Birch

Common name Birch

Latin name Betula Alba, Betula Pendula

Parts used Bark


System affinities

Birch is particularly indicated for the skin and digestive system.


Energetics/characteristics/flower essence/dosha

Birch is relaxing, tightening, and slightly dampening.  As such it is commonly used as a blood purifier.  It is often indicated for the Kapha dosha, as it helps in toning up the body and stimulate metabolism.  Birch is a diuretic, analgesic, and antipyretic.


Taste/Quality

Birch is sweet, bitter, and astringent.


Indications

Birch is particularly useful for a variety of digestive disorders.  It aids in the conditions of diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera.  Additionally due to its blood purifying and diuretic properties it is effective at flushing out toxins through the urinary system, to the point of dissolving and expelling kidney stones. 


 

History/Lore

In Celtic mythology, birch is also a tree of beginnings and came to symbolise renewal and purification. people used bundles of birch twigs to drive out the spirits of the old year. Gardeners still use the birch besom, or broom, to ‘purify’ their gardens.  Besoms were also the archetypal witches’ broomsticks.


Habitat

The natural habitat of a birch tree is along a riverbank. It grows well in its natural habitat because the shallow root system has access to lots of moisture, and the crown of the tree receives lots of sunlight. When these two requirements are met the birch tree flourishes.


Dosing/Formulas