The health benefits of Birch tea, particularly its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, have been highly regarded for centuries.
Birch is a soft-wood tree commonly found in the woodlands of cold climate countries particularly in North America and Europe. It is a fast-growing tree and can reach up to 65 feet in height. The birch tree is recognized for its silvery-white bark that tends to peel off in layers. The tree also has slender drooping branches. The leaves of the birch tree have toothed edges, are broadly ovate, and are smooth and shiny. Its roots grow shallow.
Birch has the so-called ‘oil of birch’ that contains betulin and betulinic acid. Betulinic acid is currently being studied for its potentials as an anti-cancer treatment. Birch also contains saponins, flavonoids and tannins, among others.
To make birch tea from its leaves, place 2 to 3 teaspoonfuls in a cup and pour on boiling water. Cover the mix and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Take the tea about three times daily.
Birch tea can also be made using the bark of the tree. Simply place a teaspoon of dried birch bark in a cup of boiling water, then allow it to stand for 15 minutes. Take this twice or thrice a day.
The following are some of the health benefits attributed to birch tea:
- May help alleviate joint pain related to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- May be helpful in combating gout.
- May help fight urinary disorders.
- May be useful in the treatment of melanoma.
- Tea from the leaves may be helpful in fighting skin breakouts and other dermatological problems. This may be applied topically as a wash or added to bath water.
- May help remove excess fluids from the body.