top of page

Maple Trees are beauty

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

If I had to choose one reason I have loved growing up in Upstate NY, it was the maple trees that danced playfully in my parent's front yard. Though I am relatively new to the maple syrup production world; I spent most of my childhood climbing, getting stuck up as high as I could climb in the strong sturdy branches, or endlessly collecting the leaves and making paints and jumping in them. I even enjoyed looking at the textured bark which appeared to form images in the folds, or indicate the health and life of the maple trees. Yet the Sugar Maple, in particular, has some fascinating properties. As a small child, laying across a sprawling sturdy opposing branch, and looking toward the sky, I dreamed of owning a forest of them. If not to tap them, to enjoy the shade they provided in the heat of summer, or the way they mutually worked with us, shedding the leaves in the autumn season so by winter, the sun would reach our house and help warm it up.

They say there are more than 150 species of maple trees in the world. Though that may be true, the sugar and red varieties which give us maple sap, are truly unique to the production of maple syrup. But what is sap water and why does it give such a delicious outcome? Someone once asked me; how did people discover this? Did they tap every tree, taste the sap and decide to concentrate it by boiling? Perhaps. I often wonder if it was a child... that sat upon the maple after a storm, when a branch had been pruned naturally, that found the sweet sap water and then began to enjoy the tastings the tree offered up. Whatever led to this discovery was part of a greater design, as the sap and the leaves have been known by scientists to contain some amazing properties. I have included some of the scientific discoveries published references at the bottom of this page. Also, if you would like to experience saps benefits, click the green link to check out our Saptastic.

“You could imagine that these extracts might tighten up human skin like a plant-based Botox, though they would be a topical application, not an injected toxin.”

Prof. Navindra P. Seeram, University of Rhode Island

Below are published scientific journals for your own research:

  1. Torrey, K.J.; Liu, Y.; Li, H.; Ma, H.; Via, C.W.; Bertin, M.J.; Seeram, N.P. What is authentic maple water? A twelve-month shelf-life study of the chemical composition of maple water and its biological activities. Foods, 2023, 12, 239. DOI: 10.3390/foods12020239

  2. Rose, K.N.; Barlock, B.J.; DaSilva, N.A.; Johnson, S.L.; Liu, C.; Ma, H.; Nelson, R.; Akhlaghi, F.; Seeram N.P. Anti-neuroinflammatory effects of a food-grade phenolic-enriched maple syrup extract in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Nutritional Neuroscience, 2021, 24, 710-719

  3. Liu, C.; Xu, Y.; Kirk, R.D.; Li, H.; Li, D.; DaSilva, N.A.; Bertin, M.J.; Seeram, N.P.; Ma, H., Inhibitory effects of skin permeable glucitol-core containing gallotannins from red maple leaves on elastase and their protective effects on human keratinocytes. Journal of Functional Foods, 2020, 75, 104208

  4. Liu, C.; Guo, H.; Dain, J. A.; Wan, Y.; Gao, X. H.; Chen, H. D.; Seeram, N. P.; Ma, H. Cytoprotective effects of a proprietary red maple leaf extract and its major polyphenol, ginnalin A, against hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal induced oxidative stress in human keratinocytes. Food & Function, 2020, DOI: 10.1039/d0fo00359j

  5. Li, L.; Ma, H.; Liu, T.; Ding, Z.; Liu, W.; Gu, Q.; Mu, Y.; Xu, J.; Seeram, N.P.; Huang, X. and Xu, J., Glucitol-core containing gallotannins-enriched red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves extract alleviated obesity via modulating short-chain fatty acid production in high-fat diet-fed mice. Journal of Functional Foods, 2020, 70, 103970

  6. Sheng, J.; Liu, C.; Petrovas, S.; Wan, Y.; Chen, H.D.; Seeram, N.P.; Ma, H. Phenolic-enriched maple syrup extract protects human keratinocytes against hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal induced cytotoxicity. Dermatologic Therapy, 2020;e13426;

  7. Li, C.; Seeram, N.P. Ultra-fast liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry for rapid phenolic profiling of red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves. Journal of Separation Science, 2018, 41, 2331-2346. doi: 10.1002/jssc.201800037

  8. Ma, H.; Xu, J.; DaSilva, N.; Wang, L.; Wei, Z.; Guo, L.; Lu, W.; Xu, J.; Xu, Q.; Seeram, N.P. Cosmetic applications of glucitol-core containing gallotannins from a proprietary phenolic-enriched red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves extract: Inhibition of melanogenesis via down-regulation of tyrosinase and melanogenic gene expression in B16F10 melanoma cells. Archives of Dermatological Research, 2017, 309, 265-274

  9. Liu, W.; Wei, Z,; Ma, H.; Cai, A.; Liu, Y.; Sun, J.; Kirshenbaum, L.; Cho, B.; Dain, J.A.; Rowley, D.C.; Shaikh, Z.; Seeram, N.P. Anti-glycation and anti-oxidative effects of a phenolic-enriched maple syrup extract and its protective effects on normal human colon cells, Food and Function, 2017, 8, 757-766

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Ithaca Maple Works, Maple, Syrup
bottom of page