Birch takes water from the deepest layers of the earth, so it is clean. Then in its path through the tree, sap is enriched with minerals and carbohydrates. Fresh sap is different than water, therefore it does not stay in the body, it washes out the toxins, is urine impellent, facilitates recovery of the body, regulates weight, improves immunity, supplies body cells with organic acids, improves metabolism, cleans kidneys, rinses salt precipitation from the bone joints, cleanses the blood of excess substances and performes much more body-friendly and healing functions.Sap contains protein, amino acids, a number of valuable minerals as well as electrolytes and enzymes necessary for the body. It also contains saponin that can effectively reduce elevated cholesterol levels and it has anti-inflammatory effect.
Birch sap can be used not only for drinking, but for skin care as well. It is healthy to wash face with fresh birch sap or use it instead of a face lotion. It improves skin color and elasticity. In addition, birch sap can protect and prepare skin for the active spring sun.
It is interesting that about the importance of birch sap in Latvian peasants’ everyday life, already more than a hundred years ago wrote Baltic-German Lutheran pastor and cultural historian August Bielenstein (4 March 1826 – 6 July 1907). In his book “Latvian wooden buildings and household items” Bielenstein addressed, in his opinion, the third (after beer and miestiņš which is a sort of a home brewed sweet beer that was made from honeycombs and contained small amount of alcohol) Latvian national drink – birch sap.
„Birch wood gives the best firewood, the best material for making wheels and sledges, and tools for agriculture and household. Birch serves a man from the bottom to the very top. From it he takes branches for the broom to clean the house and whip to educate his children. Birch roots and trunk give a refreshing drink. It is hard to find another tree as rich with sap as the birch. Before the leaves burst, sap goes up the tree, and wherever there is any injury, richly flows out. By observing it, a man already a long time ago mastered the skill to get the sweet sap. On Latvian land next to country houses, one can see birches growing everywhere. In Latvian folk songs birch sap is rarely mentioned and even when so, it is to make fun of it as a substitute to the expensive beer for the poor servant, who (contrary to customs) has to celebrate wedding in the spring.
In the spring time, in the spring time
Servants time to wed his love
Sap from birches comes in spring time
There’s no need for beer to brew