Name: Warty birch – warty birch (veterinary practice)
Birch warty, drooping – betula pendula roth.
Popular names: birch, deaf birch, birch, chistyak, glusnyak, chernoguzka, etc.
Botanical characteristic. Birch family. A tree up to 20 m high, with triangular-rhombic, serrated leaves along the edge and white smooth, parchment-like bark with black lenticels on the plane. The branches are thin and flexible. Flowers unisexual in drooping racemes. Blooms in May – June (Fig. 9).
Spreading. It grows in the forest and forest-steppe zones of the European part of the USSR, in the Urals, Siberia, Kazakhstan, and the Caucasus.
Medicinal raw materials. They use buds, birch sap and tar, less often leaves. Birch buds are harvested from 2 types of birch (fluffy and warty) in early spring during the swelling period before blooming (blooming buds are unsuitable for treatment). Branches with buds are tied into bundles and dried in the open air or in a special room at a temperature not exceeding 25 ° C, after which they are threshed with a blow on the board or cleaned by hand. The resulting mass is separated from impurities and stored in multilayer paper bags for no more than 2 years. Young leaves are cut off in May at the beginning of flowering, when they have not yet coarsened; birch sap is collected in early spring at the very beginning of sap flow; birch mushroom – chaga is harvested in spring or autumn. Birch tar and birch charcoal are obtained from birch wood.
Other types are also used. Fluffy birch -Betula pubescens Ehrh. It occurs in the same areas as the drooping birch, but goes deeper to the north. It differs from drooping birch in shorter branches directed upwards and to the side, remaining white bark at the base of the trunk until old age, and pubescence of young shoots.
Manchurian birch – Betula mandshurica (Redel) Navai grows in Primorsky Krai and in the south of Khabarovsk Krai.
Chemical composition. Silver birch buds contain 3.5-5.3% essential oil, which includes betulen, betulol, betulenic acid, naphthalene, as well as saponins, tannins, resins, grape sugar, phytoncides, ascorbic acid, bitter and other substances. The leaves contain betuloretinic acid in the form of butyl ester, ascorbic acid (up to 2.8%), tannins (5-9%), saponins (up to 3.2%). glycosides (hyperoside and spiracoside), sugars, bitterness, resins, flavones, essential oils of the same composition, etc. Sugars (fructose and glucose), malic acid, protein and an aromatic substance were found in birch sap.
pharmacological properties. Buds, leaves and birch sap have phytoncidal properties, and infusions and decoctions have a diuretic, disinfectant and choleretic effect. Birch sap activates the excretory functions of the body and prevents the deposition of salts, especially salts of oxalic acid (Rubtsov).
Application. Infusion and decoctions of birch buds are recommended for edema of cardiovascular origin, cholecystitis, diseases of the kidneys and bladder. Treatment is carried out under the supervision of a physician, since the resinous substances of plants can irritate the kidneys. In folk veterinary medicine, infusion and decoctions of the kidneys are used for dropsy, inflammation and stomach ulcers, diseases of the liver and gallbladder, an infusion of birch leaves – for kidney diseases, anemia. Infusions from the leaves are applied to wounds, cuts, boils. In the spring, a vitamin drink is prepared from young leaves. For 100 g of crushed and well-washed leaves, take 1 liter of hot water, leave for 3-4 hours, filter through two layers of gauze and give the calves one glass 2-3 times every day before drinking milk.
Birch tar is used externally to treat scabies (sarcoptic mange), eczema, and other skin conditions. It is part of a number of ointments (Vishnevsky, Konkov, Wilkinson), which have pronounced antiseptic and horn-dissolving properties.
Birch buds are administered orally in the form of an infusion, decoction as a diuretic and diaphoretic, externally in the form of poultices and ointments as an analgesic and antirheumatic agent, and as a 1: 5 tincture in 90% alcohol in the treatment of small wounds, bedsores, acute and chronic eczema. In addition, birch bud products are used for bronchitis, tracheitis as an expectorant and disinfectant.
An infusion of birch leaves is used as a diuretic for cardiovascular edema, for kidney diseases (nephrosis and nephritis, uric acid diathesis).
Birch charcoal is produced in the form of granules and tablets as an adsorbent for flatulence, alkaloid poisoning, heavy metal salts, feed toxic infections, etc.
Birch sap is very useful, which contains sugars, amino acids, organic acids, iron and other substances necessary for the body. It is recommended as a diuretic and tonic for anemia, edema, long-term non-healing wounds and trophic ulcers, furunculosis, bronchitis. Use only fresh juice, which is stored in a closed glass container in a cold place. For calves, juice can be given 1/2 cup several times each day.
Doses of the kidneys inside: cattle 10-50 g, horses 10-40, small cattle 5-15, pigs 5-10, dogs 2-4 g.
On the trunks of adult birches, a fungus – chaga – is parasitizing – a hard nodular growth with a cracking black surface. Chaga is harvested in the fall (chopped with an ax), when the trees shed their leaves, clean out the inner loose part, free from adhering pieces of bark and wood. Then the chaga is cut into small pieces (3-6 cm) and dried in air or in an oven at a temperature not exceeding 50 °C. Store in a cool place to prevent mold. To prepare the infusion, the mushroom is soaked in boiled water for 5 hours, then crushed, placed in an enamel pan and poured with water (1:5) preheated to 50 ° C, remaining after soaking. The pan is placed in a warm place for two days, then the water is drained, the sediment is squeezed out through several layers of gauze and diluted with water to the required volume.
3. Scheme of using chaga infusion for dyspepsia of calves with signs of the disease. The supply of colostrum is stopped and replaced with chaga infusion, but not more than for two days. Then colostrum is added to each drink, bringing it to the full norm on the 3rd-5th day (Golyshenkov, Mochinsky, Yakunin). Chaga preparations are also indicated for peptic ulcer, diseases of the stomach, lungs and other internal organs.