Birch Water – What is it, who’s it good for, and why?
Birch water has become increasingly popular both in Finland and abroad as the overall interest in organic and nature-friendly products has grown. Do you know anything about birch water or how it is harvested? Can you guess how many litres of birch water one birch tree produces or what it might taste like as a drink? Read our blog for answers to these frequently asked questions and more!
What are the constituents of birch water?
The composition of birch water has been studied for a long time and is quite well known. Birch water is 99% water, and the remaining 1% consists of sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose), organic acids (malic, phosphoric, succinic, citric, fumaric, and glycolic acids), free amino acids (glutamine, asparagine, calendicin, and citrulline), minerals (potassium, calcium and magnesium, manganese), small amounts of protein, and vitamin C.
Source: Puoskari, V. (2016) Birch as a Food – Analysing Birch Bud Extract, pp. 19-22. Master’s thesis, University of Turku.
What does birch water taste like as a drink?
Birch water is very slightly acidic, with a pH of between 5.5 and 7.5. It has a pleasantly mild taste, which has a subtle, natural sweetness.
Try it for yourself and the taste will speak for itself!
What is birch water good for?
Birch water is a drink that enhances well-being in many of life’s situations. Due to its ingredients, birch water has been used to relieve rheumatic pains in the joints, raise the basal metabolic rate, help prevent and rectify metabolic disorders, and it also helps ward off cardiovascular disease – especially in the context of sport. The ingredients in birch water will not only optimise the ways you physically function, but also improve your overall quality of life.
How is birch water used?
It can be drunk, or applied topically – for instance when washing your face. Both the cosmetics and beverage industries have become aware of consumers’ increasing concerns about health and natural well-being. Consequently there are now a wide variety of birch water drinks and cosmetics on the market – ranging from creams to soaps and lotions.
How is birch water made?
Birch water is a unique solution of nutrients produced by each birch tree in a yearly cycle. In the summer, it uses the sun’s energy to turn carbon dioxide into fructose, glucose, and oxygen. In the autumn it starts storing these sugars in its roots before dropping its leaves, and preparing for its wintertime rest. In the spring, as the air warms and ground starts to melt, the birch stirs and starts to draw water again from the ground. It mixes the water with the sugars stored in its roots and starts to push this vital fluid up towards its soon-to-be budding branches.
The sap rises until the first buds appear, then as these ‘mouse ears’ open (as we call them in Finland), the tree begins once more to harvest the warm summer sunlight streaming through its new green canopy.
How is birch water collected?
Birch water is collected in a period lasting 3 to 5 weeks over April and May, when the birch water is rising and just before the first buds appear. Traditionally, a small hole (approx. 1 cm in diameter) would be drilled in the trunk, and a grommet inserted, to which a clean plastic tube would then be connected, so the birch water would run down it into a container.
On an industrial scale, the birch water is automatically collected from all the trees into a tank, which is then transported without delay to the factory for packaging.
How much birch water does one birch produce?
A large birch will produce dozens of litres of birch water a day, although there are many factors which can affect the flow of birch water, so this varies greatly from year to year. In general, the birch water will flow at a higher rate in birches that grow in moister habitats. Healthy and well-cared for birches can thus produce between 50 and 300 litres of birch water per day*!
*Kallio, H. & Kallio, S. (1987) Birch Sap, Basics of a Finnish innovation, 35. Advisers Uotinen, Tampere.
Birch water is nature’s own wellness drink!
The clean soil of Finland ensures that birch trees produce millions of litres of nature’s own wellness drink every year. Birch water not only tastes delicious, but is a natural way to improve our physical well-being. Nordic Koivu’s unique and carefully designed methods of collecting, producing, and packaging ensures that every drop of birch water can be delivered directly from the forest to the daily consumer who values their well-being.
Find out out Nordic Koivu’s birch water on our website!