When and how to collect birch sap correctly
In early spring, after the snow melts, bottles and buckets appear on the trunks and branches of birches. The short season of birch sap harvesting begins. People travel from afar to try and stock up on the healing drink. The cool weather and the long wait don't stop them. So what is the usefulness of birch nectar, and how is it collected?
- History of appearance
- When you can collect birch sap
- In Russia
- In the suburbs of Moscow
- How to harvest the birch without harming the tree
- With what and how to treat the tree after collecting
- Ways of harvesting birch sap
- Without devices
- On a branch
- Using a straw
- Using a trough
- Using a drip tray
- Grass tourniquets
- Proper storage of birch sap
- Where to store
- How long to store
- How to find out if the drink has gone bad
- How to preserve the birch juice for winter
- The Useful Properties and Composition of the Birch Juice
- How to drink birch-wood beverage
- How much can be drunk per day?
- Can I drink it at night and on an empty stomach?
- Contraindications for usage
- Recipes of the birch juice drinks
- Birchberry juice with honey
- Birch sap in cosmetology
- Ice cubes
- Juice for hair
- What is the best time to harvest?
- In what area should I collect it?
- Can I collect birch sap in summer?
- What does birch sap taste like?
- What diseases does birch sap cure?
- What is the effect of birch sap on the liver?
- Can I wash my face with birch juice?
- Analogues of birch sap
History of appearance
Birch sap began to be extracted in Russia only after the adoption of Christianity. This is due to the fact that before the Baptism the Slavs had a cult of nature. Trees were considered as deities. Therefore extraction of plant elixir was forbidden, but not for everyone. Znakhars were the only people who were allowed to collect the "tears of the tree." They collected a small amount of sap, and used it to cure illnesses. The healers had to observe special rituals.
After the adoption of Christianity, they began to collect it without restriction. It was believed that with the gathering of birch sap comes spring and warmth. On this occasion, a holiday and mass festivities were organized.
When can we collect birch sap?
Timing of birch sap collection in Russia varies depending on the weather conditions in a particular region. In general, the time of extraction of the natural elixir begins in mid-March, and ends in late April. The more southern the region, the earlier the harvesting begins and ends. People say that it is possible to extract the life-giving potion before the appearance of young leaves.
The Moscow Region
Residents of the Moscow region should not go out to get juice before April.
It is better to pay attention to the indicative signs of the beginning of birch sap extraction:
- The average daily temperature is 5-8°;
- buds on the birch twigs are swollen, but leaves are not opened yet;
- Snowmelt is active or the snow is completely melted.
In addition, the time of day plays an important role in collecting nectar. This is due to the sap movement in the tree, which slows down at night and in the morning. But the sap movement becomes active between 11:00 and 19:00. It is better to choose a warm and sunny weather.
How to harvest the birch beverage without harming the tree
Whatever the method of birch sap extraction, it is harmful to the tree. Therefore, it is worth taking care in advance to help the plant heal its wounds. If this is not done, the birch tree that gave you the healing drink can die. First of all, pests and bacteria will get inside the tree, which will cause disease. At the same time the sap will continue to flow out of the left notches, and this will actually ruin the birch.
What and how to treat the tree after harvesting
The remedy is used to heal cuts and wounds of trees. It can be made by yourself, mixing in equal parts paraffin, rosin, oil of olive. But it is easier to buy a ready-made composition in a garden center. Garden varnish should be put on the holes in the trunk of the tree. The solution will serve as a barrier against the entry of harmful bacteria. It will also help the plant to heal the wounds faster. In addition to the mortar, you can use a wooden plug. Its diameter should correspond to the size of the hole in the trunk. The cork is inserted inside, and already on top is covered with varnish.
Paint from natural olive oil
There are several varieties of paint, but they have the same function. The main task of the olive - to protect plants from the negative effects of bacterial and fungal diseases. Such paint creates a protective shell in the place of damage, and the pathogenic environment does not get inside. The product can be purchased in garden stores. Do not forget to take a brush to apply the paint.
Clay or Earth
Wet soil is kneaded to the consistency of plasticine, and smeared wounds with it. The only function this method serves is to stop the sap leaking from the birch. There is no healing or disinfecting effect here. Not the best option, but if there are no other remedies at hand, you can use it.
The choice of a particular tree is also important. One rule applies here. Do not extract sap from a birch tree less than 20 cm in diameter. Such a tree will give enough liquid, but after collecting it will die. The fact is that young birches are not yet able to share the healing liquid without causing irreparable harm to themselves. But from an adult tree you can get up to 5 liters of sap without much harm. However, you should not take away all the liquid from the plant. After all, the more it will give you, the longer and more difficult will be the recovery process. And if on top of that you conduct the collection of sap incorrectly, or do not cover the wounds caused, the recovery of the birch will become almost impossible.
Ways to collect birch sap
Before collecting birch sap, it is necessary to decide on the method of collection. The choice depends on the necessary set of tools. As well as a certain method of sap extraction will allow to collect a different amount of liquid.
You can collect a small amount of juice without any special tools. You need a knife and a container for the liquid. On the trunk of the birch make a notch in the form of an inverted "V". The notch is made at a height of 30-40 cm. It is not necessary to cut off the bark completely. It is necessary to bend it so that an improvised gutter is created. Now it remains to put any container and wait. Since there is nothing to fix the container, you will have to hold it. In this way you can collect a small amount of the drink. In 10-20 minutes it will be possible to get about a glass of liquid.
Using a branch
For this method you need: a knife or secateurs, a plastic bottle with a narrow neck, a rope to fix it. On the tree you need to choose a thick side branch. On it determine the shoot with a diameter of 2-3 cm, growing upwards. With a knife or secateurs, shorten the shoot by 20-25 cm. Put a bottle on the severed branch and fix it vertically with a rope. A wire can be used for convenience. In this way about a liter of wood nectar will be collected in 3 hours.
Using a straw
For this method you will need a cocktail straw, a drill, a bottle of 1-2 liters, and a rope for fixing. In the lid you should make a hole equal to the diameter of the tube. The same hole, 1-2 cm deep, should be made on the trunk of the birch. It is necessary to drill the hole at the height of 1-2 m. The tube is inserted with one end into the trunk, with the other end it is lowered through the cap into the bottle. Using rope or wire securely fix the container. It is important that air can flow into the bottle. To do this, leave the lid half open or make an additional hole in it.
Using a gutter.
With a sharp knife you need to cut off the top layer of bark. Then you need to drill a hole in the trunk of the birch, at a height of 0.5 m. Its diameter is 0,5-1,5 cm, the depth is about 4-5 cm. The groove can be metal or plastic, "V"-shaped. The attachment is mounted with a slight downward slope. A collecting vessel, such as a bucket, is placed on the ground.
Using a drip pan.
Using a drill, a hole with a depth of 5 cm should be made. The diameters of the drill bit and dropper should be the same. A flexible tube is inserted into the hole, having previously removed the needle. The other end is lowered into any container. Birch sap, extracted in this way, is ideal for further canning. It is only necessary to take care of the sterility of the container in which the leaked liquid falls.
The extraction of birch sap with flagella is probably the most ancient method. It will help when there is no chute and other devices at hand. It is necessary to make a shallow hole in the trunk of the birch up to 1 cm. The tourniquet is made of grasses, preferably dried. They are woven or rolled into plaits 5-7 cm long. The improvised wick is inserted into the tree, with a downward slant. And a container is placed on the ground for collection. Gradually the harness is soaked with juice, and the excess begins to drain into the bucket.
Important! After the collection (in any way), it is necessary to take care of the treatment of the tree. If you forget to do this, the birch tree may die, and not please you next year.
Proper storage of birch sap
After collecting the natural nectar there is a question of where to store the valuable liquid. Yes so that both the benefit to preserve, and extend the shelf life.
Where to store
The choice of storage method depends on how long you plan to use the product. It is best to use a fresh drink. It can be left at room temperature, or cooled in the refrigerator. For longer storage, use a freezer or cellar.
How long does it last
- In the refrigerator, birch juice is stored for 2-4 days. Provided it is immediately placed in clean glass jars after collection.
- In the freezer storage period can be extended up to 6 months. Juice should not be refrozen.
- At room temperature, the drink is stored for no more than 4 days.
- In a dark cellar birch juice can be stored for about 2 weeks.
- Canned drink stored for about a year. After opening the jar - 3-4 days.
How to determine if the drink has gone bad
Birch juice retains its maximum usefulness for the first 10 hours after collection. Gradually the usefulness of the juice decreases. But to determine that the drink is spoiled is sometimes difficult. After all, the presence of sediment at the bottom of the jar, does not always indicate a lost product. Sediment is often caused by natural causes - the ingress of small particles of bark. If the sediment appeared, but the liquid is transparent and has the same taste, then everything is fine. If cloudy color joined the sediment, such a drink is better to pour out. Also, birch juice, in which mold has appeared, is considered spoiled. In some cases, the herbal elixir remains transparent, but its taste becomes sour. This also indicates spoilage of the product.
How to preserve birch juice for the winter
In addition to the large number of pluses, birch juice has a big minus - a short shelf life. In the pursuit of increasing this period it began to be poured into jars for long-term storage.
To ensure that birch juice does not spoil for a long time in it they add the following preservatives:
- citric acid;
Ingredients are added to taste. The resulting solution is boiled and poured into sterile jars. To improve the taste and flavor add lemon zest, herbs, rose hips, hawthorn.
Canned drink can be stored for a year, but the benefit in it will be much less. Therefore, it is still better to drink fresh juice. After such a treat, your immune system will definitely say thank you.
Useful properties and composition of birch juice
Birch juice is a godsend for improving the immune system. And all thanks to the rich composition. The drink will save you from spring deficiency of microelements even after a long winter.
Vitamins and minerals that make up the birch elixir:
- Vitamin A - enhances vision;
- B vitamins - improves blood quality, speeds up metabolism;
- Vitamin C - supports the immune system;
- Vitamin D - improves mood;
- Vitamin PP - accelerates metabolism;
- Iodine - normalizes the thyroid gland;
- Iron - oxygenates the blood;
- Magnesium - improves heart rhythm;
- Potassium - prevents the formation of blood clots.
Birch drink can compete with many products in the number of beneficial properties for the body. The main qualities are:
- Reduction of blood pressure.
- Prevention of diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
- Cleanses the intestines, thanks to a slight laxative effect.
- When applied externally solves problems such as acne, peeling, pigmentation.
- Soothes the nervous system.
- It combats spring vitamin deficiency.
- It has a diuretic effect.
Birch juice has a complex effect on the human body. It revitalizes and tones not only internal organs. The skin and hair are also transformed.
How to drink the birch beverage correctly
How much can be drunk per day.
A measure must be in everything, this also applies to birch juice. No matter how useful the product is, you can drink a certain amount of it. The daily norm is 250-500 ml. This is enough to cover the daily norm of vitamins and trace elements.
Can I drink it at night and on an empty stomach?
Birch juice can and should be drunk on an empty stomach. After all, the drink prepares the gastrointestinal tract for further food intake, and speeds up the metabolism. In addition, the wood elixir envelopes the walls of the intestine, protecting it from harmful food. But it is better to refuse night use, as the juice has a diuretic effect.
Contraindications to use
Birch juice is contraindicated for children under 10 years of age and people with allergies to birch pollen. Pregnant girls, ulcers, and people with urolithiasis should be careful. Gastritis is also a reason for caution.
Recipes for birch sap drinks
Birch juice is delicious and healthy on its own. But you can experiment and try to make some unique drinks. These recipes have been used since ancient Russia.
To prepare a refreshing birch kvass you need:
- 3 liters of birch juice;
- 150 grams of sugar;
- 40 grams raisins (optional).
The sugar is poured into a three-liter jar, pour the juice. The preparation is thoroughly stirred until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then raisins should be added. The neck of the jar should be covered with gauze or bandage. Kvass should stand for 4-5 days, in a warm place. The drink is considered ready when it has a sour smell and taste. It should be stored in the refrigerator.
To prepare homemade lemonade on birch juice, you need the following ingredients:
Lemons (oranges) are cut in half and squeeze the juice out of them. In it add sugar. The resulting solution is mixed with the juice of the birch. Put on the stove and bring to a boil. Ready lemonade before use should be cooled. Store the drink should be in the refrigerator.
Birchberry with honey
To prepare the invigorating drink, the following ingredients will be needed:
- 3 liters of birch juice;
- 100 grams of rye breadcrumbs;
- 250 grams of honey.
Natural nectar should be poured into a three-liter jar and put in a dark place until a sourish odor. Then add dried breadcrumbs and honey. The resulting mixture is left for another day. Be sure to cool the drink before use. Shelf life of 2-3 days.
Birch sap in cosmetology
Even in the days of ancient Russia girls successfully used birch sap for skin and hair care. Modern cosmetology supports this tradition. Washing with plant sap softens the skin and relieves redness. In addition, the juice productively fights acne and black dots. And pigment spots from such a procedure will become less noticeable.
Rubbing the face with a frozen drink tones the skin and improves blood circulation. At the same time, this procedure has a rejuvenating effect. For freezing you need exactly the freshly picked juice, not subjected to heat treatment.
Juice for the hair
Washing the hair with juice will get rid of dandruff and flaking. Hair will become less brittle and sectioned. In general, the hair will get a better groomed appearance. If you mix birch sap with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, you get a great hair mask. You can also use castor oil, almond oil, or grape seed oil. Keep the mask for 20 minutes. The procedure should be carried out two times a week.
What is the best time to harvest?
The time to collect birch sap depends on the activity of sap movement. Minimum movement activity is at night and early in the morning. The maximum is in the afternoon. Thus, the recommended collection time is 11-19 hours.
What area to collect in?
The extraction of birch sap should be carried out away from highways. If you choose a tree growing on high ground, there will be less sap in it. At the same time, the taste of the liquid is sweet. A birch tree in a swampy area will give more sap, but fresh in taste.
Is it possible to collect birch sap in summer?
Collecting birch sap in summer is virtually impossible. The fact is that the active sap movement occurs before the appearance of leaves. In summertime the sap movement slows down. If you manage to get a little liquid, it will taste bitter.
How does birch sap taste?
Just collected sap looks like soft water, with a slightly sweet taste. After 5-10 hours, the liquid becomes noticeably sweeter. Spoiled drink tastes sour.
What diseases does birch sap treat?
It is recommended to drink the plant nectar to hypertensive people, because its use lowers blood pressure and improves heart function. And the diuretic effect of the juice fights swellings. In general, the drink strengthens the immune system and prevents the development of diseases.
How does birch juice affect the liver?
The invigorating drink accelerates the production and excretion of bile from the body. Juice has a laxative and diuretic effect, which helps the liver to remove toxins from the body. In addition, the components of the wood elixir promote hepatic regeneration.
Can I wash my face with birch juice?
Not only can, but it is necessary! The drink tones and soothes the skin. It fights acne and black spots. Pigment spots become less noticeable.
Birch sap analogues
The active sap movement occurs in the spring in all trees, but not all sap can be consumed. For example, pine, fir, spruce, oak can also secrete a large amount of nectar. Only it is not drunk, but used in folk medicine, carpentry, or cosmetology. In early spring you can also collect sap from any fruit trees.
Maple nectar is extracted for food consumption. However, in Russia there is no large-scale industrial scale for its production. Unlike birch nectar. This is due to the fact that maple is not common in Russia. But in America the production of maple sap has reached a huge scale. They process it there and make maple syrup. It is also sold in large quantities.
Birch sap is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals for the human body. It saves our immune system in the spring, preventing avitaminosis. The natural elixir revitalizes the internal organs and prevents the development of diseases. In addition, birch sap affects the appearance of hair and skin. That is why it is necessary to respond in kind to such a gift of nature. It is important to learn how to extract the drink with minimal harm to the tree. So that after the collection procedure, the birch tree can recover and continue to please us with sap in the coming year.
«Important: All information on this site is provided for informational purposes only purposes. Before applying any recommendations, please consult a birch tree health care professional. specialist before using any of the recommendations. Neither the editors nor the authors shall be liable for any possible harm caused by materials."