch sap: what does science say?

  • A study published in January 2017 in the trade journal Baltic Forestry shows that birch trees that grow in industrial areas are (surprisingly) richer in antioxidants than their cousins ​​grown in the wild. To explain this unusual discovery, the researchers hypothesize that these trees are undoubtedly more exposed to environmental stress, which leads them to protect themselves more by making more antioxidants.
  • A study from the University of Turku (Finland) looked at the composition of birch sap and showed that this liquid is rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium, but low in sodium. In addition, birch sap harvested in May would be less rich in glucose and fructose … so less sweet.

* Author of Birch sap, a sacred drink (Editions du Rocher)

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