Birch Sweet, Betula Alleghaniensis, Canada
The health benefits of Birch Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as a tonic, disinfectant, stimulant, antidepressant, analgesic, detoxifying, antirheumatic, antiarthritic, diuretic, antiseptic, astringent, germicide, insecticide, and depurative substance.
There are two types of birch, the White Birch or Silver Birch, which is scientifically known as Betula Pendula (previously known as Betula Alba), and the Black Birch, Sweet Birch, or Cherry Birch whose scientific name is Betula Lenta. The main constituents of birch oil are Salicylic Acid, Methyl Salicylate, Betulene and Betulenol.
Birch varieties are categorized as deciduous trees and have been used as a decorative tree as well as a medicinal plant since ancient times.
Antidepressant & Stimulant: Birch Oil is a stimulant by nature. It stimulates the nervous, circulatory, digestive and excretory systems. It also stimulates the endocrine glands that result in more secretions of enzymes and essential hormones. This can play a beneficial role in diseases associated with the improper secretion of hormones, including diabetes, where the enhanced insulin production will help lower the blood sugar levels.
Analgesic & Antispasmodic: Birch oil is helpful in reducing pain in the joints and muscles, as well as pain associated with headaches and toothaches. It is also antispasmodic and relieves cramping throughout the body.
Antiseptic & Disinfectant: These are the two of the most important properties of birch oil. The components responsible for these properties are Salicylic Acid and Methyl Salicylate, two well known germicides and bactericides in the world of medicine. They protect the skin from both bacterial and fungal infections.
Antirheumatic & Anti-Arthritic: Since it stimulates circulatory system and improves circulation, birch oil is very helpful in giving relief in diseases associated with improper circulation such as edema (swelling), rheumatism, and arthritis. The detoxifying property of birch oil also aids in this, as it removes toxins from the body which are the root causes of these circulatory diseases.
Astringent & Tonic: For ages, birch oil has been in use as a skin toner. Regular external application (in low dosages) effectively reduces wrinkles and sagging of the skin and muscles. Its astringent property strengthens gums, hair and tightens muscles. Thus it makes you look younger and may help you get back into a more youthful lifestyle, even when you are well into your forties or fifties.
Detoxifier & Depurative: Birch oil helps to remove toxins like uric acid from the blood through increased urination and perspiration (being diuretic and stimulant in nature). In other words, this purifies the blood; a depurative is an agent that purifies something.
Germicide & Insecticide: Birch oil is an excellent germicide and insecticide, mainly due to presence of Salicylic Acid and Methyl Salicylate contained in it. These two components are excellent cures for eczema, ring worm and other skin diseases and infections. You might have seen medicinal preparations like lotions and creams for ring worm and eczema containing these two components. Birch oil is a natural source of these beneficial compounds.
Febrifuge: It helps reduce body temperature during fever by promoting perspiration. This also helps in the removal of toxins from the body through sweat during fever, further improving the condition of the patient and leading towards a faster recovery time.
Diuretic: Birch oil promotes urination. Betulenol and Betulene are the two components which are responsible for this property. Urination helps body in many ways. It helps people to lose weight, removes toxins from the body, promotes digestion, cures infections in the urinary system, cleans the kidneys and lowers blood pressure. Urination also helps prevent the formation of kidney stones and conditions like gout and arthritis.
Other Benefits: Used as a tonic, it gives feelings of strength, warmth and vitality. It is ideal for use in extremely cold climates.
A Few Words of Caution: Sweet Birch (Betula Lenta) oil is toxic and can cause skin irritations. Pregnant women should avoid birch oil due to its powerful effects that could hurt their unborn child.
Blending: Birch Oil blends well with Benzoin, Sandalwood, Rosemary and Jasmine Oils.