Active compounds of birch come from the dried bark and twigs of the birch species Betula alba (B. pendula), B. verrucosa, B. pubescens, and B. lenta. Several birch species are native to eastern North America, Europe, and parts of Russia.
In Germany, some people use B. pendula leaves as a diuretic to treat urinary treat infections. German researchers are evaluating betulin, a compound found in birch for Possible use against tumors.
Common doses of Birch
Birch comes as essential oil (bark, wood), dried bark, and tea. Some experts recommend the following dose:
- As an extract or tea, steep 2 to 3 grams of the bark in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes and ingest up to several times daily.
Why people use Birch herb
Side effects of Birch
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of birch:
- acute skin irritation nom exposure to birch leaves or sap
- allergies caused by cross-sensitivity to other plant allergens, such as celery and mugwort pollen
- nasal allergy symptoms
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you’re taking.
Important points to remember
- Don’t use birch if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Use this herb cautiously if you have seasonal allergies or a known hypersensitivity to plant allergens.
- Keep birch preparations out of children’s reach. Sweet birch oil contains 98% methyl salicylate, which has been fatal to children when applied topically to the skin. Poisoning has occurred with as little as 4.7 grams of methyl salicylate applied topically.
- Know that topical birch preparations may irritate the skin and mucous membranes. Report new or unusual skin problems to your health care practitioner.
What the research shows
Birch has some interesting chemical properties, but until more clinical research is available, the herb won’t playa role in modern medicine. Also, the risk of allergic reactions gives cause for concern.
Other names for Birch: –
Other names for birch include birch tar oil, birch wood oil, black birch, cherry birch, sweet birch and white birch.
No known product containing birch are available commercially.