Birch

birch leaves

Properties

Analgesic
Anti-inflammatory
Antiseptic
Antispasmodic
Disinfectant
Diuretic
Stimulant

Application

Historically, Birch essential oil is used in massage oils for muscular aches and pains. The oil is naturally analgesic, increases urine flow, eases simple water retention. Used in massage it is invigorating, refreshing.

It’s aroma is similar to Wintergreen – which also has a high level of the compound methyl salicyclate. Naturally this makes it a very effective oil for muscular ache relief. It has also been used for arthritis, rheumatism, tendonitis, hypertension, and cramps. It is highly anti-inflammatory and is similar to cortisone especially in its benefits for bone, muscle and joint discomfort. It has also been useful in treating calcium deposits and bone spurs.

Birch essential oil has been effective for some with skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, ringworm, and thinning hair. It can also be great for psoriasis, gout, ulcers, and healing of broken or bruised bones. Birch essential oil can reduce bladder and kidney discomfort during an infection. Birch essential oil and Lemon essential oil together can drastically reduce kidney stone pain.

Precautions

It is important to cleanse the liver often if using this oil for a prolonged time. Topically it can be “hot” and a skin test should be used for those with skin sensitivities. Birch, as with other oils with a high concentration of methyl salicylate, should not be used by people with epilepsy and should be typically avoided during pregnancy.

Historical Uses

The American Indians and early European settlers enjoyed tea that was flavored with birch bark or wintergreen. According to Julia Lawless, “this has been translated into a preference for ‘root beer’ flavorings.” A synthetic methyl salicylate is now widely used as a flavoring agent, especially in root bear, chewing gum, toothpaste, etc.