Birch Leaf – The Best Natural Remedy You Can Find in Your Backyard

Birch tree has a long and distinguished history of both commercial and medicinal use.

It is a shame that we have access to such a powerful natural remedy, and we rarely use it [1]http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/Herbal_-_Summary_of_assessment_report_for_the_public/2015/10/WC500195826.pdf.

If you have access to birch trees, take advantage of their medicinal properties today.

What is birch leaf exactly?

Those are the leaves of the birch tree.

Birch trees are found in temperate climes around the world.

In the Northern hemisphere, they are especially widespread.

Known by other common names like Silver birch, Paper birch, Yellow birch and Cherry birch, birch trees are considered the oldest species of trees still living.

The wood of birch trees is used in the manufacture of furniture and paper, while the birch leaf is used to make medicine.

The birch trees grow in areas with tainted soil in which other plants fail to grow.

The leaves of these trees have been used for centuries due to their diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties [2]https://academic.oup.com/forestry/article/83/1/103/546795.

And that is the root of the benefits of birch leaves.

The common way of using birch leaf is preparing a tea that you can use to cleanse your body, promote healthy skin, and fight off inflammation.

But there are other ways to use birch tree leaves, and many other benefits you need to know.

With that in mind, we will look at the benefits of these trees, and their nutritional value.

Birch tree nutrition and facts

Birch leaf

The birch leaf is very rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, and saponins.

A tea can be made from the leaves alone, or combined with the bark.

The bark also contains a high amount of medical compounds, like betulinic acid, a compound responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of birch leaves [3]https://www.botanical-online.com/english/medicinalbirch.htm.

In traditional medicine, betulinic acid is often a compound in medications that fight off rheumatoid arthritis.

Studies also show that birch extract can be used to help with rheumatoid arthritis as well [4]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256437965_Characterisation_of_birch_tree_leaves_buds_and_bark_dry_extracts_with_antitumor_activity.

That means no more need for medications when you can use natural remedies.

The leaves and the bark are not the only usable parts that are high in helpful nutrients.

The sap of the tree can also be used for medicinal reasons.

The sap contains sugars like glucose and fructose, but also minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

With that in mind, here are some of the common and most useful health benefits of birch leaf.

Boost immunity

As mentioned previously, birch leaves are very rich in vitamin C.

We all know that vitamin C is the vitamin responsible for boosting our immunity.

You can consume the leaves in the form of a tea to boost your body’s immune system.

In addition to vitamin C, leaves also have antibacterial and antiviral properties that will protect you against infection.

Rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, birch leaves will further improve your overall health.

The tea will also help you reverse the damage done by free radicals.

Fight off inflammation

For those of you that do not know, inflammation is the root of most conditions, diseases, and illnesses.

Most auto-immune disorders occur due to inflammation.

Fighting off inflammation is one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle.

The birch leaf, but also the bark can be used to prepare an anti-inflammatory tea.

We mentioned that the bark is rich in betulinic acid which is used for fighting off inflammation.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, birch tree is often used for fighting off conditions like rheumatism, arthritis, and other joint conditions.

You can also use the tea to fight off digestive and respiratory inflammation.

Improve your digestion

Birch tea can help you fight off inflammation in the digestive system, but also improve your overall digestion.

Just a few cups of the tea will stimulate your digestive system and improve the overall digestion.

Some common digestive problems you can treat with birch leaf include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and cramps.

In addition, the leaves have mild laxative properties, meaning they can help you relieve constipation.

Consuming tea made of birch leaves will vastly improve your digestion, and support regular and healthy bowel movement.

One folk remedy used for centuries is soaking birch leaves into apple cider vinegar for a few weeks.

After that, use the leaves to make a tea.

Apple cider vinegar will help release the micronutrients and the minerals, giving you more health benefits and value from the leaves.

Treat urinary tract conditions

You can prepare a juice or a tea with the leaves and fight off inflammation and infection in the urinary tract.

Cranberries are a popular remedy for urinary tract infections, but birch leaves are also highly efficient.

You can also use the leaves to treat edema and flush the kidneys.

Due to their diuretic properties, birch leaves increase the volume and frequency of your urination, which helps you flush out more toxins out of your body.

Detoxify your body

We mentioned that birch leaves help you in the detoxification process.

By stimulating healthy urination, birch leaves help you maintain good liver and kidney health.

You will be able to eliminate toxins and impurities from the blood supply easily.

Women out there will love this.

Birch leaves tea can be used to eliminate unsightly cellulite.

Treat and prevent insomnia

Herbal teas in general promote healthy and good night sleep.

Birch tea is also a herbal tea in its essence, meaning you can drink a cup before bedtime to prevent insomnia.

The effect is mild, and won’t help you with serious sleep issues.

However, if you are feeling a little on edge, a birch tea is just what you need to help you relax and sleep tight.

For your skin and hair

Birch leaves contain astringent properties which make them an effective against various skin conditions.

For example, dermatitis and eczema are two skin conditions that you can easily treat with birch leaves and the bark of the tree.

For your skin treatment, soak birch leaves in a jug of water for few hours.

Strain the solution, and then use the leaf water to wash your skin.

Pay special attention to affected areas.

Another effective way for skin treatment is to bath in water infused with birch leaves.

Birch leaves infused water can also help with dandruff, and strengthen your hair roots.

How to use birch leaves

We generally mentioned that you can easily prepare birch leaf tea [5]http://www.nationalnutrition.ca/herb_articles_birch2.aspx.

But that is not the only way.

There are two popular ways of using birch leaves.

The one is in a tea, and the other is by preparing your own essential oil.

Birch leaf tea

If you have access to birch trees, preparing a tea is the simplest and easiest method to reap the benefits.

You can use both fresh and dried leaves.

Use around 5 leaves for a large cup of water.

Pour the boiling water over the leaves, and let it steep for 10 minutes.

For maximum benefits, drink three cups per day for urinary infection, fluid retention, and arthritis.

Birch oil

If you want, you can easily make a homemade birch leaf essential oil.

  • Add enough fresh leaves to loosely fill a jar. Pour some sweet almond or virgin olive oil over the top
  • Fill the jar, and then cover with a cloth
  • Put the jar in a light and sunny area of your home. Let it stay for one month
  • Stir the mixture regularly, keeping the leaves beneath the oil
  • After one month, strain the oil into a container
  • Allow it to settle before pouring it into suitable storage bottles
  • Use the oil topically to treat muscle pain, eczema, eliminate cellulite, or treat rheumatism

Side Effects and Safety Precautions

Birch leaves are considered safe for most adults when consumed via tea or applied to the skin [6]http://escop.com/birch-leaf-2016/.

However, there are a couple of precautions and warnings.

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid birch leaves, as there is not enough reliable information regarding the safety
  • If you are allergic to wild carrot, celery, and other spices, avoid birch leaves, as the pollen might cause allergies
  • If you are suffering from high blood pressure, avoid birch leaves, as the leaves might increase the amount of sodium your body retains, making your blood pressure worse
  • Patients using blood thinning medications should avoid birch leaves
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