Birch is a plant belonging to the Betulaceae family, with an unmistakable pale trunk. Birch is widely used as a natural remedy for its healing properties, especially the betula pendula, also known as white birch, but there are also betula pubescens or hairy birch. It is used in phytotherapy above all for its diuretic and depurative properties: it helps in the case of cellulite, it is useful as a remedy against cystitis and it relieves the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. But let’s find out more about the properties of birch and how to use it.
Healing properties of birch
In phytotherapy, birch is used above all for its diuretic and purifying properties: its leaves contain flavonoids, vitamin C, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, resins and essential oils. Thanks to the stimulation of diuresis, birch leaves help eliminate excess fluids and substances accumulated in the body, including uric acids that can cause gout and rheumatism. All these qualities ensure that birch is used in phytotherapy for the treatment of water retention and hypertension. The diuretic action of the plant also acts as a prevention for urinary gravel and urinary tract diseases, such as cystitis. Birch is therefore considered an excellent remedy even against cellulite: thanks to the diuretic action, in fact, it helps eliminate orange peel skin.
To be useful in this sense it is above all the birch sap, from which the derived bud is extracted: it eliminates the liquids stagnated in the tissues and also reduces the painful component linked to cellulite. Birch also has an anti-inflammatory action: it is used in the most common infections, thanks to its antiseptic properties and, during the winter, helps fight coughs and sore throats. Birch is also used to counteract premenstrual syndrome and it is recommended for heart, veins and arterial health, as it stimulates the production of good HDL cholesterol, counteracting the bad LDL one.
The birch also stimulates the microcirculation with benefits also for swelling and muscular pains, preventing the appearance of capillaries and varicose veins on the legs.
How to use birch
Birch is usually taken through infusions or decoctions of its fresh or dried parts, which can be purchased in herbal medicine shops and in specialized shops. To take advantage of the diuretic and purifying action of this plant, you can prepare a birch herbal tea, useful for combating cellulite. To prepare it pour 1 tablespoon of birch leaves into 1 cup of boiling water. Cover, leave to infuse for 10 minutes, strain and drink. The advice is to drink 2 cups a day between meals. Alternatively, it is possible to use birch bud, to be taken in drops: the daily dose can vary from 30 to 50 drops 2-3 times a day. However, before any use, medical advice is always recommended, especially if you are taking medication.
For external use, birch can be used in the form of oil, useful for combating acne, psoriasis or eczema: it will need to be massaged on the affected areas several times a day, after asking the dermatologist for advice. To strengthen hair and counter dandruff, instead, you can dilute a few drops of essential birch oil in your usual shampoo, or you can use it diluted with a carrier vegetable oil, such as almond oil, to counteract dry skin and dermatitis.