Move over coconut water…there’s a new liquid in town! Birch water, or birch tree sap, is the latest health craze in water substitutes. It’s made a splash in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and parts of Northern China, and now it’s making the rounds in the United States, Australia, the UK—it’s quite the globetrotter. Extracted from silver birch trees in early spring, this thin watery drink boasts just 18 calories per 100 ml and is full of antioxidants and minerals…including vitamin C, potassium, zinc, copper, calcium, and magnesium.
Birch Water Health Benefits
Birch water is thought to…
- Lower cholesterol
- Treat the flu
- Battle headaches and migraines
- Reduce cellulite
- Diminish dandruff
- Protect against and treat liver disease
- Eliminate eczema
- Soothe joint pain
- Treat diarrhea
- Combat constipation
While the purported benefits have yet to be scientifically validated, drinking birch water is certainly better than drinking sugary juices, soft drinks, and flavored waters. Birch water is loaded with electrolytes like potassium, so it’s great for re-hydration. Its nutritional profile is similar to that of coconut water but with a few added boons.
Birch water contains saponins—a substance typically found in legumes—that has been shown to help lower cholesterol. A 1997 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that saponins reduced cholesterol by attaching to bile acids and cholesterol and thereby preventing reabsorption and encouraging elimination.
Birch water is naturally sweetened with xylitol, a sugar alcohol harvested from birch tree sap. Numerous studies have shown that xylitol helps reduce your risk for cavities because bacteria implicated in tooth decay can’t feed off of xylitol. And xylitol has 40% fewer calories than sugar does!
Birch water’s detoxifying benefits are hard to beat. Birch water is said to help filter toxins through the kidneys, ushering out waste products like uric acid, urea, excess salt, and ammonia. Researchers from Lancaster University planted trees in front of homes located on a busy street. The birch trees outperformed the oak trees, and absorbed 50% of particulate dust—implicated in respiratory issues—from cars passing by.
So, try out a bottle today. You can even find birch water in small liquor marts and gas stations! Not a fan of the flavor? Don’t just throw the birch water in the garbage, but use it to wash your face and soothe your skin. Birch water is great for dermatological issues such as eczema and acne…and leaves your face looking and feeling smooth and refreshed.