Birch Sap : An Elixir of Vitality
The Spring season has arrived ! In France winter is quite a harsh season (my Canadian friends, I can see you smile !) and spring is always more than welcome here ! This is the best moment to drink birch sap, let me tell you why !
Winter is the season of lethargy, cold, introspection, darkness, fat-rich food, accumulation of toxins. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is associated with the wood element, which represents growth (at any level of life : childhood, growth of a tree, of a project, morning time, etc.). This is also the period of the year during which the sap of the trees flows abundantly.
Spring season is a period of exteriorization and revitalization, the moment when we feel like cleaning our house entirely. More importantly, it is the ideal period of the year to cleanse and regenerate our body.
Choosing sap which has just risen from the roots of trees to bring back life force in our body makes even more sense, don’t you think ?
What is birch sap ?
Birch sap is colourless and quite tasteless (unless it has fermented and in that case, its taste and smell can be quite unpleasant). It is extracted from the betula pendula or betula alba trees. The extraction process is fairly simple: a small hole is made through the bark to make the sap flow out . Up to 5 liters can be extracted per tree in one day.
The benefits of birch sap
Northern europe folks have used this beverage for centuries to purify the blood. Although clinical studies on the topic are lacking, it is traditionnally used for its cleansing, diuretic, tonic, and draining effects. It is said to be beneficial for the emunctory organs (the organs in charge of eliminating the wastes out of the body). It promotes joint suppleness and helps alleviate joint pain. It is unsurpisingly amazing for the skin as this organ reflects the filtering quality of the liver and the kidneys. When fermented, birch starch can be used as a natural probiotic and immunity booster.
Birch sap contains many amino acids, natural sugars, minerals and trace elements such as : calcium and phosphore, potassium, silicium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, lithium… It has vitamin C and other antioxidants (like flavonoids), malic acid and salicylic acid (from which aspirin is derived).
How to use birch sap ?
Usually one glass per day during 3 weeks is the common dosage for this beverage in France. It is best to drink it pure (no added sugar) and non pasteurized. Make sur to store it in the fridge to prevent early fermentation.
A healthy diet is essential when doing a detox !! Here are some basic health tips that should be tailored according to your body constitution with the help of a naturopath (if you want to know more about naturopathy, my latest post on the topic will soon be available in English !)
~> eating loads of vegetables (if your belly allows : eating them raw and light steamed is great to preserve all the good nutrients).
~> eating less saturated fat (found in meat, butter, etc.), and a sufficient intake of omega 3 (found for example in small fatty fish, raw and organic flackseed, camelina, rapeseed oils),
~> too much proteins, legumes, or cereals may generate excess of acid waste in the body,
~> avoiding refined food (preferring brown rice/pasta/sugar rather than white if belly allows – avoiding refined oil …) and very less if no processed food at all (sodas, fast food, industrial pastries, ready meals, etc). for those who celebrate Easter, please note that chocolate is usually full of refined sugar !
~> a minimum of physical exercise per week and sufficient water intake (if possible spring water with less minerals) are essential to support the detox.
The information provided shall not be considered a medical consultation. The information provided on this blog shall not be interpreted as a recommendation to use products without medical advice, or as a medical diagnosis or consultation.