When to cut oak brooms for a bath

End of Resident operation

The company was immediately taken into close operational work and soon the truck with the goods at the border crossing was put under in-depth border and customs control. What was the surprise of the state security officials when the truck actually turned out to be packed to the roof with birch and oak brooms. No Kalashnikov assault rifles, capsules with “red mercury” and cans with black caviar. The expression “the firm does not broom”, which has been around for years, has cracked.

It turned out that the company makes birch brooms and earns good money on them. Europe quickly found out about the quality of domestic brooms and paid for them in hard currency. So what prevents us from understanding such a fine traditional Russian bathing instrument as a birch broom and get from it, if not the currency, then at least the pleasure.

Просто и легко вяжем берёзовый веник для бани. Банный веник из берёзы. Заготовка веника в баню летом


brooms, bath

Most bath lovers express their fervent sympathy for the birch broom, the symbol of Russian bathing. The birch is a true biological wonder of our nature. In a forest full of birches it is easy and pleasant to breathe because birch leaves emit volatile substances, which purify the air and kill pathogenic microbes. The birch broom, as it has already been said, is the most popular among the lovers of Russian baths, its decoration and symbol. Birch leaves are porous, and when you take a steam bath with a birch broom they fit tightly to the steamed body and absorb sweat well.

When to cut the broom?

The birch broom is cut on the “Trinity day”. But actually experience tells us that birch brooms are cut before the appearance of “earrings”, the leaf on the birch will be stronger and gain strength by that time.

Oak birches are cut in July. We make oak brooms as soon as the leaf gets stronger. The earlier is the birch broom prepared, the gentler is the foliage and consequently the lower is the strength. The acorns on an oak tree are a sure sign of too late a harvest.

We have different sorts of birches, there are about 50 of them, so residents of our country have the possibility to choose a type of birch for brooms.

Very good are birch brooms from weeping birch, branches of which hang down in long strands, branches of this birch are flexible and not brittle. The best time for making birch twigs for brooms is the beginning-middle of July; they are made in dry weather, cutting birch twigs with a length of 50-60 cm. Branches should preferably be cut from trees growing in damp, wet places close to water. The twigs should be thin, straight and pliable. When cutting branches be sure to pay attention to the condition of the birch leaf: if the leaves on top are smooth, delicate, as if velvety. this is what you need. Do not cut branches with rough leaves, they will make a rough and tough broom.

In the birchwood, choose low-growing, downy young birch. Carefully bend its trunk and cut some branches 50-60 cm long. Only the side shoots should be cut, not touching the top of the tree. A true lover of the Russian bathhouse will never kill a tree! Also good are twigs growing from old stumps or birch roots, they are very flexible and delicate.

Order of making brooms:

a. laying the branches; b. laying the cord; c. wrapping the handle; d. knotting the branches; e. knotting; f. tightening the knot; g. trimming; h. storage of the ready broom.

How to knit a broom?

First it is necessary to clean branches from knots and leaves in the place where the handle of a broom will be, collect them together, giving the broom a flattened shape. The broom should not be heavy, it should be light, comfortable for the hand. Then the twine is wrapped around the collected branches in the place of the handle, gripping them with the left hand. The end of the broom handle is cut carefully and wrapped with a bandage or a strip of cloth so that not to get blisters on hands in the steam room. Brooms should be dried in a dry shaded place. in the attic of the bathhouse, summer house or garage.

Oak broom. harvested in June-August in damp, darkened oak woods.

An oak broom is a good choice for the bath; it is very strong, leaves don’t fly off, and it lasts for 3-4 times while in the bath. Such a whisk can easily create steam on the body, it is usually used by those who like to get thoroughly warmed up in the steam room, to expose themselves to a strong heat. Healing properties of an oak branch broom are well known, in a steam room with an oak broom it is easy to get rid of “oily skin” problems. In general, an oak broom is a fun and comfort for healthy and hardy lovers of Russian baths.

Cherry broom is very soft, it is pleasant to be steamed with and it gives a delicate cherry aroma. It is harvested in the beginning of June by cutting off the young unwanted shoots and root shoots. At the same time blackcurrant brooms can also be made. Although cherry-currant brooms are not as strong as birch or oak ones, but they give off a wonderful fragrance. Cherry and currant brooms are very useful for the skin.

Fir broom This broom is not dried, it is used fresh.е. once. In a hot steam bath fir broom helps with joint pain, sciatica, various neuralgias; it improves the condition of blood vessels. Fir needles are rich in phytoncides, and saturated steam acts as inhalation for the prevention of acute respiratory infections and colds.

Eucalyptus A broom made of twigs of eucalyptus twigs is very useful for the treatment and prevention of respiratory diseases. Like the fir broom, it relieves joint and neuralgic pains, as well as promotes rapid healing of small wounds and scratches on the skin, healing of skin diseases. But eucalyptus twigs are too pliable and soft. To make a steam bath more convenient several oak branches are added. Or you can just steep a eucalyptus broom and inhale its vapors, and “whip” some other, not so exotic.

A linden broom application in a bath cleanses the bronchi, softens the skin, increases perspiration (and therefore purifies the body from toxins), reduces headaches, and calms. Also linden broom improves kidney activity.

Brooms from willow, alder, rowan and other trees are used at the zenith of summer. from the beginning of July to middle of August. In all cases branches for brooms are cut from trees located no closer than 1 km from busy highways and 2-3 km from industrial areas.

Freshly cut twigs should be dried for an hour in a shady corner of the forest, avoiding direct sunlight. Twigs should not be transported in a tightly packed condition, because they can overheat, which will cause the leaves to fall off. Fir, spruce and juniper brooms can’t be stocked for a long period of time due to the fact that after drying all needles fall off. Fans of such brooms use them only freshly cut.

Nettle broom is harvested in the middle of summer before and during the blooming period of the nettles. Nowadays it is rare to see a lover of the bath with a nettle broom, but in the old days this broom was a great success. Our ancestors successfully treated with it sciatica, rheumatism, gout.

Combined broom is made of branches of different trees and herbs: birch, oak, linden, cherry, ash, eucalyptus, currant, tansy, etc.п. Every amateur of the Russian baths may compose a bathing “bouquet” according to his/her desire and experience. The broom is compiled in a certain sequence: thicker branches are put inside. This is a framework, a base of a future combined broom. Then around these thick branches lay thinner branches of different species of trees with a bend inside the broom.

In the old days, the art of making brooms was very valued. Healers- healers mastering this skill and knowing the healing power of herbs enjoyed great respect and esteem among the people.

How to dry brooms correctly?

There are a lot of ways of drying brooms, but there is an obligatory condition that applies to all of them: they must be dried in the shade. Leaves curl in the sun and burn quickly. All that is fragrant and volatile from sunlight is carried away into the air. Leaves lose color, scent, and fly off. After the first steaming, such a broom will leave all the leaves in the basin.

It is also not recommended to dry brooms in a strong draught. Ideally the place for drying should be dark, cool and dry. Dry the brooms by hanging or folding. Brooms need to be turned every day so that the branches dry evenly.

Drying a broom, in which it is hung under a shed on an ordinary rope or on poles to avoid direct sunlight, is the simplest. At first they are tied loosely together so that they don’t fall apart.

Useful properties and possible harm

The oak broom, along with the birch broom, is considered the most useful and the most popular among fans of the bath and rest in it.

over, it is believed that therapeutic effect is given exactly by the brooms made of branches of these trees.

It is partly true. A broom made of oak may also be useful.

  • In the composition of the leaves and twigs of this tree contains a huge amount of tannins. As a result of using such a broom, inflammation of the skin decreases, small wounds heal faster, and the overall tone of the epidermis increases.
  • Forcing the steam, heating the pores and relaxing the muscles in the bath with the use of this attribute significantly increases. This is especially important for people actively engaged in physical labor and sports. a complete relaxation of the muscles is achieved only so.
  • It is an oak broom that helps relieve and psychological tension. Sedative substances help to calm down more quickly, to relieve stress and with regular use establish sleep.
  • A steam bath with a whisk helps to normalize the activity of sebaceous glands, regulate sweating process.

In addition, the very patting movements on the body in the bathhouse is a good massage, which has a beneficial effect on both the appearance of the skin and on the overall psychological state of the person. It is not in vain that some people say that after a bath with an oak bath besom you feel as if born anew.

But an oak broom is not only beneficial, but also potentially dangerous for the human body.

  • The wide leaves of the oak produce powerful currents of hot air. As a result a heavy load is put on the cardiovascular system. And that means that people, who have such diseases, should refrain from using an oak broom.
  • In addition to this, a visit to the bath also always causes an increase in blood pressure. In combination with powerful streams of hot steam it can lead to a sharp deterioration of health. Hypertensives should be especially careful.
  • Oak broom has the most weight among all other varieties. If used improperly, it can easily traumatize the skin. leave abrasions, scratches and bruises on it.

Therefore, before taking an oak broom with you into the steam room, you should carefully and soberly assess your state of health, compare the potential benefits and harms of its use.

Otherwise instead of recuperation and a pleasant rest you can only aggravate the state of your health.

Oak and Sauna

As we mentioned before oak timber is the most valuable raw material for construction and ornamental wood. However, not every owner will be able to afford to build a sauna on his property from solid oak planks or decorate the rest room with panels of this noble tree.

In a stove

Also not every owner of a steam room will allow himself a chic way to heat the stove. heater only with oak logs. Although, in the oven, oak is exceptionally good:

  • Its wood has a high calorific value.
  • Billets burn evenly with a moderate flame, almost do not shoot sparks like spruce logs do.
  • Chopping oak is a pleasure. Yes, it is not an easy task to cut it crosswise, but along, even with a little effort it cuts well, and being well-frozen it is even fun.
  • Oak does not tend to clog chimneys with soot particles, against which it is a very difficult task. Even not completely dried it does not produce soot as other sorts of trees, especially conifers.
  • At last heating the bath with the oak wood immediately creates the inexpressible atmosphere of that special coziness and wonderful spicy aroma. Yes, of course it is pleasant to heat the bath by birch, alder, fruit logs, but the oak is damn good in its own way. Anyone who’s used oak is sure to confirm.

And in the steam room

Let’s consider now what entices the users of oak broom, well, at least in comparison with their direct competitors:

  • Due to the abundance of leaves, size and density of the leaf plate it is a good way to control the “steam pie”. In German saunas (Germans know a good bath no less than Germans know a good beer) it is common to control the steam with an oak broom that due to its quite compact size performs its function on all twelve points;
  • It is very durable. It’s not uncommon, when especially zealous hosts have a well-made oak broom that survives for five or six trips to the baths. From our point of view the multiple use of the tool is not quite right, but the essence and possibilities of the oak illustrates this example more than perfectly;
  • Oak broom is very fragrant. Well steamed it fragrances the atmosphere of the steam room without comparison with some synthetic fragrances;

By the way! If we believe some experts, then the aroma of steamed oak broom acts as a deterrent to the blood pressure growth, especially when taking steam procedures with high ambient temperature.

  • Oak broom is preferable for users with oily skin. Oak leaves contain a large amount of tannins and can fight against the increased secretion of sebum. In addition, village herbalists used decoction of oak leaves to combat excessive leg sweating. Oak therapy is also good as a restorative for chronic muscular fatigue. It is not without reason that oak was preferred by Volga seamen during bathing procedures.

What a proper oak broom looks like

Oak brooms are collected from oaks of different varieties, it can be as usual for the average strip round-leaved plates with smooth notches, and sharp-leaved bog oak leaves, separately resembling maple leaves with sharp corners. The look of the leaves varies with the variety. Sometimes there are even specimens that resemble chestnut leaves. Skilled brooms are made of any kind of oak, and all this will make the bathing accessory equally useful for the skin.

The leaves should have a muted green color, but not brown. Green leaves indicate proper harvesting process, but yellow and brown leaves indicate disease and burned leaf lamina. By the way, each leaf should have a complete structure, without stains, gaps, rot. The right brooms always have a healthy appearance, without flaws.

As we wrote above, the correct oak brooms have a certain density. It is different for every bath attendant. Some people are comfortable holding a broom, the stem diameter of which is 3 cm, some people want to use a broom with the thickness up to 7 cm. Take an oak fan in your hand and you’ll understand if it’s the right broom or not. As for the length of the broom, it should definitely not be a panicle. The length of the branches in a good broom is 40-60 cm. The rest of the length of the wood is regulated by the secateurs.

Don’t forget to inspect the branches of the broom. The oaks themselves are very hardy trees and hold their leaves for a long time. A bath broom is no exception. It should be able to stand at least two baths. Pull on the middle of the dry leaf, if it comes off easily, then the picking was at the wrong time, most likely in the fall, when nature begins to fade and gives up its last juices in the leaves.

How to knit bath besoms correctly

After selecting appropriate branches, they can be at once assembled into brooms. Some bath lovers advise to pre-experience them for several days in an unlit, well-ventilated place. They say the branches should be “dried”. It’s easier to work with them then.

Inside place the thicker shoots inside, outside. thinner. If there is a bend in the branches (and more often than not this is the case), the bend should look inward. Also make sure that the matte surface of the leaf is directed inward and the shiny side is directed outward. It should turn out that the shiny side of them is pointing in one direction. Folding, give a fan or “bouquet” shape do differently. A broom fan is more common: it seems to hug the body. The feeling is pleasant.

The easiest way to bind a broom tightly with a natural twine at the rump and at the beginning of the leaves

For the handle, remove the foliage from the lower part. Its length is chosen individually, but the most optimal, established by experience, two palm widths. Bare the boughs of the branches is also necessary, so that the brooms are better preserved when used. If you do it right, one broom can be enough for two trips to the steam room.

Folding the branches, they are turned and shaken several times, so that they are evenly distributed. For binding it is better to use natural materials: thick twine, hemp rope, medical bandage or other similar materials. It is better not to use metal wire: it gets hot in the bathhouse and it is very uncomfortable to hold such a broom in hands.

  • The easiest way to bind a broom is to bind as tightly as possible at the butt and almost at the beginning of the leaves. But the tying should be very tight: after some time the branches will shrivel up a little and the branches can just fall out.
  • The second way to bind a broom is a little more complicated: a bunch of twigs not very tightly tied both parts, then they are divided in half and the halves are twisted relative to each other by 360 o. Now once again tie the broom in the same place, and higher, at the beginning of the leaves.

Clamps are also used for tying. Some are plastic, some are metal. A handle is quickly tied by these clamps and it holds firmly. And after drying it can be tightened. To make sure that all these tightenings do not rub the hand, then wrap the handle with a thick cotton ribbon, which can be found in construction stores, and sometimes in hardware stores or dry goods stores. You can wrap a thick cotton rope around the handle (after using a broom it can be removed and tie the next one).

There are many other ways of making brooms. Someone uses nautical knots, which make it possible to pull up the rope after shrinkage, someone puts two parts of branches crosswise by a rump, then not very tightly binds, then the two parts with a force connect and finally bind at the rump, and above. Almost every master has his own secrets. But they are very reluctant to share them. Try the simple methods first, then tweak to your liking. Will be your personal method of broom knitting.


It is impossible to imagine the traditional Russian bathhouse without a broom. The accessory made of oak twigs has excellent healing properties and special durability. An abundance of tannins has a drying, wound-healing and disinfecting effect, has a beneficial effect on the skin, which is prone to various inflammatory rashes. Breathing in the steam increases the immunity, and in case of colds has a therapeutic effect. it relieves the sore throat and helps eliminate the runny nose and phlegm.

Useful foot baths from the decoction left after steaming broom. they help with rheumatic pains and such a delicate problem as increased sweating feet. The aroma of oak leaves evokes a pleasant feeling and helps to relax. Thanks to the durability of branches and density of leaves this attribute is suitable for 4-5 uses while visiting the sauna. The only drawback of the oak broom, compared to more popular birch broom, is a tough texture. It gives the most powerful wave of hot steam, so great care should be taken in the process of steaming.

Important! The usefulness of oak broom is evident only if it is properly harvested.

How to store oak broom?

It is equally important to ensure proper storage of oak brooms. This is the only way to preserve the complex of useful substances present in them. The dried raw material is stored on racks with good ventilation, which are installed in attics, in pre-bathrooms, on loggias. steaming an oak broom, if it is stored correctly, you will surely feel a unique flavor of this tree and get maximum pleasure from steaming.

Mistakes in storage lead to the yellowing of leaves and loss of flavor.

Timing of the harvest

Oak brooms for the bath can be harvested from the second half of June.

Experienced herbalists recommend collecting oak raw material immediately after the church feast of Trinity. at this time, the tree shoots are already strong enough. Too thin branches are useless for bath procedures, as they have not yet “gained strength” and contain a minimum of useful substances

Time of preparation of brooms from different plants:

It is better to harvest oak shoots in the second half of June or July. Raw material is also harvested in August-September, but only if the weather is dry and warm. But it should be taken into account that quality of such brooms will be considerably inferior to June ones.

During the autumn months the harvesting of oak branches is not carried out. At this time, the tree begins its dormancy period. metabolic processes slow down, leaves and shoots become more brittle and fragile. After the first frosts the useful properties of oak are completely lost.