Can you eat tree sap? 

In this article we are going to answer can you eat tree sap, what is tree sap, what is commercial tree sap, what are the benefits of eating tree sap, what are the risks of eating tree sap, and which tree sap is not edible. 

Can you eat tree sap?

Yes, you can eat tree sap when it is boiled down. When tree sap is boiled down it becomes syrup. Not all tree sap is edible, some are considered toxic such as milky mangrove, spurge, manchineel, or beach apple. 

Edible tree saps can be used in medicine and cooking because they are filled with antioxidants and minerals. 

What is tree sap?

Tree sap is considered the blood of a tree. Tree sap is a combination of two substances known as xylem and phloem. 

Xylem

Is the water part of tree sap that carries water, mineral, and substances from the bottom of the tree to the top. Xylem channels change with the years and while some die, new ones begin to form again. Xylem channels help to know how many years the tree, each xylem channel is one year of the life of the tree. 

Phloem

It is the sticky-sugary stuff that is made from sugar created by photosynthesis. This sticky liquid is essential for the proper growth of the leaves. It is considered food for the trees. 

Trees that produce edible sap include

  • Maple Syrup
  • White walnut
  • Black walnut
  • Heartnut
  • English Walnut
  • Sycamore
  • Ironwood

What is commercial tree sap?

The most common edible tree sap is maple syrup. Maple syrup has a sugar content of 2% and one large and healthy tree can produce up to 15 gallons of sweet maple syrup. 

Every maple tree produces a tree sap different in degrees of sweetness and not all the tree sap obtained can be used to make commercial maple syrup. 

Tree sap can also be used in other products such as:

  • Chewing gum
  • Birch syrup
  • Maple butter
  • Maple sugar
  • Maple taffy
  • Maple beer
  • Maple liqueur
  • Birch sap vinegar
  • Ice cream 

Tree sap can also be used in some household items that are used in our daily life such as soaps, paint, cough syrup, hairspray, and glue.

What are the benefits of eating tree sap?

Tree sap has a high amount of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are very healthy to add to your diet. Some health benefits of tree sap include

  • High content of antioxidants
  • A high content of minerals
  • Antifungal properties
  • A high content of vitamins
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Prevent gastric ulcer formation

According to Texas A&M University, tree sap has a high content of copper, manganese, and zinc. Also, it is considered anti-inflammatory because of the antioxidants found in tree sap. 

There is a very famous drink made from maple sap known as maple water that helps to fight inflammation. Maple water is made with maple sap which contains about 46 unique bio-active compounds 

Maple water has a high amount of phenolic which has been linked with a lot of benefits for humans such as

  • Good for digestion
  • Stabilized blood sugar
  • Potential anti-cancer
  • Fight inflammatory diseases
  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Help with hydration because of electrolytes content

What are the risks of eating tree sap?

Tree sap that can be consumed needs to be boiled to kill any risk of harmful bacteria. Drinking or eating commercial tree sap comes with very low risks but when eating or drinking raw tree sap there are more risks. 

Some risks of eating or drinking tree sap include 

Risk of an allergic reaction

If you are allergic to any food, especially to pollen, try not to ingest tree sap because it can trigger an allergic reaction. Symptoms include rashes, a stuffy nose, sneezing, and watering eyes. 

Risk of metal toxicity

Tree sap can contain toxic metals that can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. 

Which tree sap is not edible? 

It is very important to know which tree saps are not edible to prevent any toxic issues. Not edible tree saps include

  • Milky mangrove
  • Spurge
  • Manchineel or beach apple
  • Money tree
  • Hogweed
  • Bunya pine

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat tree sap, what is tree sap, what is commercial tree sap, what are the benefits of eating tree sap, what are the risks of eating tree sap, and which tree sap is not edible. 

Citation

https://www.livestrong.com/article/547756-can-i-eat-tree-sap/

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