Birch Leaf Tea

So. While I’m on the subject of local trees coming into bloom, I figured I’d make a note of this stuff. See, way the hell back in August, I did a post about Birch trees. This is something of a follow-up. If “Lady of the Woods” talked about the symbolism of the birch tree, this post is about the medicinal properties of the leaves.

Birch Leaf tea — as in an infusion/tisane of steeped birch leaves — is good for the following:
Breaking up small kidney stones
Blood-thining (like willow bark?)
Relieving bladder and kidney infections
Relieving (mild) insomnia
Breaks down uric acid (which causes gout)
High in Vitamin C

May also ease joint pain (arthritis and rheumatism)
May also help deal with gingivitis(??)

Birch leaves can also be tossed in the bath – or (easier, requires fewer leaves) steeped as an astringent – to help clear up skin problems like eczema and acne
May also help to heal bruises and abraisions (when you mince up the leaves and make a poultice out of them)

~*~

How to prepare:
0.5 tbsp DRIED birch leaves in 1C boiling water
Steep for 15 minutes
Drink (up to four times a day)

OR

5-6 fresh YOUNG (small) birch leaves in 1C boiling water
Steep for 10 minutes
Drink (up to four times a day)

Why “young” leaves? Because the bigger/older they get, the more bitter they are.
NOTE: Birch tea is a diuretic — which means you need to up your water intake to prevent dehydration if you’re drinking a heap fo birch tea.

Where my information came from: Dig Herbs and Anita Karlson‘s blog. With some help from an online conversion table. 🙂

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