Want to learn about the health benefits of birch leaves, how to harvest birch leaves, and the most effective natural remedies with birch leaves? Continue reading this article and discover all the health uses of birch leaves.
Birch leaves are one of the most therapeutic elements of the forest, as the birch tree (Betula pendula) is known as the white shaman of the forests, due to its white, distinguished bark and amazing healing properties. As we’ve already discussed the health uses of birch sap and birch buds, this time we’re going to share with you all the health benefits of birch leaves, how to harvest birch leaves, and how to use birch leaves in remedies. Let’s get to it.
How to Harvest Birch Leaves
Birch leaves are harvested in the month of May and June, early in the morning. Harvest only the freshly grown birch leaves, that have that stickiness to them. Layer them on a clean piece of natural fabric and leave them to dry naturally in a dark and ventilated place.
Health Benefits of Birch Leaves
Similar to birch sap, the birch leaves have the natural ability to drain excess water and residues from the body, making them a great aid in body detox. Birch leaves have a strong detoxifying, purifying, antioxidant, healing, tonic, and overall invigorating action on the body. They stimulate the elimination of toxins and residues through the skin and help soothe irritated and inflamed skin. When used externally, in baths, or topical compresses, birch leaves reduce edema. Natural shampoo made with birch leaf extract promotes hair growth. Here are the most important health benefits of birch leaves:
- high cholesterol
- water retention
- detox and elimination
- blood purifying
- rheumatoid arthritis
- joint pain (poultice)
- kidney support
- bleeding stomach ulcers
- body revitalization
Birch leaves applied directly to slightly damp skin, have beneficial effects for arthritis, rheumatism, in the treatment of eczema, herpes, and skin rashes.
How to Use Birch Leaves for Detox
Birch leaves have strong depurative and antitoxic effects, as well as an anti-inflammatory for the joints. During the cold season, when we do not have fresh birch sap available for detox, we can use birch leaves macerate with similar detox and rejuvenating effects. To make this amazing detox, add two teaspoons of ground dried birch leaves to 300 ml (1.2 cups) of cold water. Leave to soak overnight. Drink the birch leaves macerate on an empty stomach before breakfast. To enjoy its beneficial detox effects, follow this simple remedy for at least a month.
How to Use Birch Leaves for Weight Loss
Birch leaves and elderflowers infusion has a powerful detoxifying effect, and intensifies the elimination of toxins and excess water, thus supporting weight loss. Make an infusion by scalding 3 teaspoons of birch leaves and another 3 teaspoons of elderflowers in a cup of hot water. Cover and leave to infuse until it has cooled down. Strain and add a pinch of baking soda. Have 4-5 tablespoons of this herbal infusion a day before main meals.
In addition, eat as many kiwis as possible throughout the day. Kiwis are loaded with vitamin C, but more importantly, have the ability to speed up metabolism and burn fat. They also stimulate digestion and reduce hunger. Continue for three weeks, pause for one week and resume if you want.
9 Natural Remedies with Birch Leaves
1. Stomach Ulcer
Birch leaves have hemostatic properties. Therefore, birch leaf infusion is very beneficial in stomach ulcers with bleeding. To prepare this remedy, add a tablespoon of chopped birch leaves to half a liter (2 cups) of boiling water. Bring to the boil and allow to infuse for 30 minutes. The dose is half a cup of this lukewarm birch leaves infusion, three times a day, after meals.
2. Chronic Hepatitis
For this natural remedy for chronic hepatitis, you need to prepare a herbal blend with equal parts of the following medicinal plants:
- birch leaves
- gooseberry fruits (Ribes uva-crispa)
- St. John’s wort
Pour a cup of boiling water over a tablespoon of the minced herbal blend. Leave to infuse on a steam bath (double boiler) for 15 minutes. Strain and drink, half a cup at room temperature, twice a day, 15 minutes before meals.
3. Kidney Problems
In this situation, young birch leaves are used topically, in simple cataplasms. Harvest young birch leaves in May or July, and pass them through the mincer. Spread a loose, not too thick layer of chopped birch leaves, mixed with a little oil (so as not to irritate the skin), on a clean kitchen towel that you no longer use. Heat the poultice slightly on a steamer and apply it directly to the painful kidney area. Leave the poultice overnight for best results.
Tip! Do not use terry cloth towels to make these poultices. An old linen bedsheet sheet or kitchen towel is much better.
In the case of kidney, bladder, and gallbladder stones, drinking birch leaves infusion is also effective in reducing the size of the stones and favors elimination. This simple infusion is also great in preventing and treating kidney and bladder conditions (sand, stones, infections, edema, water retention). Infuse a tablespoon of birch leaves in a cup of hot water for 2 hours. Drink throughout the day, sip by sip, doubled by the same amount of plain water.
4. Lumbar Pain
To alleviate joint pain in the lumbar and cervical areas, you can use birch leaves both topically. For the best results in reducing joint pain, you can also have birch bark decoction. Here is how you can use birch leaves to reduce joint pain in these areas. Make a natural compress with a thick layer of birch leaves scalded with boiling water. After the leaves have cooled down a bit, apply them to the affected area, and put a handkerchief or cling foil over the leaves to keep them in place. Leave the compress on for 1 and a half hours and do this twice a day, the second time with a new batch of birch leaves.
One of the main health uses of birch leaves is detoxifying and purifying the body after the long winter. In this case, a powerful detox infusion with birch leaves can help the body flush out toxins. To make this detox infusion, make a blend with equal parts of:
- fresh birch leaves
- fresh stinging nettle leaves (Urtica dioica)
- fresh common ivy leaves (Hedera helix) – can be harvested in March, April, and August;
Mix the fresh leaves together. If you want to stock up on this powerful detox tea, you can harvest a larger amount of fresh leaves, dry them naturally, and store them in proper conditions. Pour a cup of hot water over a generous pinch of leaves and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the tea and drink it in small sips.
Good to know:
This detox tea has the best effects if it is drunk starting with the waning moon. You can have 1-2 cups a day during the morning, and continue daily until the new moon. You can resume after the next full month if you think you still need to detox.
6. Prostate Disorders
Amongst the most popular health benefits of birch leaves is in alleviating prostate conditions, especially prostate enlargement (BPH). In this case, birch leaf infusion can be very soothing. Pour 1/2 l (2 cups) of boiling water over 1-2 tablespoons of chopped birch leaves and leave to infuse. The dose is half a cup 3-5 times a day before meals.
Birch leaves are also effective for prostatitis and impotence, in the following herbal blend:
- 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried maple leaves
- 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried birch leaves
- 1 tablespoon of dandelion roots
- 1 tablespoon of juniper berries
- 1 teaspoon of parsnip seeds
- 5 tablespoons of onion peels
Infuse one tbsp of this blend in 350 ml (12 oz) of hot water, preferably in a thermos, for one hour. Add 5-10 drops of maple tincture (depending on body weight) into the infusion. Split the infusion into 3 parts, and have one portion, 30 minutes before meals or one hour after meals, 3 times a day for 3-4 weeks. During the cure, have 1/3 teaspoon of ground parsley seeds powder 3 times a day, before a meal (with herbal infusion) or together with food.
One of the less-known health benefits of birch leaves is in the treatment of gout. For this, scald 30 birch leaves in 1/2 l (2 cups) of water and infuse for 20 minutes. The healing dose is three cups of birch leaves a day between meals.
8. Rheumatism Prevention
Amongst the most notable health benefits of birch leaves is preventing stiff joints and rheumatic pains. This natural remedy has been used for centuries in the Saxon villages of Transylvania, Romania. For this, use the following herbs that flush out metabolic residue from the body.
- 25 g (0.9 oz) of dried nettle leaves
- 25 g (0.9 oz) of dried birch leaves
- 25 g (0.9 oz) of dried European goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea)
- 12 g (0.4 oz) teaspoon of dried willow bark
- 12 g (0.4 oz) teaspoon of dried horsetail
Mix the plants and lightly press them to get their oils out. Pour 1 l (34 oz) of hot water over 1 tablespoon of the blend (the water is poured 2-3 minutes after boiling so that the essential oils of the plants do not evaporate). Cover the cup with a lid and let the plants infuse for about 5-7 minutes. When removing the lid, shake off the water droplets into the cup (they contain essential oils) and strain the tea. You can drink 3-4 cups of tea throughout the day. A complete cure lasts for 2-3 weeks.
Good to know:
For a more pronounced taste, you can add 20 g (0.7 oz) of mint or lemon balm leaves each to the herbal blend. Use raw wildflower honey to sweeten the tea to taste. Nettle and birch leaves are true sources of youth, willow bark contains soothing and anti-inflammatory substances, and the European goldenrod and horsetail are among the best “kidney” plants that ensure a good kidneys detox.
9. Water Retention
Boil 50 g of dried birch leaves in 1 l of hot water for 3 minutes. Allow the decoction to cool off and you can drink it throughout the day. It is a simple and great remedy for obesity caused by water retention.
5 Natural Beauty Recipes with Birch Leaves
1. Birch Leaves Lotion for Brown Spots
- 3 tablespoons dried birch leaves or 2 tablespoons fresh leaves
- 1 cup of water
Chop the birch leaves and boil them in the water. Leave to infuse for half an hour, then strain. Rub your affected areas on the skin with this simple skin lotion several times a day.
2. Fresh Cake Yeast and Birch Leaves Mask
Mix a small cube of fresh cake yeast with a little bit of water until you make a thick mixture. Add a little liquid coconut oil or olive oil and mix well. Apply the mask carefully to the face, with a brush or sponge, in three layers, waiting for each previous layer to dry. Remove the mask with a lukewarm birch leaves infusion, then rub the skin with an ice cube.
3. Birch Leaves Hair Tonic
Fill a jar up with birch leaves, then pour warm (not hot) water over them, and close the jar tightly. Shake regularly. After 8 hours, strain. Use this natural hair tonic to massage the roots of your hair. After you are done massaging, do not rinse, but leave it in. When used regularly, birch leaves water stimulates healthy and vigorous hair growth.
Tip! Rinse your washed hair with a decoction of birch leaves several times, for a thick and shiny hair.
4. Natural Tooth Powder Recipe with Birch Leaves
- 10 g dried birch leaves
- 10 g dried sage
- 25 g xylitol
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Grind the birch and sage leaves in a mortar, until they turn into a fine powder. If there are any larger fragments left, sift the leaf powder through a thick sieve. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and store in a small glass container/jar.
To brush your teeth, dampen the toothbrush in water, and then press it lightly into the tooth powder mixture. Brush your teeth with it as you do with toothpaste. Rinse with water and you’re done. This is a natural way to take care of and disinfect your teeth.
5. How to Make Birch Leaves Oil
- birch leaves
- 100 ml (0.4 oz) sesame oil
- 10 drops of grapefruit essential oil
- 7 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 6 drops of geranium essential oil
- 5 drops of juniper essential oil
- 3 drops of cypress essential oil
Finely chop the fresh birch leaves and put them in a jar with a lid. Add the sesame oil until the oil level is about 1 cm (0.4 inches) above the leaves. Close the jar and leave it in a warm place for 7 days. Shake it every day. Strain, discard the leaves, and pour the infused sesame oil into an amber bottle. Add the essential oils for cosmetic use and your birch leaves oil is ready.
Birch leaves oil is great for body massage, but also for feet massage. Apply it on your feet in the morning and in the evening, massaging upright, in the direction of the heart. If you want to use birch oil for peeling to firm the skin, add a little sea salt (fine) or ground coffee in the oil and mix until you get a thick paste. Use this natural peeling oil to scrub your body.
Read More about Birch:
10 Health Benefits of Birch Sap and How to Collect
9 Health Benefits of Birch Buds with Remedies
3 Health Benefits of Birch Bark and How to Use
The Healing Trees – Birch Tree for Emotional Detox
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