Birch - Betula – Trees

Blending Note: Top to Middle

Main Benefits: Muscle Relaxant, Anti-Depressant, Refreshing

Properties: Anti-inflammatory 

Origin: Many different Countries

Other Producing Countries: China, Himalayas, Bhutan, Tibet, Sichuan, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Spain, Japan, Korea, Uzbekistan, Siberia, Russian, Far East, Mongolia, Korea, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Iran, Republic of Georgia, Greenland, Northwest Territories of Canada 

Allergic Warning: Avoid during pregnancy, if you have a history of seizures, or are allergic to methyl salicylate. 

Short History:

White-barked birches in particular are cultivated as ornamental trees, largely for their appearance in winter. The Himalayan birch is among the most widely planted for this purpose. It has been cultivated since the 1870s, and many cultivars are available, including Doorenbos, Grayswood Ghost and Silver Shadow, Knightshayes has a slightly weeping habit. Sap of the birch is a traditional drink in Russia, China and Europe.

About Birch:

Birches are small to medium-sized shrubs and also come in the form of trees.  Leaves of the Birch are alternate, singly or doubly serrate, feather-veined, petiolate and stipulate. They often appear in pairs. The sap is also bottled and sold commercially. Birch sap can be used to make birch syrup, which is used like maple syrup for pancakes and waffles. Birch wood can be used to smoke foods. The birches bark is characteristically marked with long, thin, papery plates. Its colour gives the common names silver, white, black yellow and grey birch to different species. The buds form early and are full grown by midsummer, all are lateral, no terminal bud is formed; the branch is prolonged by the upper lateral bud. Once fully grown these leaves are usually 3–6 millimetres long on three-flowered clusters in the scales of drooping or erect catkins or aments.

They form in early autumn and remain rigid during the winter. The scales of the staminate aments when mature are broadly ovate, rounded, yellow or orange colour below the middle, dark chestnut brown at apex. Each scale bears two bracelets and three sterile flowers, each flower consisting of a sessile, membranaceous, usually two-lobed, calyx. Each calyx bears four short filaments with one-celled anthers or strictly, two filaments divided into two branches, each bearing a half-anther. Other cells open longitudinally.

The pistillate aments are erect or pendulous, solitary; terminal on the two-leaved lateral spur-like branchlets of the year. The pistillate scales are oblong-ovate, three-lobed, pale yellow green, often tinged with red, becoming brown at maturity. These scales bear two or three fertile flowers, each flower consisting of a naked ovary. The ovary is compressed, two-celled, and crowned with two slender styles; the ovule is solitary. Each scale bears a single small, winged nut that is oval, with two persistent stigmas at the apex.

Birches often form even-aged stands on light, well-drained, Birches can become a threat to heathland if the seedlings and saplings are not suppressed by grazing or periodic burning. 

Medicinal Uses:

Muscular aches and pains, Arthritis, Flatulence, Depression, Stress, Colds, Flu, PMS, Massage

Other uses:

Leather oil, Food Flavouring, Soap, Shampoo, Glue, Tea