Some of The Many Uses and Products Derived From Tree Sap

The blood of the tree is the sap. It is composed of water, mineral elements, hormones and other nutrients. Sap has many uses throughout history. When we hear the word ‘sap’ e mostly think of maple syrup from the maple tree but what else do we use the sap of trees for?

As tree sap flows through the sapwood part of the tree, it produces carbon dioxide. This creates positive pressure and if there are any wounds or holes in the sapwood, the sap will ooze out. This is how harvesting saps from trees is achieved; cut or create a hole or wound in a tree and the pressure will push the sap out where it can be collected.

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Natural Latex Rubber

Well, technically the compounds that produce such products as latex and natural rubber are not really ‘tree sap’ as xylem sap is mostly water with necessary hormones, minerals and nutrients to feed the tree. The resin exuded from trees to make latex is a defense mechanism, not one or sustenance of the tree.

There are two types of tree sap, xylem and phloem. The main difference is that phloem carries sugars in addition to hormones, minerals and the like for the purpose of simple observation, any liquid that flows or oozes from the tree we call ‘sap’ and understand what it meant.

Adhesives, Medical Dressings

The boiled-down sap became a sticky tar-like substance that was used for waterproofing and gluing things together. Wound dressings were also a use for this tree-sap tar. The astringent qualities helped keep the wound from getting bacterial infections although the people at that time only knew that it helped in healing, and not why it worked.

Solvents and Thinners

The terpenoids from evergreen trees when concentrated becomes a valuable solvent. Turpentine is a product made from the rendered-down sap of evergreen trees and ‘pine’ cleaning products benefit from the solvent action of the terpenoids. –And it leaves a clean, fresh scent!

Chewing Gum

Pine sap can be used to make a nice old fashioned chewing gum that is actually healthy for your teeth. Actually, any gum is healthy for your teeth and it cleans any residual food particles and keeps the mouth moist. This elevated moistness helps to rebuild calcium in the teeth and the salivation of the mouth aids digestion in the stomach as well. Chewing a stick of gum for 20 minutes after a meal will help you to digest the food for effectively.

Amber

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Fossilized tree sap can harden and turn into a gemstone of amazing beauty. Sometimes, insects from millions of years ago became trapped in the sticky tree sap and were fossilized too. Amber with insects and even small amphibians are highly prized by scientists, museums and collectors. Amber has a warm quality to it and it purported to have almost mystical properties to it. To hold a apiece of amber in your hand it is undeniable; there is a life-sharing quality to it.

Birch Sap

Tapped and used for medicinal purposes, birch sap can be drunk as-is from the tree or boiled down to make a tonic said to be beneficial for arthritis relief, a source of Vitamin-C for sufferers of scurvy, and as a laxative and diuretic.

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Considerably less sweet than maple sap (shown above, and below,) the sap of birch can be added to maple sap and boiled into the familiar maple syrup that is good for the relief of stomach cramps.

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(Above: maple tree sap being rendered down into maple syrup)

Fermented, the birch sap can be made into wine or birch beer. We are all familiar with the birch beer flavored soda pop.

 These are just some of the many varied uses of different forms of tree sap.

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  1. Very informative.
    There are many other products too…

  2. Yes, many other products. :-)

  3. Thanks for the information, Great article

  4. thanks for sharing

  5. Oh so nicely written article. I appreciate!

  6. You know you can get kicked out of Canada for putting Maple Syrup anyplace other than the top of your list….

  7. Well d-UH, eh? ;-)

    Yeah, -it seems rather obvious. We used to make maple syrup in western New York back home. Industrial-sized cottage-industry operation. Good times!

  8. Very informative article. I learned much and photos tell so much more. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I just love information on things I don’t know anything about, you haven’t disappointed me, excellent job.

  10. Very informative! I enjoyed reading the variety of forms and uses of sap.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. The talent you have in presenting a informative article which normally would go unnotices is amazing. Each topic you pick builds up my info binder. Keep it coming. Friend, fan, smile

  12. I enjoy the way you use visual images to break up your writing into readable pieces. This one could sense just when my brain was beginning to want a break :-)

  13. Try “Lady of the Woods Birch” sap Wine

    http://www.sapworld.ca

  14. .. also made from tree sap: ROSIN for string players’ bows (violins, violas, cellos..) and for dancers’ feet.. and FRANKINCENSE ! thank you for the article–

  15. thank you for the info

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