.Tree sap has been used for centuries not only as a source of nutrients available in early spring but also as medicinal substance in folk medicine. Traditionally, it was used to treat various conditions, mostly anaemia and chronic fatigue. This study has been designed to establish the content of metallic elements (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper) in sap collected from eight different species (silver birch, downy birch, hornbeam, Norway maple, boxelder maple, black walnut, black alder and white willow) and to identify which sap has mineral content which would be most beneficial for human health. We measured concentrations of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and zinc on an atomic absorption spectrometer equipped with single-element, hollow cathode lamps and an air/acetylene burner. The content of copper was determined using an atomic absorption spectrometer with Zeeman correction equipped with an electrothermal atomizer and argon as inert gas. White willow sap was determined to have the highest concentrations of magnesium, zinc, calcium and potassium. Moreover, this sap contained the lowest concentration of sodium among all the tree species. The sap with the lowest detected concentration of the metallic elements originated from black alder and boxelder. In conclusion, tree sap can be a valuable source of metallic elements, namely copper, zinc and magnesium, in human diet. Tree sap tapped from white willow is the most valuable in terms of its mineral content. Moreover, the most popular sap of sliver birch has proven to be a rich source of magnesium and zinc.
Bilek M., Stawarczyk K., Gostkowski M., Olszewski M., Kędziora K.M., Cieślik E. 2016. Mineral content of tree sap from the Subcarpathian region. J. Elem., 21(3): 669 - 679, DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2015.20.4.932