Birch Leaf Tea – Can You Actually Drink It?
When you start looking into natural and healthy living, one of the trees you soon will stumble upon is the birch.
The birch has been used for health benefits for as long as man has existed. All parts of the birch have been used for various purposes. And the first fresh leaves that grow in the early spring can be used for tea.
This tea is said to be very healthy and full of vitamins (particularly vitamin C) and minerals that does your body good after a long winter. It helps get the internal spring clean going, so to speak.
So, after reading how good this would be for me, I decided to try it. I’ve kept an eye on the birches this spring not to miss the right moment to collect leafs. You only have a short period of time to collect, after that the leafs get big and bitter and they no longer contain all the nutrients that are so beneficial.
One thing I noted today was that some birches already have full grown leafs and others still have no leafs. How far the birches have developed depends on where they grow – if they are in a sunny and sheltered spot they are further developed than those that grow in a harsher spot.
Around here where I live we have all these different conditions. This allows me to harvest the fresh leafs over a longer period of time than if I only had access to a forest with almost identical conditions for all the trees.
To make my tea I used about 20 leafs for 4 dl water. I first washed the leafs under running water, and then put them in a bowl. Then I boiled the water and let it cool down for one minute before I pored the water over the leafs. I left the leafs to soak for 10 minutes before poring the tea over in a cup trough a sieve.
I think I was half expecting this tea to taste like grass; Remembering back to when I started drinking green tea. My first memory of that tea was a very bitter grassy taste. Now I’ve learned not to let it soak that long to get a less bitter taste and I have also learned to appreciate the taste of the green tea, especially with a slice of lemon.
The birch tea however did not taste like grass at all. It tasted fresh and… birchy. I can’t think of any better way to describe it. You will have to try it for your self.
And to answer my own question: Yes, you can drink it. But for me it definitely needs some getting used to!