Health Benefits and Uses of Sweet Birch

Health & Wellness

Sweet Birch (Betula lenta / Betula alba) || Health Benefits of Sweet Birch

Betula lenta is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 50-70ft tall with a trunk up to 2ft diameter. The twigs, when scraped, have a strong scent of wintergreen due to methyl salicylate, which is produced in the bark. Leaves are toothed, ovaloid, and approximately 6in long. Buds are hairless with strong wintergreen smell. Flowers are found in catkins in early spring. Found in dense forest. Ranges from Quebec down east coast of United States to Alabama. There are between 30-150 species of Birch trees. Sweet birch is also commonly referred to as Black birch or Cherry birch. When exposed to air it darkens to a color resembling mahogany.

Boasting a balsamic aroma, Birch Essential Oil is a derivative of the Betulaceae family, Sweet Birch (Betula lenta) and White Birch (Betula alba). The smell of Birch tree oil doesn't have the same woody aroma as other tree oils. Instead, it has a minty scent similar to that of Wintergreen.

Birch is a natural pain reliever containing salicylate, the compound found in aspirin. Salicylate relieves the inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and generalized muscle pain. Salicylate deters the body's production of certain prostaglandins that are linked to inflammation, pain, and fever among other things. An other reason Birch calms arthritis and gout is it's cleansing diuretic action that eliminates toxins and excess water. Sweet Birch can have good results against cellulite. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions of Birch bark support it's traditional uses in skin disorders such as eczema. Traditional healers have long considered the leaves of the White and Silver Birch effective for skin rashes and hair loss. The American species Betula lenta, (Sweet Birch, Cherry Birch) oil is almost identical with Wintergreen oil, but is not as toxic. Still, the methyl salicylate it contains can have harmful effects if used unwisely, and it is not for general use in aromatherapy and never to be taken internally. Birch bark and leaf in whole herb form have a much lower toxicity.

Birch bark and leaf is also used as an antibacterial diuretic in the treatment of urinary tract infections and cystitis. To increase the effect (and reduce burning) add a pinch of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the infusion. Betulin and betulinic acid, both present in Birch bark display some anticancer and anti-tumor properties, though neither is touted as a stand alone cure for cancer these constituents add another reason to employ birch in healing remedies and help to validate its history of use from ancient times until today. Bark tea used for fevers, stomachache, and lung ailments. Oil from bark used for anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to treat rheumatism, gout, and bladder infection.

Relieves Pain and Cramps:

Birch is such a magical oil that may reduce serious pain within minutes. With the existence of the salicylate component in aspirin along with other pain-relieving pills, Birch oil helps with lessening pain simply by leading to numbness on the painful area as well as uplifts the nerves and muscles. Together with the Alternative as well as Complementary therapeutic practices, the Allopathic doctors also suggest Birch oil for reducing serious pain, avoiding the joints from swelling in cases of dislocation of joints or fractures. Sweet Birch oil can be helpful in reducing pain in the joints and muscles, as well as pain associated with headaches and toothaches. It can also be antispasmodic and may help relieve cramping throughout the body.

Headache and Migrene:

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in Sweet Birch relieve headaches. To make your own solution, mix Birch with a carrier oil and massage at the forehead. This can be a natural solution for your migraines instead of using prescription drugs. For intense migraines, add Birch to a soft cotton pad and hold at the forehead.

Muscle and Joint Pain:

Sweet Birch is such a magical oil that may reduce serious pain within minutes. With the existence of the salicylate component in Aspirin along with other pain-relieving pills, Sweet Birch oil helps with lessening pain simply by leading to numbness on the painful area as well as uplifts the nerves and muscles. Together with the alternative as well as complementary therapeutic practices, the allopathic doctors also suggest Sweet Birch oil for reducing serious pain, avoiding the joints from swelling in cases of dislocation of joints or fractures.

Gently massaging the painful parts with 2 drops of Sweet Birch oil and 2 drops of Lemongrass oil together with 2 ml of Olive oil can help in reducing muscular stiffness and pain. It may also help in relieving muscular spasms as well as bout. 3 to 4 drops of Sweet Birch oil coupled with 4 drops of Helichrysum oil and 4 ml of Coconut oil massaged around the affected parts works just like a fascination particularly on carpal tunnel syndrome.


Since it possibly stimulates the circulatory system and improves circulation, Sweet Birch essential oil can be very helpful in giving relief in diseases associated with improper circulation such as edema (swelling), rheumatism, and arthritis. The potential detoxifying property of Sweet Birch oil can also aids in this, as it possibly removes toxins from the body which are the root causes of these circulatory diseases.

Bone Health:


Since it encourages circulatory system as well as enhances circulation, Sweet Birch oil is extremely useful in providing relief in diseases related to improper circulation like edema (swelling), rheumatism, and arthritis. The detoxifying property of Sweet Birch oil also helps with this, since it eliminates toxins through the body that are the root reasons for these circulatory diseases. Birch Essential Oil naturally reduces tension, swelling, and pain due to several properties present in the extract. It's ideal for people who work out and feel concentrated pain in the joints and muscles.

For effective muscle pain treatment, use Sweet Birch with a carrier oil such as Coconut. To make your own blend, use 3-6 drops of Sweet Birch oil with 30 ml of a carrier oil of your choice. Remember, Sweet Birch is a potent extract. Adjust how many drops you use depending on the severity of pain. For light pain, using 2-3 drops of Sweet Birch oil will suffice. The blend is most effective when massaged until warm. Hence, it's best to apply before going to bed. The oil will take effect quicker as the pores open easier when the environment is warm enough. Sweet Birch can also be applied to your bath water to alleviate aches from arthritis and rheumatism. Add 4 drops of Sweet Birch oil to your water, sit back, and let it soak in.

Aids in Dental Care:

Sweet Birch is the ideal solution for oral health. The antibacterial, astringent, and antimicrobial properties of the oil remedies stink breath, toothache, and gum disease. It is used as a rinse for the throat.

To make a gargle solution from Sweet Birch, mix a drop of Sweet Birch and Spearmint (peppermint is a suitable alternative) in a container with water. Gargle the solution once in the evenings to keep prevent infections and fortify the gums. Do not ingest the solution.

Skin Care:

Skin Toner:

For ages, Sweet Birch oil has known to be in use as a skin toner. Regular external application (in low dosages) can effectively reduce wrinkles and sagging of the skin and muscles. Its potential astringent property strengthens gums, hair, and tightens muscles. Thus it can make you look younger and may help you get back into a more youthful lifestyle, even when you are well into your forties or fifties. Birch oil provides balance for combination skins. The astringent components of the oil tighten the skin, thereby giving it a younger and more relaxed look and feel. The oil gives life to dull and aged skin.

Do not use more than 2 drops of oil on the skin. Sweet Birch is 90% methyl salicate. It should not be used on children, when pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Skin Diseases:

Sweet Birch essential oil is can be an excellent germicide and insecticide, mainly due to the possible presence of salicylic acid and methyl salicylate contained in it. These two components can be excellent cures for eczema, ringworm, and other skin diseases and infections. You might have seen medicinal preparations like lotions and creams for ringworm and eczema containing these two components. Sweet Birch oil is known to be a natural source of these beneficial compounds.

Eczema and Psoriasis:

The oil has got anti-bacterial as well as anti-inflammatory ingredients that may heal skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It features a calming as well as nourishing effect which will reduce redness as well as itchiness. Apply it on the affected area at least one time each day to obtain the desired result.


Sweet Birch essential oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. The antimicrobial agents stop and destroy some microorganisms. This prevents the spreading of infection from wounds and accommodates fast healing. Do not apply directly to open wounds and make sure to dilute prior to applying.

Hair Care:

Birch is an additional nourishing oil for managing hair loss, maintaining those beautiful locks, avoiding dandruff, enriching the scalp as well as promoting hair growth naturally.

Massaging your scalp along with 3 drops of Sweet Birch oil combined with 3 drops of Ylang Ylang oil, 3 drops of Rosemary oil, 2 drops of Lemon oil and 2 drops of Lavender oil together with 7 ml of Virgin Olive oil might help in moisturizing the scalp, managing dandruff with its anti-fungal properties, strengthening the hair follicles with its astringent properties, encourages hair growth as well as grants the natural glossy, shiny as well as lustrous look of the hair. Follow this particular massage along with 2 drops of Sweet Birch oil added to your mild shampoo for promising results.

Hair Growth:

Sweet Birch is an additional nourishing oil for managing hair loss, maintaining those beautiful locks, avoiding dandruff, enriching the scalp as well as promoting hair growth naturally.

Just 1 drop of Sweet Birch oil within your regular shampooing can help in healing the hair problems as well as deliver fast results in re-establishing the hair growth.

Hair Rinse:

Sweet Birch essential oils is a great antiseptic used mostly in hair products. When added to water and used to rinse the hair, Sweet Birch essential oil fights against dandruff and adds lustre to the hair. Add a drop of birch to your shampoo and wash as usual. As essential oils are more potent and effective when combined, you can create your own Sweet Birch blend. For hair moisture, add two drops of Sweet Birch to your Coconut oil.

Kidney Health:

Detox the Body:

Sweet Birch oil works well for detoxification by eliminating toxins through the blood by enhancing the regularity of urination as well as perspiration. Sweet Birch oil may help remove toxins like uric acid from the blood through possibly increased urination and perspiration (being diuretic and stimulant in nature). In other words, this can purify the blood; a depurative is an agent that purifies something.


Sweet Birch essential oil can promote urination. Betulenol and butylene are the two components which are responsible for this property. Urination can help the body in many ways. It can help people to lose weight, remove toxins from the body, promote digestion, treats infections in the urinary system, cleanse the kidneys and lowers blood pressure. Urination can also help prevent the formation of kidney stones and conditions like gout and arthritis.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI):

Sweet Birch contains properties that energize the kidney's function. It also enhances the amount of urine produced which cleans the kidneys and bladder. It is commonly used to combat urinary tract infections and kidney stones.

Kills Bacterial Infections:

Probably, these are two of the most important potential properties of Sweet Birch oil. The components responsible for these properties are salicylic acid and methyl salicylate, two well-known germicides and bactericides in the world of medicine. They can protect the skin from both bacterial and fungal infections.


Sweet Birch can help reduce body temperature during fever by promoting perspiration. This may also help in the removal of toxins from the body through sweat during fever, further improving the condition of the patient and leading towards a faster recovery time. People living with diabetes have to be comparatively more careful about wounds and injuries, lest they turn into a more serious situation.

According to a study published in The Journal of Natural Products, Sweet Birch bark might be an effective option to influence wound healing under diabetic conditions. This needs to be further confirmed with clinical studies.

Cancer - Treatment and Prevention:

A group of compounds consisting of cancer-fighting agents, Pentacyclic Triterpenes, were researched and studied. This compound, containing betulinic and betulin acid, were found in birch barks. An advanced method was used to extract betulinic and betulin acid from the bark of White Birch. The study revealed that the bark extracts from birch could prevent the proliferation of cancer cells.


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV):

A study investigated the use of Betula alba to determine its efficacy in controlling HIV/Aids in Ghana. The study revealed that Betula alba had potent properties that stimulated the immune system and inhibited the growth of certain microorganisms. The research concludes that White Birch could be used in HIV/Aids management.

Sweet Birch is also known as southern birch, mountain mahogany, capinefolia, mahogany birch, and cherry birch. It contains mostly methyl salicylate and is harmful, even poisonous, when concentrated. The essential oil obtained from the bark contains 97-99% methyl salicylate. This is very toxic when taken orally, and it can also be absorbed through the skin, resulting in human fatalities. The aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons in Birch tar are irritating to the skin. Do not use in patients with edema or with poor kidney or heart functions. Pure, unadulterated birch oil, while not rare, can be tough to find. That said, it’s not a costly oil fairly speaking. What makes it special is the fact that 100% pure Birch essential oil consists of both salicylic acid as well as methyl salicylate. Both have got a cortisone-like quality which decreases discomfort within the muscles, bones, as well as joints and therefore, are thought to be germicides as well as bactericides in the world of medicine. Birch essential oil, also referred to as Sweet Birch oil, is full of methyl salicylates and it has a long history of use for sore as well as tired muscles. The familiar, calming aroma of Birch oil is similar to the inside of a doctor’s bag within the day of house calls. This particular therapeutically wide-spectrum stimulating as well as cleansing oil features a bright, refreshing aroma, and could be kept in mind for restoring comfort to the overworked body and also the agitated or even cloudy mind.

Birch oil is really a purifying, uplifting and stimulating oil which promotes detoxification of the body whenever breathed in or even utilized topically. The properties in birch essential oil encourage comfort as well as relaxation, and also support the body’s own capability to enhance effectiveness of it’s healing cycles. These types of properties render it beneficial in overcoming feelings of sadness, inertia or fear. Traditionally, utilized topically, Birch oil was utilized just as one astringent and it was renowned for hundreds of years as one of the most efficient of toners as well as tighteners of skin. Its active ingredients of salicylic acid as well as methyl salicylate makes this minty, versatile oil a fantastic option for supporting skin health. Attempt to add it in really small concentrations to some of the preferred skin care routines. Whereas Birch essential oil is an efficient anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, and diuretic, it truly shines in the use to fight muscle and joint pain. Bar none, Birch is definitely the oil you would like to use to alleviate the pain of arthritis, tendonitis, gout, and severe muscle cramping.

The health benefits of Birch Essential Oil can be attributed to its potential properties as a tonic, disinfectant, stimulant, antidepressant, analgesic, detoxifying, antirheumatic, antiarthritic, diuretic, antiseptic, astringent, febrifuge, germicide, insecticide, and depurative substance. The essential oil extracted from Sweet Birch is not used in aromatherapy. It is, however, extensively used in chewing gum, root beer, toothpaste, and others in small amounts. On the other hand, twigs and leaflets of the White Birch were tied together and used in saunas for skin toning in Scandinavia. Today, the essential oil extracted from White Birch is used in a plethora of situations. When used in massage oils, Birch Essential Oil can improve blood circulation and eliminates toxins. To apply topically, add no more than 2 drops of birch to the affected area. The oil can also be massaged into the neck and shoulders as a tension buster. If you're nursing or pregnant, consult your doctor prior to using birch. Do not apply Birch essential oil directly to broken or damaged skin. The crude tar in birch is utilized in ointments and cream to combat dermatological conditions. To release tension and muscle ache, some people use Birch Essential Oil at bath time. Add 5 drops of the oil to your bath water and relax.

  • Use aromatically throughout the day, from the bottle, or even by massaging in the solar plexus for increased confidence.
  • When you are feeling unloved, unsupported, etc, use birch essential oil together with your favorite aromatic use to locate your inner strength.
  • Massage in the soles of the feet and make use of aromatically throughout meditation or even breathing techniques.
  • Consider including birch essential oil in your cleansing or even moisturizing routines.
  • Gently massage 1-2 drops of Birch essential oil in the neck and shoulders 2-3 times each day to alleviate tension.
  • Easing Growing Pains: In 5 ml roller bottle blend 10 drops each Birch and Lavender essential oils. Apply to joints or even muscles soothe your kiddos when they grow.
  • Runners Relief: Mix equal parts Lemongrass and Birch along with carrier oil, like coconut oil, apply to calm feet right after a run.
  • Winter Woods Diffuser Blend: 3 drops each Birch, Cypress, and White Fir essential oils.

Traditional Uses of Sweet Birch:

  • The bark is anthelmintic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic and stimulan.
  • A tea made from the bark is used in the treatment of fevers, stomach aches and lung ailments.
  • It is said to be an excellent tonic in cases of dysentery and to be useful in the treatment of gravel and female obstructions.
  • An essential oil distilled from the bark is anti-inflammatory, analgesic and rubefacient.
  • It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, bladder infections, neuralgia etc.
  • The oil, called "oil of wintergreen", used to be produced commercially, but it is now manufactured synthetically.
  • A tea made from the twigs is used in the treatment of fevers.
  • The leaves can be chewed or used in an infusion in the treatment of dysentery.
  • The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Betula species for infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones, rheumatism.

Culinary Uses of Sweet Birch:

  • Inner bark - cooked or dried and ground into a powder.
  • The dried inner bark can be used as a thickener in soups etc or can be added to flour when making bread etc.
  • Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply.
  • It is harvested in early spring, before the leaves unfurl, by tapping the trunk. The flow is best on sunny days following a heavy frost. A delicious drink, it can also be concentrated into a syrup or sugar.
  • The sap can be fermented to make birch beer or vinegar.
  • An old English recipe for the beer is as follows: "To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr'd together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm'd. When it is sufficiently boil'd, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work...and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up [...] it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum".
  • The dried leaves and bark from the larger roots are a delightful tea substitute.
  • A wholesome, agreeable tea is made from the essential oil contained in the inner bark and twigs.
  • This essential oil is also used as a wintergreen flavouring in foods.

Other Uses of Sweet Birch:

  • An essential oil is obtained from the bark and twigs, it is distilled in quantity and is an item of commerce.
  • It can be used medicinally, as a food flavouring, as an ingredient in cosmetic shampoos and also to make a wholesome tea.
  • The oil, when decolourized, is similar to 'Oil of Wintergreen and is considered to be of superior quality.
  • The tree is coppiced every 5 years and all parts are distilled for the oil.
  • The tree grows up to 3 metres tall in this 5 year period.
  • The greatest yield of oil is obtained if the tree is harvested in the summer.
  • The oil distilled from the wood is insect repellent.
  • The bark contains up to 16% tannin.
  • The thin outer bark is waterproof and has been used as the outer cladding on dwellings, canoes etc.
  • It has also been used to make baskets, dishes, buckets etc[257]. Wood - very strong, close grained, hard, heavy.
  • The wood is richly marked, it weighs 40 LB per cubic foot and is exploited commercially for making floors, furniture, tools etc.
  • It makes an excellent fuel.
  • A dynamic accumulator gathering minerals or nutrients from the soil and storing them in a more bioavailable form used as fertilizer or to improve mulch.

Analgesic and Antispasmodic:

Birch oil is effective in lessening pain within the muscles and joints, in addition to pain related to headaches and tooth pains. Additionally it is antispasmodic as well as reduces cramping through the entire body.

Antidepressant and Stimulant:

Birch Oil is really a stimulant naturally. It energizes the nervous, circulatory, digestive as well as excretory systems. Additionally, it energizes the endocrine glands which result in more secretions of enzymes as well as essential hormones. This could play a beneficial role in diseases linked to the improper secretion of hormones, which includes diabetes, where the enhanced insulin production can help lower the blood glucose levels.

Antirheumatic and Anti-Arthritic:

Since it encourages circulatory system as well as enhances circulation, birch oil is extremely useful in providing relief in diseases related to improper circulation like edema (swelling), rheumatism, and arthritis. The detoxifying property of birch oil also helps with this, since it eliminates toxins through the body that are the root reasons for these circulatory diseases.

Antiseptic and Disinfectant:

These are the two of the most significant properties of birch oil. The components liable for these properties are Salicylic Acid and Methyl Salicylate, two well known germicides as well as bactericides in the world of medicine. They safeguard the skin from both bacterial as well as fungal infections.

Astringent and Tonic:

For ages, birch oil has been in utilize like a skin toner. Frequent exterior application (in low dosages) efficiently decreases wrinkles as well as sagging of the skin as well as muscles. Its astringent property fortifies gums, hair as well as tightens muscles. As a result it allows you to look younger and may even assist you in getting back into an even more youthful lifestyle, even if you are well in your forties or fifties.


It will help decrease body’s temperature throughout fever by promoting perspiration. And also this works well for the removing of toxins through the body through sweat during fever, further enhancing the condition of the patient as well as leading towards a faster recovery time.

Detoxifier and Depurative:

Birch oil helps you to eliminate toxins such as uric acid through the blood through elevated urination as well as perspiration (being diuretic and stimulant in nature). In other words, this particular purifies the blood; a depurative is definitely an agent which purifies something.


Birch oil encourages urination. Betulenol as well as Betulene are definitely the two elements that are liable for this particular property. Urination assists body in lots of ways.It will help individuals to shed weight, eliminates harmful toxins through the body, encourages digestion, cures infections within the urinary system, cleans the kidneys as well as lowers blood pressure level. Urination likewise helps avoid the formation of kidney stones and conditions just like gout and arthritis.

Germicide and Insecticide:

Birch oil is a wonderful germicide as well as insecticide, mostly because of existence of Salicylic Acid as well as Methyl Salicylate contained in it. Both of these components are fantastic cures for eczema, ring worm along with other skin diseases as well as infections. You may have seen therapeutic preparations just like lotions and creams for ring worm as well as eczema that contains these two components. Birch oil is really a natural source of these beneficial compounds.

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  • user
    Maria Solar 31/07/2022 at 12:58
    Wonderful oil.. Great pain reliever