Birch sap is a clear liquid that flows from cut or cracked trunks and birch branches under the influence of root pressure. Sap flow of birch sap begins in spring with the first thaws and continues until bud break.
Extraction of birch sap. Time, place of collection, storage and medicinal properties of birch sap.
The exact period of birch sap extraction is difficult to establish, because it depends on weather conditions. For example, if during the March thaw the juice has already started to flow and then it suddenly struck frosts, then it can stop being released for a while. However, as a rule, the juice begins to run around mid-March, when the snow melts and the buds swell. To determine the beginning of sap flow, it is enough to go into the forest and make a prick with a thin awl on a birch as thick as the arm. If the juice has gone, then at the puncture point a drop of juice will immediately come out, which means you can start collecting and harvesting it. Collect juice stop in the second half of April, when the leaves are already blooming.
The most intensive sap flow through the tree occurs in the light half of the day, so it is better to start collecting in the morning, at night the juice “falls asleep”. The best time to collect juice will be a gap between 10.00 and 18.00, when it flows the most. The number of holes depends on the diameter of the tree, which is recommended to be made, if 20-25 cm - only one, with a volume of 25-35 cm - two, with 35-40 - three, and if the diameter is more than 40 cm - it is quite possible to make four holes.
Collecting birch sap should be started at the most warmed up places where the birch wakes up even if there is still snow around. As the forest warms up, one should move into the depths of the thicket, where the forest wakes up later than at the southern edge. Typically, birch receive 2-3 liters of juice per day. A large tree can produce about 7 liters of juice per day, and sometimes even more. It is preferable to collect the sap where cutting is planned, and it is not recommended to take it from young trees.
Due to the fact that the roots of birch go far into the ground, it does not absorb poisons from the surface layer of the soil. Therefore, all the places where the birch grows are good for collecting birch sap equally, but collecting juice is still better only in environmentally friendly forests, because the tree itself is capable of absorbing harmful substances and exhaust gases.
How to extract birch sap.
The choice of dishes for the collection and storage of birch sap must be approached selectively. In the old birch sap was collected in special tuesochki from birch bark, it was believed that in them he retains its properties better. But it is quite possible to collect the juice in ordinary glass jars or even in plastic bottles, but remember that chemistry is able to give the juice its specific flavor, and sometimes it dissolves in it itself.
Juice is usually mined by cutting, tearing or drilling the bark of a tree with a diameter of at least 20 cm, with a well-developed crown. The slot or hole in the trunk is better to do from the south side of the tree, there sap flow is more active, at a distance of 40-50 cm from the ground, downward, the movement of your knife must be from bottom to top, the depth of the hole is 2-3 cm to penetrate under the dead bark, and if the birch is very thick, then even deeper.
Aluminum, plastic groove, birch bark tray or other semi-circular device, through which the juice flows into the container, is inserted into the slot. Sometimes the juice is extracted by cutting off small branches and attaching a plastic bag to the cut. No need to seek to drain all the juice from one tree, it will compensate for a part of it, but if you bleed the tree completely, it can dry out. It is better to take a liter of juice per day from 5-10 trees, than from one to take 5 liters, condemning it to death.
After the collection of birch sap is over, you need to take care of the tree itself and tightly close the holes made with wax, cork or moss so that no bacteria can get into the trunk that can be a serious threat to the life of the tree. After cutting, birch trees can be collected from stumps.
How to store birch sap.
If you do not want to drink the juice immediately, but wish to keep it longer, pour it into a glass jar and put it in the fridge. So drink will be less oxidized, that is, deteriorate. However, it is better not to keep the juice longer than 2-3 days, otherwise it will ferment and turn from curative nectar into poison. But if you preserve the juice, it will stand for a few more months.
Several recipes for the preservation of birch sap for long-term storage.
Fresh birch sap is fermented in glass containers of any volume. Rinse with hot, preferably boiled, water, they are filled with fresh juice. For every half liter, add an incomplete teaspoon of ordinary or glucose sugar, 2-3 raisins, washed in cold boiled water, and if you like - a little lemon peel. The container is closed with a stopper or lid and secured with wire or tie.
The carbon dioxide pressure during fermentation is created rather high, and so that the glass does not burst, it is not recommended to put more than the specified amount of sugar. In a few days you will get a pleasant, sour, highly carbonated drink. For canning the juice is heated in an enamel pot to a temperature of 80 degrees. Pour into glass bottles and cans. Fill almost to the top and seal the caps, and the bottles with corks, followed by osmolka. Then soak 15 - 20 minutes in water 85 degrees for pasteurization.
Cooking kvass from birch sap.
To preserve birch sap, they prepare kvass from it. Heat to 35 degrees, add 15-20 g of yeast and 3 raisins per 1 liter, you can add lemon zest to taste. After that, the jar or bottle tightly closed and left for 1-2 weeks. Kvass can be cooked in a different way. To 10 liters of birch sap add the juice of 4 lemons, 50 g of yeast, 30 g of honey or sugar, raisins at the rate of 2-3 things per bottle. Bottle and keep 1-2 weeks in a dark cool place. Kvass can be ready already after 5 days, but because it lasts longer, the drink will not spoil, you can save it for the whole summer.
Another recipe for kvass. In a barrel of birch sap on a string down a bag of burnt rye bread. After two days, the yeast will pass from the crusts to the juice and fermentation will begin. Then a bucket of oak bark is poured into the barrel, as a preservative and tanning agent, and for the aroma - cherries (berries or leaves) and dill stalks. After two weeks, kvass is ready, it can be stored all winter.
Other methods of conservation and preservation of birch sap.
Our ancestors drank birch sap fermented in barrels without added sugar - it was a traditional low-alcohol beverage on Russian feasts. Birch sap itself is a pleasant, refreshing and invigorating drink, but you can add chokeberry juice, cranberries, blueberries or insist on various herbs - thyme, chamomile, cumin, linden flowers, rosehips, in a can of covered gauze for about 2 weeks .
You can add to it extracts of Hypericum, mint, lemon balm, pine needles, juice of cherries, apples, currants. Birch sap can be evaporated by thickening to a syrup containing 60% sugar. This syrup has a lemon-white color and thickness of honey.
Belarusian-style drink - pour birch sap into a large bottle and put in a dark cool place for 2-3 days. Then add malt from barley or toasted crushed crackers. 5 liters of birch sap - 30 grams. barley malt or crackers. Another of the birch sap is prepared balm. On a bucket of juice you need 3 kg of sugar, 2 liters of wine and 4 finely chopped lemons. All this must be put in the cellar for two months, and then bottled and kept for another three weeks.
Medicinal properties of birch sap.
Birch sap contains organic acids, tannins, minerals, iron, potassium, calcium, glucose, fructose, volatile production. Drinking birch sap contributes to the splitting of stones in the bladder and kidneys, cleansing the blood, enhancing metabolic processes, removes harmful substances from the body during infectious diseases. It is useful to drink the juice for stomach ulcers, diseases of the liver, duodenum, gall bladder, low acidity, radiculitis, rheumatism, arthritis, bronchitis, tuberculosis, scurvy, headache and venereal diseases.
Birch sap increases the body's resistance to colds, infectious and allergic diseases, has anthelmintic, diuretic, antitumor effect, birch sap useful to wipe the skin with eczema, acne, to moisturize and cleanse dry skin. On the skin is very good to apply the following mask: mix 1 tbsp. l sour cream with 2 tbsp. l birch sap and 1 tsp. honey It is necessary to hold such a mask for about 15 minutes, rinse with cool water, the skin after it will acquire a beautiful matte shade.
It is also useful to wash the hair with dandruff with birch sap, in order to enhance their growth and the appearance of shine and softness (the infusion of birch leaves has the same property). Birch sap is a good remedy for impotence. Birch "tears" have a very good effect on people during menopause, if you drink at least a glass of juice a day, drowsiness, fatigue, irritability and other phenomena accompanying menopause will disappear.
Systematic reception of birch sap has a tonic and tonic effect. Birch sap is contraindicated in those who are allergic to birch pollen. For medicinal purposes, birch sap should be drunk fresh. It is recommended to take 1 glass 3 times a day 20-30 minutes before meals for 2-3 weeks.
Features of medicinal raw materials
Birch sap is a pleasant, sweetish, with a specific delicate aroma. What diagnoses is it recommended for? Does he have any contraindications? When to start collecting, in what ways to harvest the juice yourself?
Preparation of birch sap
Industrial gathering and canning of birch sap are carried out mostly in Belarus, less - in Russia and Ukraine. This drink was especially popular during the USSR. The older generation remembers how, in an era of shortage, three-liter jars filled with this drink filled the empty counters. It can also be seen on modern shelves (in three-liter, one and a half liter cans and tetrapacks), but its production has decreased markedly.
- When to collect? Collect in early spring, when the juices begin to rise from the root up the tree trunk. At thaw, sap flow may begin earlier - in February. Juice is collected until the buds on the birch have blossomed, which also depends on weather and climatic conditions. It is also better to collect the liquid in the daytime, because at night the trees "sleep" and the movement of the juice stops.
- How to collect birch sap? There are several rules that should be followed: do not use young trees, after harvesting, you should cover the hole or slot with wax, soap or special garden pitch, which prevents wood from rotting from various lesions. In extreme cases, the hole is tightly closed with moss, or a branch is stuck into it, it is saturated with liquid, swells and does not allow it to flow out. It is possible to extract this forest food resource (and this is how it is called in the legislation) in various ways. The first is to make an incision (nick) on the bark, substitute the groove and fix it, hang the container where the juice will flow. The second is to drill a hole in the barrel to a depth of 5 cm, insert a plastic tip into it from the dropper system, and lower its other end into the container. The third one is cutting off young branches, wrapping them with a plastic bag where the liquid flows. Sometimes juice is collected from stumps after sanitary cutting of a forest area.
- Some "tricks" of the collection. You need to start collecting in the southern parts of the grove, and as the snow melts and warming, move deeper into the forest. They try to make cuts on the northern side of the trunk - here there is more juice. A slot or hole is made about 50 cm above the ground. Do not make a deep hole. Firstly, it is dangerous for the life of the tree. Secondly, the juice moves between the bark and wood, it is enough just to go through the layer of bark.
- How to store birch sap at home? Birch raw is better to collect and store in a glass container. If it is collected in plastic bottles, then after filling it should be immediately poured into glassware. Raw can stand in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days. It is desirable to drink it by this time, then it becomes cloudy, bubbles appear in it, and fermentation processes begin. Further, it is already possible to make kvass or wine from it. For long-term storage, fresh juice is preserved and frozen in small portions.
One large tree can give up to 7 liters of valuable liquid per day, small - up to 3 liters. On a tree with a diameter of up to 20 cm only one hole is allowed, with a diameter of up to 25 cm - two holes can be made, up to 35 cm - three, and over 40 cm - no more than four. Despite the fact that the roots of birch go deep into the ground and take nutrients from clean soil, it is better to choose birch trees in groves, and not in planting along the roads. Wood also tends to absorb harmful substances from the air.
Healing properties and pharmacological action
The chemical composition of birch sap includes:
- invert sugar (with equal parts of glucose and sucrose),
- organic acids
- essential oil,
- urea derivatives
- group of vitamins B
- vitamin C,
- rich composition of trace elements (copper, potassium, sodium, manganese, magnesium, iron, silicon).
- blood cleaning,
They are increasingly talking about the antitumor properties of birch raw, although there is no scientific evidence for this. It can be prescribed for rehabilitation, restoration of the body after difficult procedures in oncology.
What diseases are indicated for?
- Diseases of the digestive tract. Relieves spasms, stomach and intestinal colic, treats diseases of the stomach, liver, gallbladder, acts as a mild analgesic, anti-inflammatory medicine. Restores microflora, appetite, digestion.
- Urinary system . One of the effective folk remedies for urolithiasis. It is advisable to drink fresh 6 glasses a day. Juice contributes to the fragmentation of kidney stones and their removal. The course of treatment is carried out under the strict supervision of a doctor, painful conditions are likely.
- Rheumatic diseases. Effectively means for gout, articular arthritis, atherosclerosis. Accept inside and outwardly.
- Respiratory system . As a tonic with an expectorant effect, it is prescribed for inflammatory processes in the bronchi and lungs, including tuberculosis being treated for them.
- Metabolic disorders. In diabetes, blended birch sap is useful in complex treatment and with a strict diet. Based on it, a medicinal drink is prepared, it contains 35% juice of raspberry, currant, blackberry, blueberry, elderberry. It is also taken with decoctions of wild rose, lingonberry leaves, buckthorn, nettle and other medicinal herbs. We emphasize that herbal medicine with diabetes gives a positive therapeutic effect, but only under the supervision of a physician, with a number of laboratory studies. Depending on the type of diabetes, the dosage and course of treatment are prescribed. Since the juice is low-calorie and stimulates all metabolic processes in the body, it is drunk for weight loss.
- Anemia With anemia, it is recommended to drink juice for 2-3 glasses a day before meals.
- Avitaminosis. In birch sap laid half of the periodic table. It is prescribed for spring avitaminosis, weakened immunity, after suffering severe diseases, for the prevention of SARS, influenza.
- Intoxication. Drink well helps with poisoning (gives energy and reserves of lost fluid), cleanses the body of toxins, restores the water-salt balance, helps reduce the temperature and acts as a diaphoretic in combination with rosehip broth and lemon juice. It helps drink and hangover, removing discomfort in the stomach.
- Outdoor use. Means you can gargle, wash your nose, drink to disinfect the mouth during stomatitis, gingivitis, periodontal disease. They also rub skin with scabies, psoriasis, neurodermatitis, eczema, ulcers. Well helps with non-healing wounds.
How to use
How much juice can I drink per day?
- A glass 3 times a day is a “universal” dosage.
- Some herbalists recommend drinking diluted juice, especially if there is aggravation and diabetes.
- For preventive purposes, you can drink for a long time, but little by little.
- The treatment course may be shorter, but with a higher dosage, in this case, a break in therapy is required.
Recipes for harvesting birch sap are impressive in their diversity. You can harvest pure raw, and you can prepare from it sedative infusions with the addition of mint, fortified - with black currants and dogrose. Also from birch raw it turns out delicious kvass, wine, low alcohol drinks, syrup.
- Kvass. Birch sap has high fermentation properties. Поэтому квас из березового сока готовят и без дрожжей. Но также есть рецепты его приготовления с дрожжами.
- Сироп . Любопытно, что сегодня в мире — не более двух десятков производителей этого лакомства. Birch syrup is prepared on the same principle as the famous maple. To get 1 liter of product, you need to evaporate 100 liters of juice! Syrup is similar to honey in consistency and taste, but there is woody bitterness in it. In Russia, there is a community of fans and connoisseurs of this product, where they also produce natural birch sap, sauce, kvass, chaga. Here you can buy frozen raw.
- Wine The production of birch wines was established in the USSR, but now it is a rarity. Birch raw turned out high-quality sparkling (carbonated) wine. It can be prepared at home according to old Russian recipes.
Fizzy Drink Recipe
- Pour birch raw in a three-liter jar and keep warm for 2 days.
- Put in a jar 6 tsp. Sahara.
- Add a little raisins and lemon zest.
- Close the lid and hold for 2 days.
It turns out a pleasant carbonated sour drink (in fact - kvass). If the fermentation process is active, you need to open the lid or use a lid with a hole. To reduce the fermentation process, the drink is stored in the refrigerator.
Yeast Birch Kvass Recipe
- Heat raw birch to 35 ° C.
- Add 15 g of yeast (for 1 liter of juice), a little raisins, lemon zest.
- Close the tight lid.
- Soak for 7 days.
Kvass perfectly quenches thirst, normalizes digestion.
Recipe for birch kvass without yeast
- Pour birch raw in a three-liter jar.
- Put the pieces of dried rye bread in it.
- For aroma, put currant leaves and cherries.
- Cover the jar with gauze, soak for 14 days.
Malt Kvass Recipe
- Pour 5 liters of raw birch into a large bottle.
- Soak for 2 days.
- Put 30 g of barley malt.
- Stand at least 10 days.
Earlier in Russia, kvass was prepared in large barrels. It was one of the most popular drinks at holiday parties. To keep the brew for a long time, honey and oak bark were put in barrels. Herbs were also added - thyme, cumin, linden, chamomile, lemon balm, and St. John's wort. Blended low alcohol drinks were made with the addition of rowan juice, rosehip, cherries, blueberries, apples.
Recipe for canned birch sap
- Take 3 liters of fresh juice.
- Add 100 g of sugar and 1 medium lemon, cut into slices.
- Boil over low heat in an enamel bowl for 5 minutes.
- Pour into a sterilized jar, roll up.
Instead of lemon, you can use an orange. Pleasant taste will give the juice a sprig of mint or lemon balm. Previously, it was believed that industrial birch sap is diluted with citric acid and water. Painfully, a lot of it was produced in the USSR. In fact, a little lemon can be added to a prescription drink as a preservative.
Option 1: Hole in the barrel
If you delve into the library or the Internet, looking for the rules of collecting birch sap, the general recommendations will be approximately like the following. Juice should be collected (experts call targeted extraction of birch sap by tapping) from mature trees with a well-developed crown and a trunk of at least 30 cm across. At the same time, a small hole (channels) with a diameter of up to 2 cm is drilled in the bark, depending on the diameter of the tree, one to four holes are made on it, and a tubule or a tin tongue is taken from it, through which birch sap falls into the dishes attached on a wire or the rope.
Important! At the end of the birch sap collection, the wound is closed with a wooden cork and sealed with garden pitch, wax, clay or clay. This is necessary in order to prevent the entry of pathogens that can cause the death of a tree through a notch.
That's just a way to collect birch sap, which is described everywhere, we almost never used. Firstly, to make the juice flow only through the straw or tin gutter is quite problematic, often a large part of it flows past the trunk. Secondly, it is not always possible to attach the bottle or jar so that the drops fall inside, and if it succeeds, it is often when there is a little juice in the dishes, it is shifted under its weight, and the birch sap does not fall into the neck. Thirdly, it is necessary to make a triangular tongue of birch bark under the hole, thanks to which loss of sap can be avoided, and traces of these actions remain for a long time, if not forever, disfiguring slender white-trunked birches.
Moreover, if you follow the instructions and drill a hole no more than 2 cm, then in a couple of days the birch sap will flow much slower than at the beginning of the damage. And here are two ways: either to increase the hole in the diameter, or to make a new one. We did not see both of them desirable, therefore this method was not popular with us. Sometimes I had to meet in the birch forest belts the bottles hanging on the trunk, and above them there are several old and fresh holes or, even worse, deep notches with an ax. Unfortunately, this is how recommendations that look common in the literature look in practice.
Collect birch sap. © Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Option 2: Collect birch sap from a branch
Rejecting the most inconvenient, destructive and not aesthetic, in our opinion, method, we collected birch sap in a different way. We chose a suitable branch, about a finger thick or a little more, but extending not directly from the trunk at an angle upwards, but from a thicker branch or almost horizontally. Then an oblique cut was made and a branch was pushed into the neck of a 1.5-liter or liter bottle, depending on the flow rate. To fix the bottle on the branch with the help of a wire was not a big pile. Sometimes suitable branches were located at a great distance from the ground, and we had to climb a tree. From this birch sap seemed even sweeter. However, this may be due to the fact that it has gone a long way down the trunk and absorbed more glucose and fructose - sugars, which determine the sweet taste of the healing drink.
The unbreakable rule was that we put one bottle or, at most, two on one tree. This ensured the stability of sap flow throughout the entire period, and the limitation of injuries of some of the most “sweet” trees. The latter most often stood apart on some well-heated sun hillock. In some places there was still snow, and the birch trees were just starting to drift away from winter sleep, and then birch sap was already running. We tried not to touch the young birch trees, but preferred adult grown trees.
It is better not to collect juice near villages and villages. Do not once again endanger the already exhausted by the attention of people trees. In addition, the sap flow here is always late, it was quite sluggish and short. And the sap of a tree growing near a busy highway or in the industrial zone of a city will generally only bring harm instead of benefit.
And yet, a number of factors influence the amount of birch sap: latitude, forest type, weather in summer and winter before tapping and during tapping, hours of the day, fullness of stand, degree of tree domination.
Collect birch sap. © Minnesotastan
The benefits of birch sap
For medicinal purposes, two types of birch are often used - drooping and sprawling. Their buds, leaves, juice, ash (activated carbon), tar obtained from the dry distillation of wood, xylitol (a sugar substitute for diabetics derived from wood waste) are all widely used in medicine. Birch sap contains 0.5 - 2% sugar, it contains enzymes, organic acids, tannins, salts of calcium, potassium, iron, plant hormones, glucose and substances with high antimicrobial activity (phytoncides).
Every year a person must consume at least 6 liters of birch sap. This healing drink destroys urinary stones, is effective in the treatment of gastric and liver ulcers, headaches, bronchitis, cough, helps with rheumatism, radiculitis, arthritis. In addition, birch sap purifies the blood, has a regenerating effect, stimulates the metabolism, and is also an excellent dietary and refreshing drink. Systematic reception of birch sap has a tonic and tonic effect. Doctors say that if you drink at least a glass of juice a day, drowsiness, fatigue, irritability will disappear. In general, drinking birch sap in its pure form is a pleasure. This is a pleasant, refreshing and invigorating drink.
Collect birch sap. © Carol Byrne
How to prepare birch sap to use?
125 g of sugar and 5 g of citric acid are added to 1 liter of birch sap. Then filtered, poured into jars, pasteurized and twist the lids. It is useful to mix birch sap with other juices from fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as to insist on mint leaves, lemon balm, thyme, St. John's wort, lime blossom, rosehips, cranberries.
In an oak barrel with birch sap, a bag of burnt rye bread or bread crumbs is dropped on a rope. After two days, fermentation will begin. Then in a barrel oak bark, berries or leaves of cherry, and also fennel stalks are poured. Two weeks later, kvass is ready.
There is another recipe. Birch sap is heated to 35 ° C, put in it the yeast at the rate of 15-20 g per 1 liter. Leaven put for 3-4 days in a cold place, then poured into containers and preserved.
In addition to kvass, you can make a tasty and healthy syrup from fresh birch sap (sweet and slightly sour taste) (it can be added to tea or mixed with water). After evaporation, the concentration of sugar in it reaches 60-70%. This syrup has a lemon-white color and thickness of honey. It is proved that a sweet syrup made from birch sap not only prevents tooth decay, but even stops its development.
The content of the article
- How to store birch sap at home
- How to collect birch cap
- How to harvest birch sap
- What tree sap can be mined and consumed in spring
Birch sap has many beneficial properties and a beneficial effect on the body. In addition, he is very good thirst quencher. Unfortunately, due to the small shelf life, it is necessary to resort to various methods of processing and preservation in order to keep it longer.
The simplest and most reliable way to save birch sap is to roll it into jars. There are many ways, depending on tastes and possibilities. During Soviet times, the most popular method of industrial conservation of birch sap was to preserve it in 3-liter jars of sugar and citric acid. The juice was tart, sweet-sour and quite saturated to taste. To date, the preservation is somewhat complicated by various additives. In the birch sap began to add herbs, fresh citrus fruits and so on.
At home, a universal recipe implies the use of exclusively natural ingredients without artificially selected oxidizing agents. For canning 3 liters of birch sap you need 2 tablespoons of sugar and a quarter of lemon or any citrus along with the zest.
The jar is sterilized and sugar and citrus are added. Birch sap is brought to a boil, poured into a prepared jar and rolled up with a sterilized lid. Rolled juice turns over on the lid and wrapped in heat for additional sterilization.
Alternative preservation methods
Very tasty and long stored kvass from birch sap. Birch sap (10 l.) Is poured into any available container and a handful of raisins are poured. For better fermentation and give a special kvass taste, you can add a few rye crackers. Crackers can be replaced with malt. To improve the taste, again add lemon zest. Variations of fermentation are quite varied. Some prefer using yeast for faster results. In any case, the fermentation process lasts at least a week and you can start drinking kvass almost immediately. Ready kvass is stored in a cool place for several months.
Some hostesses with freezers have mastered the freezing of birch sap. That's just the place it takes a lot and this method of storage is inappropriate. It is much more preferable to apply boiling in order to increase the concentration and subsequent dilution with water for consumption. To do this, birch sap is evaporated at 60 ° C to reduce the volume by 75% and poured into jars.
Properties of birch sap
This drink is rightly called "living water". Colorless nectar seeps from trimmed trunks and tree branches under the influence of root pressure. With its numerous healing properties, birch sap has long been considered to be a real elixir of health.
Its composition is rich aboutrganic acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, including sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, aluminum, barium, nickel, zirconium, copper, manganese, iron, silicon, titanium. Laboratory tests also showed traces of nitrogen.
Due to this content, the drink is used not only as a tonic, but also as an additional therapeutic component in the fight against various ailments. It is recommended to use it for diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems, urolithiasis, joint pathology, skin problems. Birch nectar is a useful addition to the diet with beriberi. In addition, the drink perfectly cleanses the blood, removes toxins and improves metabolism.
In order to achieve high productivity and protect trees from the possible negative consequences of this procedure, the following requirements should be observed:
- To extract juice in environmentally friendly places, because the tree is able to absorb exhaust gases and other harmful substances.
- Give preference to those birches, which are soon subject to the planned cutting.
- Do not use young trees.
- Collect birch nectar in the daytime, when the movement of fluid inside the trunk is characterized by the greatest activity.
- Make a hole on the south side of the plant to get the maximum amount of juice.
- Do not take more than one liter per day from one birch.
- At the end of the collection must necessarily cover the hole in the trunk, using wax, clay or laundry soap.
Where you can not take juice
There are a number of places that for any reason not suitable for collection. These include:
- areas located along highways, railways, under power lines,
- places intended for mass recreation - city parks, forest parks, botanical gardens,
- historical and cultural reserves, habitats of wild animals and the growth of rare plants listed in the Red Book,
- the territory of holiday homes and recreational facilities.
Ways of collecting
The exact time of the release of vegetable nectar is sometimes difficult to establish. It must be remembered that sap flow activity is directly dependent on weather conditions. Therefore, even after the onset of a thaw, the current of the juice can stop if suddenly a frost suddenly hit.
To be independently convinced of the onset of the sap flow period, you need to pierce the birch stem to a depth of one and a half centimeters with a sharp object. The appearance of transparent drops indicates the readiness of the tree to share "living water."
Extraction of juice should begin with those areas that are more time to warm up under the spring sunshine. Gradually, as the forest awakens, it will be possible to move deep into the thicket.
For successful collection, you must first choose the right birch. Too old trees, as well as very young ones, are not suitable for this purpose. It is necessary to use “donors” with a trunk diameter of 20–40 centimeters with a developed crown.
The root system of such plants is located deep enough to absorb moisture not from the surface layers polluted by melt water, but from the cleaner soil of the earth. The larger the diameter, the more holes you can make:
- 20–25 cm - 1 hole,
- 26–35 cm - 2 holes,
- 36–40 cm - 3 holes.
Since birch fluid flows in the cavity between the bark and wood, a small depression of a few centimeters will be quite enough. It is desirable that it was at a half-meter distance from the earth. The hole is made with a rotate or other suitable tool in the upward direction. It is inserted into a tube, or other pre-prepared device. You can even collect the juice using a regular gauze strip or bandage.
Some experienced collectors do this work more. in a civilized wayusing a medical dropper system. First, they drill a hole in the barrel with a depth of two to five centimeters.
The diameter of the hole must match the diameter of the tip to ensure a tight fit. After removing the needle with a rubber adapter, one end of the system is inserted into the prepared recess, the other is lowered into the container.
There is another way to extract birch sap, which is no less effective, but the most gentle to the tree. This method allows you to collect nectar directly from the branches. В этом случае можно воспользоваться двумя вариантами сбора:
- Выбрав низко расположенную ветвь, аккуратно срезать небольшую её часть и опустить обрезанную ветку в приготовленную тару.
- Подрезать ветвь до такой степени, чтобы на неё можно было повесить ёмкость. Formed knot fix in the desired position, tied it to the trunk. To speed up the process, you can attach several bottles on different branches at the same time.
It should be noted that after cutting down birch trees, the remaining stumps for some time can also be used to obtain juice.
Collecting birch nectar, we must not forget that it is better to take a liter of juice from several trees than to “pump out” fluids from a single tree more than the prescribed norm, dooming the plant to complete drying and death.
At the end of the work, it is necessary to treat the “wound” area as previously indicated. This will help protect the tree from possible bacterial and fungal infections that cause rotting processes and pose a great danger to plant life.
Best of all this wonderful drink to use fresh. However, the nature provides us with this opportunity for a short period of time - about twenty days a year. The storage time of birch nectar in the refrigerator is limited to only a few days.
In order to prepare a drink for future use, there are many different ways. Juice can be canned, frozen, cook kvass from it.
Recipe number 1
Heat the birch sap in an enamel pot, do not bring to a boil. Pour over the banks and roll covers. Put the filled containers in water and sterilize for 15 minutes. A drink preserved in this way is stored in the cellar for up to 5 months.
Recipe number 2
Pour freshly squeezed juice into pre-sterilized jars, filtering through a strainer or cheesecloth. For 3 liters of juice, add 2 tablespoons of sugar, a little lemon zest and 2-3 raisins, mix thoroughly and close the lid. The resulting drink is stored in the refrigerator.
Recipe number 3
Heat fresh juice to 35 degrees, add yeast at the rate of 15 grams per 1 liter, lemon zest and a few raisins, leave in a closed jar for two weeks at room temperature. After this time, the resulting brew must be drained and refrigerated.
Recipe number 4
Immediately after collecting, pour the juice into bottles and place in a freezer for freezing.
This method of storage allows you to largely preserve the taste and quality characteristics of a natural drink.
Like any food product, birch sap has a number of contraindications to use. It is necessary to limit or completely refuse to take a drink in the presence of such diseases as diabetes mellitus, allergy to birch pollen, as well as in case of individual intolerance. In the absence of such conditions, the sap of the Russian birch will help not only to preserve health, youth and beauty, but also to gain the unforgettable joy of living communication with nature.
General information about the drink
Before telling you how to collect birch sap, I want to tell you what this drink is.
Birch sap is a liquid that flows out of broken and cut branches and birch trunks, which occurs as a result of the action of root pressure.
Surely everyone knows that Berezovitsa (the second name of the drink we are considering) is a very valuable and nutritious product. This is due to the fact that it has a beneficial effect on the entire human body.
The composition of the drink and useful properties
In the spring, sweet birch sap is mined due to the fact that it is very rich in vitamins and minerals. Experts say that this drink includes the following substances: various sugars, phosphorus, potassium, zirconium, sodium, nickel, calcium, barium, magnesium, strontium, aluminum, copper, manganese, titanium, iron and silicon. Also, scientists found in it and traces of nitrogen.
Birch sap is recommended to drink with vitamin deficiency, diseases of the joints, skin and blood, as well as with bronchitis, sore throat, pneumonia and other respiratory pathologies.
Drinking a drink helps cleanse the blood, break down kidney stones and bladder, and enhance metabolism. It also removes toxins and other harmful substances from the body.
In addition, birch sap is useful to drink for liver diseases, stomach ulcers, pathologies of the gallbladder, duodenum, low acidity, rheumatism, scurvy, radiculitis, arthritis, headaches, tuberculosis and even sexually transmitted diseases.
When to collect birch sap?
Birch sap begins in early spring, with the first thaws. This period continues until the bud breaks. However, it should be noted that it is rather difficult to establish the exact time of juice extraction, since it completely depends on weather conditions. Although most collectors claim that the "Birch tears" begin to run in mid-March.
To independently determine the beginning of the sap flow, it is only necessary to come into the forest and prick a birch with a thin awl. If after this action, droplets of life-giving moisture are shown from the hole, then you can safely proceed to its collection and further preparation.
As a rule, birch sap is stopped in the second half of April, when leaves begin to bloom.
Features of the collection
How to extract birch sap? In order to collect a large amount of vivifying drink, you should come in the forest before dark. After all, the most intense sap flow along the tree trunk is observed during daylight hours. Therefore, the collection is better to start in the early morning.
Before taking birch sap, measure the diameter of the target. From this value will depend on how many holes in it can be done. So, if the diameter of the tree is 21-26 cm, then you can pierce it once. If 25-35 cm, then it is allowed to make 2 holes, if 35-40 - 3, and if more than 40 cm, then all 4 is possible.
How to collect birch sap? Adaptations must be placed near the tree that is located on the most heated by the sun place. In the future it is allowed to move deep into the thicket.
As a rule, from one small birch a person can get about 2-3 liters of a lively drink per day. If you find a large tree, it will give you about 7 liters of juice, or even more.
It is best to collect the juice in the place where emergency deforestation or groves are planned. It is strictly forbidden to take a drink from young trees.
Due to the fact that the roots of birch are deep in the ground, it is not capable of absorbing poisons from surface soil. In this regard, all the places where birch grow, ideal for collecting juice. However, experienced gatherers claim that this process is best carried out in environmentally friendly forests. This is due to the fact that the tree itself can quite easily absorb exhaust gases and other harmful substances.
Basic rules for the collection of a refreshing drink
How to collect birch sap without harm to the tree itself? Unfortunately, few ask this question. In this regard, we decided to remind you of the basic rules for collecting a life-giving drink, which will save the plant from further rotting and death, as well as contribute to the effective extraction of juice:
- It is forbidden to "pump up" the first tree, simply chopping it up with an ax and then leaving an open wound on the trunk.
- For the harvest of healthy natural juice can not use young trees.
- The hole for collecting the drink is best done from the north side. It is here that there is more juice.
- Before taking a birch sap, a shallow incision should be made in the trunk. However, experienced collectors say that it is best to drill a hole in it with a gimlet, and then insert a groove or a tube along which, in fact, the fluid will flow into the container.
- Another effective way to pick up birch sap, without harming the tree, is the "branch" method. Reaching for a sprig, a small part should be cut from it, and then lowered into the prepared container.
- After the collection of life-giving moisture is completed, it is necessary to seal the incision or hole tightly with wax, clay or soap. It can also be plugged or plugged with moss. These actions will protect the tree from the possible penetration of bacteria and fungi, which often cause rotting of the trunk.
How to extract birch sap?
Before proceeding to the direct collection of birch sap, you should prepare the correct container. Her choice must be approached selectively. Previously, this drink was collected in special barrels made of birch bark. However, today most people use ordinary glass jars for this, and sometimes even plastic bottles.
So how to extract birch sap? Before this process, a tree trunk is incised, nicked or drilled. The slot is better to do 40-50 cm from the ground. In this case, guide the knife or awl from the bottom up. The depth of the hole should be about 2-3 cm. If the tree is very thick, then this recess should be increased.
After making a slot, a gutter or some other semicircular device is inserted into it. It is for him the juice will drain into the prepared container.
After the process is completed, you should take care of the tree itself. The cut is carefully covered with wax, moss or cork.
By the way, after the recent harvesting of birch trees, the collection of juice can also be carried out from stumps that have not yet rotted.
What devices for collecting birch sap exist?
Now you know how to collect birch sap. Adaptations for such an event may be different. Purchase them in the store you are unlikely to succeed. However, you can easily make them yourself. To do this, you can use completely different containers (bottles, jars), tubules, gutters, funnels, tows, ropes, etc. By the way, it is the correctly chosen device that will provide you with a large amount of tasty birch sap.
How to store?
Now you know how to extract birch sap. But this knowledge is not enough to save the collected drink. After all, if you do not want to use it immediately, it should be mothballed. Otherwise, it will soon deteriorate and become unusable. In this regard, we decided to present you a few recipes.
The first way. Pure three-liter jars are sterilized over steam, and then filled with freshly collected drink. For every 0.5 liters of juice, add an incomplete dessert spoon of glucose or ordinary sugar, as well as 2 raisins, washed in cold water, and some lemon zest. The glass container is closed with a lid. In a few days you will have a very tasty and sour carbonated drink, which is best stored in the refrigerator.
Second way. Before canning birch sap, it is heated in an enamel pot to 80 degrees, and then poured into glass jars or bottles. The filled containers are sealed with lids or corks with osmolka. The containers are placed in water and sterilized over low heat for hour. Ready juice stored in the basement or cellar for no more than 5 months.
The third way. In order to preserve birch sap for a long time, kvass is often made from it. To do this, freshly picked drink is heated to 35 degrees, and then add a few yeast granules and 3 raisins (per 1 liter of liquid). Also, sugar and lemon zest are added to taste in kvass. Finally, the filled can or bottle is closed and left at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. After this time, the drink is filtered and stored in the refrigerator.
Now you know how to properly birch sap should be processed at home. However, in any case, it should be stored only in a cool room.
Analogs of birch sap
How to make birch sap and properly store it, we have described above. However, few people know that in the spring sap flow occurs in all trees. Although not all plants can be mined. Practical application received a drink that is collected from ash and sugar maple (American).
In our country, maple sap is very rare. And its volume is rather difficult to compare with birch. This is due to the fact that sugar maple grows only in North America, while other species are not so fast growing as to produce a large amount of a life-giving drink.
Maple sap is used extensively in the northeastern United States and also in southeastern Canada. As a rule, it is used to produce a sweet syrup, which is often used along with pancakes and added to various confectionery products.
Let's sum up
In this article we answered in detail the question of how to make birch sap tasty and keep it for a long time, and also discussed how it should be harvested without harm to trees. Thanks to these tips, you are sure to get a very tasty and healthy drink that will quench your thirst and saturate the body with minerals and organic acids. Do not forget only to “treat” the slender beauty and to treat the wound so that the tree does not die.
When collecting birch sap
The exact date of appearance of the juice in birch trees depends on the region of the country and the weather conditions in each particular year.
Approximately after the spring equinox, which occurs on March 20 or 21, you can go to the grove to check whether sap flow has started in the white-colored trees. To do this, you should bring along a thin awl, which you need to carefully pierce the bark of birch. If there is a drop of juice - it means that the process has started and you can start to collect the healing birch.
Experienced collectors know that the period during which you can get the greatest amount of juice, very short. It is necessary to have time to stock up on a healthy drink from the moment of the appearance of swollen buds and before the leaves open on the trees.
In addition, the fastest juice goes in the daytime: from noon until six o'clock in the evening. But then the trees “fall asleep” and don’t generously give their nectar.
How to properly collect a healthy drink without harm to the tree
Nature shares with us healing properties completely free of charge. We should appreciate gifts, taking maximum care of fragile and vulnerable trees.
Juice collection can not be carried out unconsciously, to set a single goal - to get as much as possible drink. Care must be taken not to harm nature.
How to collect birch sap?
- Choose not too young and not too old tree, with a trunk diameter of not less than 20 cm.
- Make a shallow hole, given that the juice goes between the bark and the trunk. The distance from the ground - 20 - 25 cm, the depth of the gap - 3 - 5 cm.
Important! Do not use an ax, it is better to use a drill with a small diameter nozzle.
- There is no need to make a lot of holes in one tree. With a trunk diameter of 25 cm, only one is allowed, from 30 to 35 cm - two, from 35 to 40 - three holes, for thicker trees - a maximum of four.
- In the slot made (or under it), you need to place a device through which the juice can drip into the container installed below - a plastic bottle, a plastic bag, a glass jar, a canister. This may be a wooden chute, a polyethylene tube, a harness from dry grass, or other materials at hand.
- Do not be lazy, you should go around more trees to collect one liter per day from each, and not completely dry one birch. All juice is not allowed to drain, it will kill the tree. Therefore, in the evening the collection should be stopped.
- Be sure to close the hole after collecting birch. For this you can use moss, clay, wax, wooden cork.
Observing these simple rules, one can not only profit from useful nectar, but also keep healthy white trees that can regale people with healing juice next year.
Birch sap for women and children
- Pregnancy There is no information that during pregnancy the juice can harm the body. However, medical consultation should be mandatory, especially if a woman has chronic diseases of the stomach and kidneys. This low-calorie drink well quenches thirst, normalizes metabolic processes, blood pressure, reduces attacks of nausea and vomiting during toxicosis.
- Lactation. It is believed that birch sap is useful for breastfeeding, stimulates lactation. There is no scientific evidence for this. However, it can be useful for nursing mothers with its rich composition. It should be taken in reasonable portions. To begin with, it is recommended to drink 100 g of juice and observe the reaction of the infant.
- Childhood . The question arises: is it possible to drink birch sap for children? Pediatricians do not recommend giving it to babies under 1 year old in any form. After a year, you can offer canned juice, but in small portions, first in a diluted form. Later you can try to enter into the diet raw, also in small doses. Juice is valuable for children by glucose, phytoncides, organic acids, unique compositions of micro- and macroelements, vitamins. Needless to say, children need to be given only a high-quality, proven product, without additives.
Birch sap is widely used in cosmetology due to its tonic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory effect. How is it used?
- Как лосьон и маска для волос . Он хорошо укрепляет корни, устраняет перхоть, повышенную жирность. Чистый сок втирают в кожу головы и волосы. Также из него делают маски с добавлением касторового масла и меда.
- При кожных проблемах . Неразбавленным соком протирают кожу утром и вечером при фурункулезе, угрях, пигментных пятнах, лишае.
- Reception inside. In skin diseases, it is used not only externally, but also inside. Birch sap acts as a blood-purifying agent, helps with furunculosis, acne, acne, eliminates the cause of the disease “from the inside”.
- Cosmetic ice. In addition to lotions and masks, apply cosmetic ice from birch sap. To do this, it is poured into small molds, frozen, daily wipe the skin with pieces of ice.
What are the main healing properties of birch sap? First of all, it is a mild diuretic and choleretic agent. Also, the drink has tonic, blood-purifying, tonic, antiseptic properties. It is used to treat skin diseases, metabolic disorders, anemia, avitaminosis, intoxication, are actively used in cosmetology.
Is it possible to collect birch sap in urban areas
All trees, and Russian beauties in particular, are very sensitive to changes in the environment. They literally absorb all the substances that are in the air and in the ground.
If the growth occurs in a favorable environment, in the depths of the forest or grove, away from highways, factories and other "benefits" of civilization, there juice is especially useful.
But if you collect birch sap from trees that grow within the city, the nectar will include, among other things, decay products, burning, heavy metal salts and other “pleasant” consequences of the active life of Homo sapiens.
Therefore, it is better to drive deeper into the forest to get a truly healing birch.
The benefits of birch sap for the human body
Few drinks can boast such an effect on human health. At the same time, the juice has practically no contraindications, it is suitable for everyone, regardless of age and the presence of any diseases.
Berezovitsa is not only very refreshing, but also helps to improve well-being. Among other things:
- relieves inflammation in the throat,
- normalizes metabolic processes,
- improves digestion
- boosts immunity
- removes slags, toxic substances,
- has diuretic properties, relieves swelling,
- normalizes blood pressure
- improves liver and kidney function
- prevents the development of anemia, vitamin deficiency,
- normalizes hormones,
- improves potency
- increases vitality,
- struggling with stress, depression,
- prevents the development of tumors
- improves skin and hair.
The range of healing properties is impressive. All of them are actively used for the prevention and treatment of various diseases.
How to drink a drink for health
As mentioned above, “birch tears” is a safe drink. But not everyone can drink it.
To stay healthy, you need to limit yourself to drinking juice:
- people who are allergic to birch pollen,
- people with kidney stones
- diabetes patients.
And everyone else can enjoy a pleasant sweet woody taste, eating no more than 2 glasses of a healthy drink per day.
Traditional medicine offers its own recipes to help improve the well-being of patients with various ailments.
- To clean the buds use a cocktail of birch sap and parsley, as well as honey (1: 1: 1). This mixture should be consumed three times a day, 2 tablespoons. This course lasts a month.
- To normalize blood pressure, it is helpful to drink half a glass of fresh birch twice a day for a week.
- Rinsing with heated juice will help relieve sore throat. They should be done several times a day, after meals.
- Especially useful for children will be a vitamin mixture of several juices. In addition to birch, you need to add the same amount of nectar from apples and carrots. 2 cups a day will help strengthen the immune system and prevent anemia.
- Berezovitsa effectively reduces body temperature during fever. To do this, you must put under the arms, on the forehead, under the knees on the bends of the elbows gauze dipped in juice.
- Half a glass of juice mixed with cow's milk significantly strengthens the immune system. To do this, you need to undergo a weekly course of treatment, using the drug three times a day.
- Birchwood infused on oats improves digestion and promotes the elimination of toxins. To do this, it must be boiled in a water bath until the amount of liquid is halved. For proper effect, you should drink a glass of healing elixir 3 times a day for a month.