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white birch - betula albosinensis l.

Береза белая - Betula albosinensis Береза белая - Betula albosinensis

Botanical characteristic. The birch family. Of 120 species of birch in the territory of the former USSR, 40 grows. The most common are drooping birch and fluffy birch. White birch reaches a height of 20 m. Leaves on long petioles, ovoid or triangular, bicilate at the edges, May leaves fragrant, sticky. The bark is white, smooth, black in the lower part of the trunk. Dioecious flowers collected in inflorescences - catkins. It blooms in May and June. The fruit is a single-seeded winged nut.

Spread. Widely distributed in the forest and forest-steppe zones of the European and Asian territories of Russia.

Used parts of the plant. Bark, leaves, buds, birch sap. Birch charcoal is made from the bark.
Buds and leaves of birch contain saponins, tannins, resins, sugars, vitamins, essential oils, triterpene alcohols, inositol, flavonoids and substances with phytoncidal properties.

Application. Birch buds, leaves and bark have a balsamic smell and a bitter taste, in folk medicine they are considered a good diaphoretic, diuretic and blood-purifying agent.
Infusion of May leaves is drunk with neurasthenia as a normalizing state of the nervous system and with atherosclerosis as an improving metabolism and diuretic. Infusion of leaves or kidneys is used for cardiovascular failure and associated edema.
The infusion of leaves has a mild choleretic effect, it is advisable to appoint it in acute and chronic hepatitis. Birch leaves and buds are a necessary component of fees in the treatment of diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract - nephritis, pyelonephritis, cystitis, kidney stone disease.
Birch sap is effective for anemia, general weakness, gout, rheumatism, furunculosis, as an anti-inflammatory and wound healing agent.
Leaves are used for acute febrile diseases, as diaphoretic, in addition, they contain a large amount of ascorbic acid.
Outwardly widely used bark, leaves, buds and birch tar. Bark - as a wound healing and early cleaning agent; infusion and decoctions of leaves and buds - for baths, compresses and poultices for rheumatism, gout, skin rashes, eczema, for bedsores and burns.
Birch tar is part of the ointments prescribed for skin diseases and wounds (Vishnevsky ointment, Wilkinson ointment). Activated carbon obtained from birch wood (carbolene) is widely used by doctors in everyday practice (for flatulence, poisoning, in the preoperative preparation of patients).

Contraindications Birch buds should be used with caution, since tar can irritate the renal parenchyma, so urine tests should be monitored.

Cooking. 2 tablespoons of young birch leaves insist in 2 cups boiling water. Take 1/2 cup 3-4 times a day before meals (for 20-30 minutes).
2 teaspoons of kidneys per 1 cup of boiling water, insist in a thermos or cook a decoction. Drink in three divided doses 20-40 minutes before meals.
Drink birch sap in 1 glass on an empty stomach 2-3 times a day for 2-3 weeks. In this case, patients must strictly observe a milk and vegetable diet.
In folk medicine, an ointment is prepared from birch tar mixed in equal amounts with lamb and pork fat, which is used in the treatment of wounds and skin diseases.

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