The graceful and modest white-trunked birch tree is considered an ancient symbol of our country. In ancient Russia, she personified renewal, purity and femininity. Our ancestors used pliable wood for construction, made furniture. From birch bark weaved sandals, did the dishes and children's toys. And still actively used in healing.
Until now, almost all parts of the white-trunked tree are used in traditional medicine. Buds, young leaves of birch, pollen, chaga mushroom, as well as young bark are used in the treatment of various diseases.
About what the birch bark is useful for, its medicinal properties and its contraindications, what is the use of birch bark - we'll talk about all this today with you:
Healing properties of birch bark
Birch bark is known for its rich composition. Resins, phytoncides, acids (nicotinic, ascorbic), as well as carotenoids and saponins are found in it. As a result, the bark of a young tree has antibacterial, astringent properties. It has a calming, toning, analgesic effect.
Healers, folk healers use it to improve the status of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, include in the integrated treatment of gynecological, skin diseases.
Birch bark contains a valuable substance betulin - a known biostimulant and antiseptic. It has a beneficial effect on the gastric mucosa, reduces the production of hydrochloric acid, helps get rid of diarrhea.
This substance goes to the composition of warming rubbing, ointments, balsams. On its basis, a well-known external drug "Vishnevsky ointment" is made - an effective remedy for the treatment of purulent wounds, skin infections. In addition, betulin effectively fights fungal infections.
The therapeutic properties of birch bark are such that funds based on it have a hepatoprotective effect, therefore they are often used in the treatment of acute and chronic liver diseases of varying severity.
Known remedies are made of birch bark - tar and activated carbon:
Birch tar has pronounced anti-parasitic properties, is used externally for the treatment of skin diseases: psoriasis, eczema, various rashes, scaly depriving, etc.
Black activated carbon tablets are a well-known, effective adsorbent. It is used to treat food poisoning, intoxication of the body. Is taken orally with flatulence, diarrhea, increased acidity of the stomach.
How to use birch bark (use for treatment)
Cut the bark of young birch as small as possible, you only need 60 g. Put it in a saucepan, add a liter and another cup of boiling water. Boil, reduce heat. Boil at a very light boil for about 40 minutes. The volume of fluid should be reduced to 800 ml. Remove the pot from the stove, wait for cooling (until the broth becomes warm). Pour into a jar through cheesecloth. Drink half a glass several times a day.
Oak bark decoction for diarrhea
Pour 2 tsp. powder from bark to saucepan. Still add a glass of hot drinking water. Boil, reduce the temperature, simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, wait until it cools down by itself. Pour the gauze into a clean cup. Drink warm tea with diarrhea.
Herpes bark and cream on the body
Burn a piece of bark (about 5 cm) on a refractory dish. Mix ashes with a very small amount of baby cream or vaseline. Lubricate the rash every 1-2 hours. If often applied to herpes blisters, they quickly dry out.
Scabies, foot fungus treatment with home remedies
Crush about a pound of birch bark, pour into a bulk pan. Top up 10 l. hot water, bring to a boil. Cook at a very low temperature for 1 hour. Remove from heat, wait for cooling. Warm, strained decoction, add to the water when bathing, use for foot baths. Make lotions on the affected skin.
To enhance the effect, you can dilute the decoction with infusion of yarrow herb.
Dermatitis ointment, eczema ointment on the hands is not hormonal
To eliminate itching, reduce inflammation, mix 1 tbsp. l bark powder with 2 tbsp. l freshly squeezed lemon juice. Apply the mixture to the affected areas. It can also be used to lubricate the armpits to eliminate the unpleasant smell of sweat.
Birch Bark Properties
It is believed that products made from birch bark have a positive effect on the nervous system, calm and improve mood. Therefore, it is recommended to keep a few things at home, items from birch bark, or just put a small piece of unprocessed birch bark on the cabinet shelf.
Jewelry from it are considered charms. They protect the owner from the evil eye, damage, evil slanders. Therefore, it is good for girls and women to wear bark rims for hair, hairpins, etc. Earlier, in order to protect their home from evil spirits, a birch bark doll was kept somewhere in a corner. Household items, decorations, white bark dishes were presented to young people on their wedding day for good luck.
Who is dangerous for birch bark, which are possible contraindications?
You can use bark-based remedies for people who are prone to allergies. If there are signs of allergies, it can not be treated. It is not recommended to use the bark for internal use during pregnancy, renal diseases. It should not be taken with colitis, dysentery, as well as with antibiotic treatment from the penicillin group and with the use of drugs containing glucose.
In order not to cause negative side effects, do not exceed the dosage during manufacture and use.
Before you begin to use the bark for therapeutic purposes, be sure to get the opinion of the attending physician. Be healthy!
Application and use of birch bark - bark
Brest - what is it? This is the top layer of birch bark. As a natural material, bark has a number of properties that are not always found near the bark of another tree and which allowed the use of birch bark in the peasant economy, Russian life is very wide.
Birch bark is a light material, i.e. has a low specific weight, and therefore does not sink in water. Plastic and flexible, strong on a gap, practically does not give in to rotting, since contains a large amount of birch bark resin - tar, and therefore very durable. Birch bark does not pass moisture at all, possesses good heat-insulating properties and bactericidal, and also hygroscopicity. This material has a low electrical conductivity and therefore can serve as an insulating material.
Birch bark has another interesting quality - it is well exfoliated, i.e. correctly and in time, harvested bark can be divided into several layers, separating one layer from another. The thickness of the layer is different - one layer is thicker, the other is thinner. The young layer of birch bark grows at the end of autumn each year. And therefore, on the mature, “ripe” birch, the bark is thicker than that of the thin-stem and young. And yet - only birch has such a snow-white bark, and no other tree in the world has it.
You can’t confuse a birch bark with another tree bark because there are black and white lines on its bark - the so-called “lentils”. They are located horizontally across the bark of the tree. It is through these lentils that the bark seems to “breathe”, i.e. gas exchange with the environment. In summer, lentils open, and in winter they close tightly, keeping the tree warm inside, and the bark itself - bark - protects the tree from the cold of winter, from sunburn in summer. Large and small, short and long lentils form a characteristic pattern on the bark, thanks to which we distinguish bark from other natural materials. These lines give birch bark and a special decorative and expressiveness.
In working with bark, you can define two main directions - Working with reservoir bark and - Bark weaving.
Description: what is the name of birch bark
The birch bark or, as they say, the bark of this tree, the bark, is used by people for a very long time. And if initially it was used as an improvised material, which replaced the paper, and served for the manufacture of various household items, now the scope of its use is much wider. With the help of this material various diseases are treated and used as a prophylactic against ailments.
Birch bark contains many nutrients, which accounts for its popularity among traditional healers. It contains such mineral substances as:
It also contains flavonoids, tar, tannins, nicotinic and ascorbic acid, coumarins, wax, tar, essential oils, palmitic acid and triterpenoid betulin (white organic pigment).
Reviews from the network on the use of birch tar
In general, birch tar is wide to use, it turns out! It can be used for all skin diseases, for scabies, for pediculosis, for hair loss, for dandruff, and for many other diseases. Tar is the strongest antiseptic, antiparasitic and antimicrobial agent.
With the help of birch bark can be cured:
- Lung diseases.
- Skin diseases and inflammations.
- Fungus on the skin.
- normalizes the digestive tract,
- speeds up metabolism
- promotes rapid healing of wounds,
- strengthens the immune system
- improves the appetite.
Birch bark is used both in folk and in traditional medicine. It is part of many drugs and herbal. This is because it:
- helps with inflammatory processes
- removes heat
- stabilizes metabolism
- promotes weight loss and weight gain,
- very quickly copes with wounds and purulent formations on the skin, helps in the treatment of melanoma (skin cancer).
Use in cosmetology
Has found birch bark and its use in recipes of beauty and youth. With its help, you can eliminate such a problem as acne. Regular washing with a decoction of this raw material promotes quick healing, as well as improvement of the skin condition and normalization of the sebaceous glands.
A decoction of birch bark rinses the hair after washing, this procedure gives shine shine and promotes rapid growth and prevents hair loss.
Role in everyday life
For a long time this material has been used for the manufacture of things that people use in everyday life, in the old days they were bast shoes, baskets, toys for babies. Now, birch bark also produces quite a few products that we use in everyday life, including hairpins, combs, scallops, baskets, decorative ornaments, cups and much more.
In addition to the healing properties, this material is highly durable and keeps heat well, which makes it attractive for making various types of dishes.
Side effects and contraindications
Birch bark should not be taken in such cases:
- individual intolerance of the product,
- kidney problems
- during pregnancy and lactation,
- during therapy with penicillin-based drugs,
- in combination with drugs containing glucose,
- with dysentery and colitis.
When used correctly, the bark does not cause adverse reactions. But if you use this product irrationally, there may be some problems. Therefore, it is always worth remembering that this tool is auxiliary, and self-medication can cause negative consequences.
How to remove the bark from the tree
It is not difficult to get such raw materials, for this you only need to choose a healthy, beautiful birch and have a sharp knife with you. Using a knife, you need to make a vertical incision on the trunk to a depth of 1-2 mm and separate the bark. If the correct time is chosen, the bark itself will literally be separated from the tree.
The resulting raw material is dried in fresh air for 7-10 days, and then folded into fabric bags and plastic containers and stored in a cool dry place. The shelf life of dry raw materials is 3 years from the date of procurement.
Preparation of healing potions
And now we come to the most important thing - the process of preparation of medicinal preparations. Recipes are simple, and birch bark for preparation can be purchased at the pharmacy, if you do not have time or the opportunity to get it yourself.
For cooking will need:
- 60 g birch bark,
- 1 liter of boiling water.
This broth will help to cope with coughing and facilitate the discharge of sputum. It should be taken to alleviate the condition. Also, this decoction can be applied externally and cure the fungus on the feet, skin diseases and scabies. To do this, wipe the affected area with a cotton swab or soft cloth moistened with medication, 2 times a day.
You can make tea from birch bark, which perfectly tones up and is a general tonic. Raw materials need to pour boiling water and let it brew for 7-10 minutes.
- 200 g birch bark,
- 200 ml of alcohol or vodka.
For cooking will need:
- 1 tbsp. l birch bark
- 50 ml of lemon juice.
Now you know what birch bark is good for the body. It will help to establish the work of the gastrointestinal tract, strengthen the body and heal wounds. But do not forget to consult with a specialist before taking birch bark.
Biological description of birch
Most species of birch trees are 30-45 m high, with a trunk circumference up to 120-150 cm, some species are shrubs from large to small, up to creeping, barely rising above the ground. All members of the genus - monoecious, dioecious, wind-pollinated (anemophilic) plants.
The root system of birches is powerful, depending on the type and conditions of growth, either superficial, or, more often, it goes sideways. The root root of the seedling dies off very quickly, but the lateral roots develop powerfully and are rich in thin uriciform roots.
Birch grows slowly only in the early years. Then, on the contrary, it begins to grow rapidly, and this ensures its victory over competing grassy vegetation.
The bark of most birches is white, yellowish, pinkish or reddish-brown, in some species gray, brown or even black. Cavity cells of cork tissue on the trunks are filled with white resinous substance - betulin, which gives the bark a white color. The outer part - birch - is usually easily peeled off with ribbons. In old trees, the lower part of the trunk is often covered with a dark crust with deep cracks.
Birch leaves are alternate, whole, serrated on the edge, ovate-rhombic or triangular-ovoid, monosymmetrical, with a wide wedge-shaped base or almost truncated, smooth, up to 7 cm long and 4 cm wide, yellow before falling off. Young leaves are sticky. The venation of the leaf blade is perfect pinotusal (pinnipotent): the lateral veins end in the teeth.
The birch buds are alternate, sessile, covered with spirally arranged, often sticky scales, lateral buds slightly spaced.
Male flowers in complex inflorescences - seryozhkovidnyh tirsah - appear in the summer on the tops of elongated shoots, usually 2-3, they are first standing and green, then gradually turn brown. Their length is 2-4 cm.
Male birch catkins consist of numerous thyroid stalked, cover scales, extended to the top, covered with two smaller scales and containing 3 flowers on the inside.
Each flower is also covered with a scale-like perianth, in which the fertilization organs - stamens. Outside, the whole earring is covered with a moisture-impermeable resinous substance. In this form, the catkins winter.
In the spring, in March - May, depending on the climate, the core of the male catkins is extended, as a result of which the surrounding flower scales open up, and between them become visible yellow stamens, liberally emitting pollen. At this time, the earrings, which were previously standing straight, first bend, and then hang at all.
Женские серёжки берёзы вырастают на вершинах укороченных побегов (брахибластов), развивающихся из боковых почек прошлогодних побегов, и поэтому сидят всегда на боку ветки. Одновременно с зацветанием мужских серёжек распускаются листовые почки и женские серёжки. Во время цветения они всегда короче и у́же мужских, которые после опыления сейчас же опадают.
Прицветные (плодовые) чешуйки женских серёжек глубоко трёхлопастные, боковые лопасти обычно короче средней. Female flowers (that is, only one ovary) sit three under each bracts scale, each ovary has 2 pendulous ovules, of which, by pollination, one dries out, and the rest increases, occupying the entire cavity of the ovary.
The female fertilized earring at this time lengthens, often the leg grows, and the earring itself thickens due to an increase in the scale of scales, turning gradually into an oval or oblong-cylindrical bump.
After the fruit ripens, which happens rather quickly - depending on the climate, in July-September - the fruit earring (cone) crumbles and only the core remains from it.
The birch fruit is an oblate lenticular nutlet, bearing on its top two dried-up columns and surrounded by a more or less wide thin-skinned, membranous wing. Fruits sit in three in the axils of three-lobed fruit (floral) scales. The seeds are very light - in one gram there are 5000 seeds. Easily carried by the wind (up to 100 m from the parent plant), the fruits are not opened.
Where does birch grow (distribution and ecology)
Many species of birch are widespread and important forest-forming species, which largely determine the shape and species composition of deciduous and coniferous-deciduous (mixed) forests in the temperate and cold parts of Eurasia and North America.
There are birches and shrubs. The most famous of them is Dwarf Birch ( Betula nana ) common in the tundras of Europe and North America and the mountain tundra of Siberia. It does not reach and 1 m in height. In the glacial and post-glacial period, this birch was spread much further south, now it is found there as a relic in the swamps.
Most birches are very hardy, do not suffer from spring frosts, transfer the permafrost, penetrate far beyond the Arctic Circle, or form the upper boundary of the forest in the mountains (birch elfin in the Caucasus). More demanding to the heat of birch subtropical areas (Himalayan-Chinese, some Japanese and American birch river ( Betula nigra )).
The richness of the soil birch is not demanding. Birch species grow on sandy and loamy, on rich and poor, on wet and dry soils. It is found on the damp banks of rivers and seas, in swamps, in marshy tundras, on dry stony slopes, in hot, dry steppes. So, for example, Birch Radde ( Betula raddeana ) forms forests covering gorges in the mountain forest belt in the mountains of Dagestan.
Most birches are light-requiring, although there are quite shade-tolerant ones (Birch is ribbed ( Betula costata ), Woolly birch ( Betula lanata ) and yellow birch ( Betula lutea )).
Many species of birch are the pioneers of colonization of felling, gary, wastelands and outcrops (such is Birch hanging ( Betula pendula )): in these places, pure birch stands (secondary forests) are mostly of grass type, therefore birch is often referred to as soil-improving rocks.
In the future, the composition of the stand changes: birch is replaced by spruce, as the spruce sprouts can exist under a relatively light birch canopy, and young birches are shaded by spruces and die.
In the forest-steppe on humid places in saucer-shaped slides, birch (often with aspen and occasionally with willow) forms small forests called kolkami. Kolka characteristic of the forest-steppe of Western Siberia, found on the Oka-Don plain.
Birch life expectancy, according to various sources, is from 120 to 150 years, some trees live to 400 years or more.
Mycorrhiza-forming species of fungi are characteristic of birch groves and forests mixed with birch, many of which live in the community exclusively or primarily with birch.
The most famous of them are:
- Brownberry ordinary ( Leccinum scabrum ) and some other species of this genus - Brown marsh ( Leccinum holopus ), brownish rosaceous ( Leccinum oxydabile ),
- White mushroom birch ( Boletus betulicola ) - refers to the most valuable edible mushrooms
- Some mlechniki (black black ( Lactarius necator ), the wave is pink ( Lactarius torminosus )), certain types of russula - russula green, russula yellow, russula food
Damaged trees can be affected by parasitic fungi — for example, a sloping spider ( Inonotus obliquus ), rarely found on other trees. Drugs derived from chagi — the sterile form of the oblique tinder — are used in folk and official medicine as adaptogens.
What is included in birch
The bark of most species contains triterpenoid betulin, one of the few white organic pigments. In birch bark ribbed ( Betula costata ) its content exceeds 5%, hung birch ( Betula pendula ) Betulin content reaches 14%, and in Manchurian birch bark ( Betula mandshurica ) - up to 27%. Of the species growing in Russia, the maximum content of betulin is observed in downy birch bark ( Betula pubescens ) - up to 44%.
In the buds of drooping birch (as well as fluffy) contains about 3-5% of essential oil, the main components of which are bicyclic sesquiterpenoids. The kidneys also contain resinous substances, alkaloids, ascorbic acid, flavonoids and higher fatty acids.
The leaves contain essential oil, dammaran derivatives, coumarins, tannins and flavonoids.
Pharmacological properties of birch
Birch has traditionally been used for medicinal purposes: infusions of birch buds and leaves - as a diuretic, bactericidal and wound-healing agent, and oil extract of birch buds - as a dermatological agent.
From the essential oil of cherry birch ( Betula lenta ) (by distillation of bark and shoots with water vapor) get methyl salicylate.
Birch tar - traditional preservative and disinfectant.
When to collect and how to store raw birch
From any kind of birch, you can use buds and leaves as a medicinal raw material, collect birch sap, and if lucky - and chaga.
Birch buds are harvested in winter and early spring, as soon as they become sticky. To do this, the main cuttings or thinning cuts branches, bundle them up and dry in well ventilated rooms for three to four weeks. It is not recommended to dry in dryers, because it loses tar and essential oils. After drying, the branches are threshed, the sieves discourage the kidneys from impurities. Raw materials are packed in bags weighing 25 and 50 kg. Store in a dry, well-ventilated area for two years.
Birch leaves are harvested in May, dried in the shade and packed in boxes lined with paper. Store in a dry, well ventilated area. Having prepared the leaves in May (before the Trinity, as is customary among the people) birch brooms, you can use them all year round - just hang them to dry somewhere in the attic with good ventilation.
As for birch sap, it is easy to assemble it by hanging the collection container directly on the tree and inserting a tube into the thickness of the trunk. Just watch your “catch”, otherwise the tree will expire with tears: in spring the juice is typed quickly, and the hole itself does not close, it must be covered with garden pitch.
What diseases use birch
Birch buds and leaves are used as a diuretic and choleretic agent. Birch buds are recommended for bedsores, irritations and erosion of the skin, and outside - for rheumatism, as a wound-healing agent, inside - for colds, illnesses and stomach cramps, for tuberculosis, gastritis, acute and chronic eczema. Birch buds contain essential oils, saponin, glucose, resin, betulretinovu acid, and the leaves - anthocyanins, coumarins, flavanols, saponins, essential oil, resin, carotene, vitamin C.
Birch tar, which is obtained by distillation from birch bark, is used as a wound healing agent and for the treatment of skin diseases, burns, scabies, and herpes. Birch essential oil is also extracted from it, which is used as an anthelmintic agent. Activated carbon tablets are used for poisoning, bacterial toxicosis and flatulence.
Outwardly, birch leaves are used for baths with radiculitis, fresh leaves are covered with sore spots with rheumatism, an infusion of buds or leaves are poured over wounds, with scurvy gums are rubbed with kidneys, the leaves are applied to tumors and injured places, the infusion of leaves smears the affected spots with skin diseases, wash your head with hair loss.
Birch applied to the boils. Birch bark (birch bark) is used for dressing for bone fractures.
Use in traditional and traditional medicine (recipes)
A decoction of birch buds or their alcohol tincture (30 g of raw materials per 1 liter of 70% alcohol) is drunk in case of diseases of the stomach, skin, kidneys and bladder. The leaves are used in the same cases in the form of tea.
Taken inside the drops and decoctions of birch cleanse the blood, wash out the body of salt, have a healing effect and free the intestines from worms and fecal stones.
Napar from birch leaves or simply “chilling” the body with a steaming broom in the bath relieves joint pain, relieves swelling and inflammation of the veins in the legs, improves well-being and relieves fatigue.
Spring birch sap has also been used in Russia for a long time for the treatment of many pains accumulated over the winter, from scurvy to gout.
Birch tar is an excellent tool that helps with many skin diseases not only in animals, but also in humans.
Birch brooms, thrifty hid in the fall, will help poultry and cattle survive the winter more easily and cure any pain that awaits our pets in the spring, when immunity is weakened.
Birch buds have an irritant effect, so they can not be used for acute pyelonephritis.
Young leaves of birch are used in alternative medicine. They make a decoction for baths with sciatica (radiculitis). For eczema use hot decoction of birch branches with leaves, in which hands are lowered for 20-30 minutes, the procedure is performed 2-3 times during the day.
Decoction of the leaves is used for edema associated with cardiovascular insufficiency, kidney disease, it helps well with beriberi. To prepare the broth, 10 g of the kidneys are poured 200 ml of boiling water, boiled for 12-15 minutes over low heat, filtered, volume is adjusted to 200 ml by pouring warm boiled water. Drink means 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day.
Actively used in traditional medicine infusions of birch leaves.
To strengthen the body and eliminate toxins, 8-10 g of dry crushed raw materials or 10-15 g of fresh insist in 1 cup boiling water in a thermos for four to five hours, then filter and take 1 tablespoon 4-5 times a day.
When gallstone disease using infusion of 1 tablespoon of birch leaves and 1 cup of boiling water. ½ cup of the resulting product should be drunk before meals 4 times a day.
Alcoholic tincture of birch buds is prepared as follows: take 15 g of buds, pour 500 g of alcohol (70%). Take the tool 3 times a day for 20-25 drops, diluted in a spoonful of water, with renal diseases, gastric ulcer, with diseases of the bladder, from helminthic invasions. This medicine is also indicated for dropsy of renal origin.
With the help of alcohol tincture can be treated bedsores, problem skin, pyodermatitis, acne, boils, rubbing sore joints with rheumatism.
From the young leaves can also be prepared tincture, insisting them in a dark place in a glass container with water for a month.
A decoction of birch buds can be prepared at the rate of 10 grams of product per 200 milliliters of water, over a slow fire it should be boiled for 30 minutes, cool for 10 minutes and strain through a strainer. It is recommended to apply inside the agent 3-4 times a day one big spoon. Resin and essential oil, which are contained in birch buds, have not only a diuretic, but also a disinfectant, expectorant effect.
From the leaves of birch, you can also make a decoction. For this, 30 grams of leaflets need to be dipped in 400 milliliters of water and put for 15 minutes on low heat, after which you need to add a quarter of a teaspoon of soda. Apply the drug should be three or four times a day for half a glass. This broth is used as a choleretic and diuretic. And a decoction of the leaves is used as a lotion for cuts and boils. For the treatment of chronic and acute eczema create a hot tub of birch broth buds.
The infusion of young birch leaves is prepared as follows: in 400 milliliters of boiled water cooled to 45 degrees, approximately 50 grams of raw material is drawn for about 5 hours. This solution is drained, squeezed the leaves, again filled with water and insist 6 hours. After this composition is required to filter and connect with the first solution. This infusion should be applied 3-4 times a day for half a glass. Young leaves, or rather the infusion of them, are used as a stimulating drug, it is prescribed for disorders of the nervous system, jaundice, renal colic, as a vitamin and anti-inflammatory agent.