Betula alba


(Betula alba)


Also known as : Birch tree, birchen, birken, birch rod. Abedul (spanish)

Family : Betulaceae.

Genus : Betula.

Plant part used : Flowers, leaves, buds, sap and bark of young branches.

Magical Birch
Magical Birch

     Its name comes from the Celtic betule name. The birch tree can reach 30 m, and silvery white bark is smooth. It is not a long-lived species. Its growth is rapid at first, and able to develop up to one meter per year; but stagnates in their 20s. The simple leaves are alternate, singly or doubly serrate, feather pulp and petiolate. The underside of leaves is lighter than the color of the top color. Hanging with unisexual flowers have filaments, forming long pendulous catkins yellow or green. The same tree has separate male and female flowers, and flowering occurs before the leaves come out. The fruit is an achene birch with two membranous wings.

     This tree of the Betulaceae family, is widely used in pharmacy; even well into the twelfth century was not attributed healing properties since previously only mainly used for wood. The birch tree is considered the health of the forest, so it is ideal for restoring burned or cleared areas. Where there is no vegetation, is the first species to colonize tree, then disappear and give way to other species. This is due to the need for light.


     Birch is a common tree in the northern hemisphere. Grows in forests, clear and malls, Europe, Asia and America; in sunny areas and poor acid soils and siliceous, with sufficient moisture. It is found in central and northern Europe where it forms extensive forests. He lives between 1,000 and 2,000 meters, depending on weather conditions.


Flowering time:  
April, May.

Harvest:  May, June.


* Buds, Sap and rind: Spring.

* Leaves: They are harvested in the spring, and allowed to dry in the shade or drying at a temperature no greater than about 40 ° C.


Vitamin C, carotenes, phenol acids, nicotinic acid, acetylsalicylic acid, betulinic acid, tannins, bitter principles, mucilage, resins, sugars, saponins, betulin, flavonoids (myricitrin, avicularina), essential oils (betulenol rich and metilbetulenolresinas).


*Rind: diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, febrifuge.

*Leaves: diuretic, cholagogue, choleretic, anti-infectious, antiseptic, disinfectant, healing, antiedematosis, purgative, astringent.


Consume with caution, people with heart and renal failure.



• Activates the kidney.

• Birch leaves have diuretic properties, making it useful in treating rheumatism and gout (uric acid). Produces a renal clearance does not irritate the kidneys.

• Treatment of edema (accumulation of fluid in the body) of cardiorenal origin; due to malfunction of the heart or kidneys.


• Birch sap (containing mainly sugars) is weakly diuretic and prevents the formation of kidney stones. It is drunk as a tonic.

• The birch bark and leaves are one of the main components in teas for urinary tract and bladder stones. For ease of gravel and dissolve kidney stones (calculi), the Birch the "renal tree Europe" was proclaimed.

• Problems oliguria (decreased or absent urine production).

• Bacterial Birch capacity in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is useful to combat inflammation of the bladder and urethra, such as cystitis, pyelonephritis, and urethritis. This found that the use of this plant is particularly interesting when it comes to chronic cystitis, accompanied by lack of urination.

• Joint inflammation.

• Dropsy and water retention.


• The essential oil applied in massage, and a leaf extract birch is excellent for relieving rheumatic or arthritic pains.

• Birch is indicated in cellulite treatments, causing "destruction of fibro-connective nodules"; also used in the treatment of obesity.

• Blood purifier, causing beneficial effects on skin problems like dermatitis, scabies, ringworm and cradle cap.

• Birch oil was applied to the diseased part of the skin, which recommended against psoriasis and against chronic eczema.

• Other doctors used it to beat the pustular acne; and moist and flaky dermosis, the dry crusts for their astringent action.

• Sudorific effect, indicated for coughs, colds or flu; especially combined with flower Tilo.

• Has some febrifuge action, so its use as antipyretic (fever) gives good results.

• For their choleretic action, which triggers the production of bile. It is used in biliary dyskinesia.

• In problems of high cholesterol, rich in tannins. Tannins brake acting on the absorption of cholesterol in the blood; Overall still a very effective cleanser.

• Birch herbal tea to treat hypertension.

• It is a good healing of sores and wounds, combined with horsetail.

• The infusion of the leaves of birch also has remarkable effects on diseases of the mouth and throat, such as gum disease, injuries, etc. It Gargle infusion.

• Fresh birch leaves applied on the breasts of lactating women, to relieve pain and to contain milk.

• Dandruff and hair loss.

• In northwestern Spain is widely used in linear plantings road; in areas of frequent fogs are particularly useful because their trunks stand out nicely in the dark.

• Birch bark due to its impermeability, is used to make clogs, baskets, boxes, etc. .. It also produces an oil called tar Birch used to tan leather, protecting it from insects.

• Cover five hundred years ago, Native Americans used birch bark for canoe building, because of its flexibility and the ease with which it could be separated from the trees.

• Currently, birch wood used for pulp production.



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