White Birch - Etymology :
Common name = White birch (European birch).
Botanical name = Betula pendula:
In Latin, pendula comes from pendere, to hang, which evokes its thin hanging branches. The young branches have whitish resin warts, hence the name warty birch.
Mythology and history :
In ancient myths, the birch tree plays a role of link between the sky and the earth and a role against the evil forces. It is at the heart of initiation rituals, the shamans of Siberia, climbed in its branches to get closer to heaven and communicate with the gods.
In Celtic beliefs and traditions, the birch is a symbol of purity, softness and delicacy, bringing calm and serenity through its harmonious colors. It would protect from bad spells. In France, birch branches were kept in the houses to keep away the bad luck. One of its vernacular names is "the tree of wisdom".
Botanical description :
The white birch is a tree of the Betulaceae family. It adapts to all soils but prefers siliceous soils, exposed to light. It is a pioneer and colonizing species that settles on the edge of the forest or in open spaces. It is a deciduous tree, from 15 to 25 m high. It has a straight trunk. The bark is smooth and brown on young trees and white on older trees. The bark is marked with horizontal beige lenticels.
Its leaves are simple, triangular, double toothed and arranged in an alternating way. It is a monoecious species, the male and female flowers are separated but are on the same individual. The flowers are called catkins, hanging in the males and erect in the females. The flowering takes place from April to May. Its fruits, in the shape of small cylindrical cones, are made of a stack of scales.
Properties & Virtues :
The leaves are diuretic. They are recommended for water retention in the lower limbs, kidney and gallstones, oedemas, chronic cystitis, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, cellulitis and skin diseases.
The sap, bark and leaves are depurative. At kidney level, they eliminate waste such as urea and uric acid. They will also relieve the articular inflammations. The bark has virtues on the skin diseases and allows to fight against the intermittent fevers.
Birch leaves and bark contain many active compounds such as flavonoids - antioxidant and depurative, Methyl Salicylate - anti-inflammatory and antipyretic (feverish state), sesquiterpenes - anti-inflammatory and healing and tannins - detoxifying.
The White Birch and Beauty Garden
The young birch leaves are harvested by hand in the heart of the forest of Auriac, in Corrèze. They are at the heart of the recipe for our organic herbal tea Detox. Formulated by the herbalist of the team, the birch is accompanied in this tea of the wild pansy, but also of the young shoot of blackcurrant also famous for their draining properties. To discover for an effective detox cure :)
Traditionally, depurative plants were used in the "inter-seasons", from summer to autumn and from winter to spring, for example. This is to allow the elimination of toxins, one of the consequences is the improvement of the general tonus but also the brightness of the complexion.
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