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.
There are two types of birch, the White Birch or Silver Birch, which is scientifically known as Betula Pendula (previously known as Betula Alba), and the black birch, sweet birch, or cherry birch whose scientific name is Betula Lenta. The main constituents of birch oil are salicylic acid, methyl salicylate, betulene, and betulenol.
Birch varieties are categorized as deciduous trees and have been used as a decorative tree as well as a medicinal plant since ancient times.
Health Benefits of Birch Essential Oil
The benefits and uses of birch essential oil include:
May Help Prevent Bacterial & Fungal Infections
Probably, these are two of the most important potential properties of 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.
May Aid Diabetes Management
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, birch bark might be an effective option to influence wound healing under diabetic conditions. This needs to be further confirmed with clinical studies.
It 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.
Might Help Reduce Pain
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.
May Help Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis
Since it possibly stimulates the circulatory system and improves circulation, 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 birch oil can also aids in this, as it possibly removes toxins from the body which are the root causes of these circulatory diseases.
Can Act as a Skin Toner
For ages, 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.
May Help Detoxify Body
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.
May Help Treat Skin Diseases
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. Birch oil is known to be a natural source of these beneficial compounds.
Might Promote Urination
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.
Used as a tonic, it may give feelings of strength, warmth, and vitality. It can be ideal for use in extremely cold climates.
Word of Caution
Sweet Birch (Betula Lenta) oil is toxic and can cause skin irritations. Pregnant women should avoid birch oil due to its powerful effects that could hurt their unborn child.