Posted by Natali Rivers on Nov 11, 2014 in Uptown Magazine
Health crazes come and go about as often as fashion trends these days, and there is a new one on the horizon that threatens to unseat coconut water. Birch water is being touted as the latest health elixir.
It is widely used in Eastern Europe, Russia and parts of northern China. The sap from a silver birch or a North American sweet birch can be used and it is removed in the same way sap would be taken from a maple tree.
In its raw form, it is a sweet, thin liquid that is high in macronutrients, electrolytes and potassium. Like coconut water, it is good for rehydration and it takes that a step further due to it containing saponin. Saponin is good for the immune system and has been shown to help control blood cholesterol levels. Birch water enthusiasts also claim that it helps treat flu, constipation, diarrhea, liver disease, headaches and skin diseases like eczema.
Other big draws, according to birch water drinkers, is that it flushes out toxins and can help get rid of cellulite.
Dr. Michelle Storfer, founder of The Food Effect, told Daily Mail, “Birch water is very similar to coconut water in its chemical profile. It’s high in macronutrients and micronutrients, including proteins and amino acids, as well as enzymes, electrolytes and potassium. But unlike coconut water, it contains saponin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol and may have some anti-inflammatory effects.”
Dr. Storfer acknowledged the many claims about birch water’s health benefits, but cautioned that many of these beliefs are as yet unfounded: “It’s believed to have amazing healing properties ranging from lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, treating infections of the urinary tract and healing cancers. Medically, however, we don’t know about the birch water’s value as a health drink, as it’s only just entered the market in the U.S., with its health claims similar to coconut water.”
If you’re eager to try birch water, Byarozavik Birch Tree Water was launched last year and is available for purchase on Amazon.