Sap is the sticky substance that seep out of trees(specially maples and walnuts) and is vital for the tree’s life. Sap carries important nutrients, water and hormones that are essential for a healthy plant.There are a few species of trees which naturally produce more sap then others, like sugar maples (Acer saccharum) that is harvested for maple syrup. Saps are mainly produced in excessive amount when the plant is injured or pruned. Saps are sticky, but you might be surprised to know that sap from maple, birch, or walnut trees comprise mostly of water with only 2 percent or less sugar and loaded with vitamins,minerals, nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants, amino acids, polyphenols, and other health-promoting compounds thereby making sap an all-natural beverage.Tree sap ia also commercialized and can be consumed all throughout the year.
Some people enjoy drinking fresh sap directly from the tree.You can also boil it for some time to kill any bacteria or yeast. There is a high possibility of harmful bacteria to be found in sap, hence its advisable to boil it before drinking to kill all the bacteria and pathogenic organisms. Maple sap is sweet and it becomes more concentrated during the sap’s conversion into syrup.
Here I would like to mention a few health benefits associated with tree sap which are often overlooked:
1.Maple sap helps in curing osteoporosis at early stages.
Maple tree often termed as “Gorosoe” in South Korea means “the tree that is good for the bones. ” Many researchers concluded that 50% sap solution has the power to mitigate osteoporosis in the early stages.For people with low-calcium diet, maple tree sap helps the body in calcium ion absorption.
2.Maple sap helps in preventing gastric ulcer formation
Stomach ulcers are mainly caused due to injury inflicted on the mucosal lining of the stomach. Mucosal Lining might get injured due to various reasons like infection by bacteria(Helicobacter pylori), long-term use of aspirin and ibuprofen, and excessive consumption of alcohol. Stomach ulcers if left untreated, can eventually lead to gastric cancer.Researchers have claimed that something as tasty and simple as maple tree sap can minimize such conditions.
3.Maple or walnut sap helps lower blood pressure
Sap has high concentrations of calcium, potassium, and magnesium which are much higher than what is found in spring water. Calcium and potassium, two important minerals found in tree sap, plays a major role in regulating blood pressure.
4. Tree sap prevents hangovers
Researches have proved that consuming maple sap prior to taking alcohol can increase the rate of alcohol metabolism in the body. Researchers have also claimed that maple sap might help in reducing oxidative stress related to alcohol consumption.Thus, it helps in preventing hangover,if you have it prior to consuming alcohol
5.It supports the immune response
Researchers have claimed that A. okamotoanum tree sap may have potential antimicrobial effects on patients suffering from infection.Maple sap helps in eliminating pathogens while minimally damaging host tissue.
With modernization,many of us have lost touch with the food served by nature. Tree sap is seasonal and only flows during a limited time of the year. It is also difficult and expensive to preserve hence, it may work best as a seasonal product.