Would you be surprised to know that the maple syrup you put on your pancakes for breakfast actually comes from trees? With its bright red flowers and beautiful green summer leaves, the Red Maple Tree proposes many health benefits ranging from healing wounds, treating cramps, and relieving dysentery.
Botanical Name and Family of Red Maple
The Red Maple Tree is botanically known as Acer rubrum. It is a part of the Sapindaceae family and is also referred to as swamp maple, soft maple, and water maple.
What Is Red Maple?
Red Maple is considered the most common deciduous tree found in North America. They are found in Minnesota, Southern Texas, and Eastern Florida. Being a very versatile tree, Red Maples flourish in sunny or shady locations, dry or wet soil, and in high or low elevation, making them an adaptive tree that can grow in almost any climate.
The scarlet foliage of this tree makes it an attractive option as a shade tree for landscapes. The red maple is named after its red flowers, red fruits, and red twigs. The red maple fruits are called samaras which look different from the typical fruits we’re used to eating.
Samaras contain seeds on one end of the fruit and a dry and thin wing-like protective layer on the other. Because of this, many people often refer to the fruits as whirlybirds because the wing makes them spin when they fall from the tree.
The bark of the Red Maple Tree is also used for maple syrup preparation, medicine, and as lumber to create beautifully crafted furniture.
Health Benefits of Red Maple
Red Maple is believed to have the following benefits and constitutes:
- Possesses Astringent properties
- possesses anti-diabetic properties
- Heal wounds
- Treat ophthalmic conditions
Research also suggests that the infusion of the bark can be used to treat cramps and dysentery.
Different Ways to Consume Red Maple
The bark of the tree is used to make medicine. When the inner part of the bark is cooked, it can be dried and ground into a powder where it is used as a thickening agent or a paste to apply to wounds.
The sap of red maple contains sugar that you can drink or that can be concentrated into a tasty syrup by boiling it in hot water. The sap can be used as a sweetener for many beverages and foods, but the Red Maple only yields a small quantity as compared to the Sugar Maple Tree.
Side Effects of Red Maple
There have been no reported side effects when consuming or using the red maple tree for medicine, but it’s always best to speak to your doctor before considering to use it as an herbal remedy.
How much is a Red Maple Tree?
The cost of a Red Maple Tree is fairly inexpensive compared to other trees. Seeds can range anywhere from $6 to $400 dollars.
Honma A, Koyama T, Yazawa K. Anti-hyperglycaemic effects of the Japanese red maple Acer pycnanthum and its constituents the ginnalins B and C. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2011 Apr;26(2):176-80. doi: 10.3109/14756366.2010.486795. Epub 2010 Jun 21. PubMed PMID: 20560858.