Birch essential oil comes from the pulverized bark of the birch tree. In the 1700s, early Native Americans used birch bark and wintergreen as ingredients for their herbal teas.
Today, several industries incorporate birch bark into many of their products. Some companies use it as a fragrance component in men’s perfumes and colognes. You can also find it in some toothpaste, chewing gum, and root beer for added flavor. Both birch tree and wintergreen plants produce oils with nearly the same use and aroma. Wintergreen plant is also known as eastern teaberry.
There are two types of birch trees: Betula pendula and Betula lenta. People know Betula pendula as white birch or silver birch. Common names of Betula lenta are black birch, sweet birch, or cherry birch.
Birch oil has a fresh, minty aroma; a sharp and familiar fragrance that is soothing and calming. Birch oil also promotes relaxation to an overworked mind and body. The bright and refreshing smell can make a person forget his or her problems.
Benefits and Uses of Birch Essential Oil
Birch essential oil has many health benefits, one of which is that it is an anti-inflammatory agent that can fight bacterial and fungal infections. The oil is able to protect the skin from such infections due to the action of its components. Salicylic acid and methyl salicylate are popular bactericides in the field of medicine. Some lotions and creams incorporate birch oil to support skin problems.
Birch oil can also assist our blood and detoxify our bodies. It is a natural diuretic, promoting urination due to its component, betulenol. Regular urination removes toxins from the body. This aspect makes it more manageable to support the urinary tract system. It also cleanses the kidneys.
Birch oil is a natural stimulant that stimulates our body systems. These include our digestive, nervous, and excretory systems. It can boost the endocrine glands to produce more enzymes and hormones. Because of this ability, birch oil can support the occurrence of hormone-related illnesses.
Birch oil also stimulates the circulatory system. When circulation is good, the body prevents the occurrence of certain diseases. These include edema or swelling, arthritis, and rheumatism. Its detoxifying ability also helps lower the risk of acquiring circulatory diseases.
Birch essential oil can also be used as a skin toner. Regular use can reduce wrinkles and sagging of skin and underlying muscles. Its astringent property also makes it useful for tightening the skin. It can also strengthen the hair and gums.
Birch oil can also lower fever by promoting sweating. It can also reduce joint and muscle pains, toothaches, and headaches. Applying the oil also relieves cramping throughout the body.
Birch oil is non-toxic in standard dosages, like when used in aromatherapy. One of its components, methyl salicylate, is an active ingredient in aspirin. This makes it not advisable to consume the oil. Also, you should not use sweet birch oil on or near open wounds because it can cause skin irritations.
Birch Essential Oil Cautions
It is advisable for pregnant women not to use birch oil. Like other essential oils, parents should also keep it away from children. Children may confuse the oil with wintergreen-type candies because of the similar aromas.