Birch leaf, for so many years, have been used in traditional medicine mainly for its analgesic properties. However, the herb also contains astringent, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.
The plant is also popular for its cleansing and soothing effects on the skin, as skin experts use this herb in the treatment of several skin problems such as eczema, alopecia, psoriasis and many others. Birch leaf is a rich source of flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, vitamin C, tannins, and saponins.
Let’s talk about some of the health benefits of birch leaves
Aids in Digestion
Birch leaves contain mild laxative abilities and so when consumed, can help in supporting proper bowel movement and relieving constipation. For so many years, extracts from these leaves have been used as a general digestive drink.
Yes, drinking a few cups of birch tea prepared with the leaves and the bark is effective in stimulating the digestive system and improving the overall digestive process. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, birch tea can also relieve upset stomach, cramps, bloating as well as diarrhea.
Treats Urinary Tract Infections
Birch leaf tea can also help in treating infections or inflammation in the urinary tract. The tea may also treat edema and cleanse the kidneys. Birch leaf possesses diuretic properties which help to increase the volume and frequency of urination. Thus, helping to cleanse the body of excess fluids, toxins, and uric acid.
These potent leaves can also help keep the kidney and liver healthy and may even be effective in removing cellulite.
Birch leaves can significantly boost the body’s immunity as they contain antibacterial and antiviral properties protect the body against infections and also accelerate the recovery process from certain infections.
Birch leaf tea also is made up of several natural antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids that not only improve general health but can also reverse the harm done to the body by free radicals.
Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Birch leaves, in combination with the bark, can be used to prepare an anti-inflammatory tea that treats several forms of inflammation. As a matter of fact, birch tea is very effective in treating joint conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis. The tea can also serve as a remedy for alleviating the inflammation of the respiratory and digestive systems of the body.
Detoxifies the Body
Apart from helping to improve kidney health, birch leaves possess detoxifying abilities help purify the blood. So a regular consumption of birch tea may help flush toxins and impurities from the blood.
Good for the Skin and Hair
Birch leaves, when used with the bark of the tree, has astringent abilities that make it a potent treatment for several skin conditions. For instance, birch bark has amazing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that provide natural treatment for many inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis.
To get the best from birch leaves in treating skin problems, simply soak the leaves in a bowl of water for some hours and then strain the water. Wash your skin with the leaf water while paying special attention to the affected areas. You can also bath in water that has been infused with birch leaves to treat skin irritation, treat dandruff as well as strengthen hair roots.
Birch leaf tea, just like several herbal teas, may help you sleep better if you take a cup or two before going to bed. Although the effects may be mild and probably not help in alleviating more serious sleep problems, if you simply need to sleep a little better, birch leaf tea is worth a try.
Side Effects and Precautions
Birch leaves are generally considered safe for topically use or for consumption in the right doses, especially if is for a short period of time. However, there are some potential side effects and interactions you should know about.
- People who are allergic to celery, carrot, or mugwort should steer clear of birch, particularly birch pollen as it may result in.
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised to either avoid the use of birch leaves or use them with caution. This is because there isn’t enough data to support the safety of birch leaves for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.
- It is important to note that birch leaves have diuretic properties and so water pills or diuretic drugs can interact with the herb. The internal use of birch leaves while taking prescription diuretics can lead to excessive water loss from the body. Some of the side effects of this are dizziness and a significant reduction in blood pressure.
- If you suffer from high blood pressure, then you should avoid the internal use of birch. Birch leaves are likely to increase the amount of sodium that the body retains and so can worsen blood pressure problems.
The Bottom Line
Evidently, birch leaves have a wide range of potential health benefits. The herb is commonly used to treat inflammation, kidney problems, and urinary tract infections. Birch leaf tea can also help to keep the skin healthy.
Like we stated earlier, birch leaves have certain potential side effects but they are considered safe as long as they are used in the appropriate doses and for short periods of time.