Birch Sap Nature's Superfood Cleanser
This week at the Retreat we’ll be collecting one of Nature’s Superfoods, Birch Sap.
The tradition of collecting birch sap has been practised in the Northern lands for generations. One learns to gauge when the time is right, when the sap has begun to rise once more from deep in the ground to take its place once more within the birch tree but before the leaves have opened and the sap isn’t so good to drink anymore.
Simply drill a hole into the tree and insert a small tube which drains into a bucket and leave it for a few hours, depending on the rate of flow. Making one small hole in a large tree means that you don’t deplete the tree by taking too much and when the process is finished the hole will naturally heal over leaving the tree none the worse from the experience.
The sap contains many minerals and trace elements, especially prized for those which are brought up from deep within the ground where we would not normally have access to them.
The sap is refreshing to drink and very diuretic which means the body gets a real springtime cleanse as all the old rubbish is washed out of the body and the body is nourished by the natural sugars, minerals and trace elements in the sap.
Because of the sugar content of the sap it goes off fairly quickly so we bottle it straight into the fridge and also freeze some for later use in the year. When it is added to our own homemade redcurrant juice it makes the most wonderful juice for fasting days further accelerating our cleansing processes.
The usual spring weather of Finland is quite helpful in that the nights are usually still quite cold so the collection bucket can be left overnight to fill right to the top without having to concern ourselves about the sap getting too warm and going off. Last night I put out 3 buckets and this morning I had collected 25 litres of sap.
When we first came to Finland my daughter suffered from an allergic reaction to birch pollen, as do a high proportion of the Finnish population so the following spring I mixed up her juice with some birch sap so that her body would be introduced to the energy of the birch before her lungs were bombarded with pollen a month later.
I was interested to see if the process would really work so I didn’t tell my daughter what I had done to avoid any placebo effect. She has never suffered any birch pollen allergy since.
According to the works of Rudolf Steiner the energy that we feel and use from the sun during the summer half of the year is mirrored beneath the earth during the winter half of the year so for me it is especially magical to partake of this Inner World energy right at the start of spring when my own powerful new beginnings are starting to unfold.
The horses really like it too. One year I was tapping the birch trees in their enclosure but discovered that they drank every drop!!
I hear that birch sap wine is rather excellent.
The diuretic and cleansing properties of the birch sap make it a natural remedy for the removal of kidney stones and the cleansing effects which impact on the liver make it a great treatment for jaundice.
The birch tree in general is associated with purification and in these Northern Lands is a symbol of the feminine principal, representing Mother Earth. It is said to point the way to a clear purpose and a fresh start in life…spring is a perfect time for that.
Always remember to give gratitude and recognition to the tree for the gift that it has given you..