White birch (fluffy)

Name: White birch (fluffy)



Betula alba L.

Birch family — Betulaceae


What does it look like? A slender tree up to 20 m tall with drooping branches and smooth white bark. In old birches, the trunk is dark gray below with cracks. The leaves are rhombic-ovate or triangular-ovate, broadly wedge-shaped at the base, sometimes almost heart-shaped, pointed at the end, twice sharp-toothed, smooth on both sides, petioled. The flowers are male, drooping, collected at the ends of the branches in earrings 5-6 cm long (2-3 earrings each), the fruit is a nut with two wings that are 2-3 times wider than it. It blooms in May, the seeds ripen in July-August.

Where does it grow? Forms massifs in forest and forest-steppe zones, grows on snowdrifts, wet meadows, above streams throughout the territory of Ukraine, occasionally in the southern part of the forest-steppe, steppe and Crimea.

What and when are collected? Buds in the spring, when they have not yet bloomed and are sticky from resinous substances. Dry in the cold at a temperature not higher than 15-20°. Leaves are collected less often (in June – July). Birch sap (berezhnyak) is collected in the spring. Charcoal is burned from wood.

When is it used? In case of vitamin deficiency, there is an infusion of leaves containing volatile oil, triterpene saponins (betulin), flavone glycoside hyperoside, resinous and tannic substances, salicylic and other organic acids, vitamin C, carotene, phytoncides.

In case of gout, rheumatism, to purify the blood in case of eczema, ringworm, rashes on the body, in case of body itching; with a stomach ulcer, its indigestion; with bronchitis and tracheitis, as an expectorant and disinfectant; against small roundworms (roundworms and roundworms); in the postpartum period (starting from the 12th day) to accelerate cleansing; with obesity, to increase metabolism; with dropsy of renal origin and with stones (diuretic and choleretic action) — buds, from which tea or alcohol tincture is prepared.

Used in the form of tea. Take 1 teaspoon of buds for 1 cup of boiling water, boil a little and insist for 2 hours. They drink 2 glasses a day in sips. Instead of tea, you can use alcohol tincture, 15-20 drops three times a day with a spoonful of water (for half a liter of 70% alcohol give half a glass of buds and infuse them for 14 days, then strain, filter and pour into a bottle). It is used for atherosclerosis, edema, indigestion, even for cholera (against vomiting). In addition to volatile oil, saponins, tannins, the buds contain betuloretinic acid and grape sugar.

An infusion of young birch leaves is drunk for cardiac edema, as a diuretic and diaphoretic agent, for protein excretion in the urine, uric acid diathesis, and also for rheumatism. Fresh leaves are washed with cold boiled water, the water is drained, the leaves are poured with hot boiled water at a temperature of 40-50° and infused for 3.5 hours. The leaves are pressed, the infusion is allowed to settle for 6 hours, separated from the sediment. This infusion contains up to 155 mg% of vitamin C. Use 50; 100; 200 ml of infusion, three times a day, usually before meals.

Birch juice is drunk 3 or more glasses a day to “improve” the blood in case of skin diseases – ringworm, rashes on the body, furunculosis; angina; anemias after injuries, wounds that do not heal well, ulcers, diseases accompanied by high temperature; with bronchitis, bronchiectasis, pulmonary tuberculosis; rheumatism, gout, arthritis; scurvy It acts as an expectorant, diuretic, removes harmful substances from the body, helps with cardiac edema.

It is used externally for eczema (compresses) and in cosmetics: it is used to wash the face with acne and pigment spots.

Birch coal ground into powder is used for poisoning with poisons and bacterial toxins, for intestinal bloating, colitis, increased acidity of gastric juice – 1 teaspoon of powder three times a day, washed down with water (or shaken with water).

Birch tar destroys scabies mites in the skin – rub the body at night for 3 days (before going to bed). On the 4th day, lime is taken and all clothes and bed linen are changed.

Alcoholic tincture is used for rubs and compresses for rheumatism, joint pain, bedsores, sores, and poorly healing wounds. Leaves are used externally for hot baths in the treatment of acute and chronic eczema, ringworm, sore feet, and rheumatism. A small handful of leaves is boiled for 10 minutes in 4 liters of soda, the decoction is used for baths.

Steamed fresh leaves are used for compresses and poultices. In the first case, a tub of fresh birch leaves is placed in a log, covered with it, and when it warms up from the heat it emits, the patient is buried in it for an hour or more (as long as he can stand it) up to his neck or waist (“dry” bath). Otherwise, dried leaves scalded with boiling water (or crushed raw) are applied to the affected areas of the hands and feet (dropsy, rheumatism, gout, paralysis), stockings are pulled over them and bandaged as tightly as possible (“warming stockings”).

And also pay attention to the article White Birch

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