Hand crfated birch bark mug
BIRCH! Birch is an amazing tree! Up north we are truly blessed by the Creator to have such an amazing plant that gives us all its treasures:
1. WOOD/BURL. Very light strong wood to craft cups, spoons etc…. Karelian birch wood pattern looks amazing on knife handles. Burls on roots are the best traditional material for Yakut knives handles because of their density and strength.
2. BIRCH BARK to craft everything with. Birch bark does not absorb water, does not rot, does not absorb odours (bread placed in a birch bark container does not develop mold because or the natural antiseptic properties of birch bark.
3. CHAGA. Well chaga is all around natural healer that grows as a fungi on birches.
4. BIRCH TAR. Birch tar is extracted from the birch bark and possess amazing antiseptic and unti-bacterial properties. It has been used for centuries as a lubricant and in traditional medicine. Birch tar helps with all kinds of skin conditions. I think the list continues … Am I forgetting anything? Oh and everyone knows that birch bark would start you your fire even in the most atrocious conditions in a second when everything else in the woods is wet or frozen ….
Birch Trees: Natural Medicine in Your Backyard
If you have access to birch trees, take advantage of their medicinal properties by using the techniques outlined in this article.
Alternative medicine and natural healing have reached into every facet of our lives. Lack of confidence in commercial medicine and an interest in getting closer to nature have made formerly-considered “alternative” treatments mainstream. Backyard Medicine (Skyhorse Publishing, 2009), by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal, offers fascinating home remedies for everyday ailments. In the following excerpt, learn how to make use of the medicinal properties in birch trees.
Betula pendula, B. pubescens, B. lenta
Birch has a multitude of historical uses but is less familiar for its undoubted medicinal properties. The sap makes a clear and refreshing drink that can be preserved as a wine, beer, or spirit. The leaves produce a pleasant tea and an infused oil. In each form, birch is an excellent tonic and detoxifier, mainly working on the urinary system to remove waste products, as in kidney or bladder stone, gravel, gout, and rheumatism. It reduces fluid retention and swellings, and clears up many skin problems.
Birch is one of the most useful of trees as well as one of the most graceful. From adhesives to wine, baskets to yokes, and boats to vinegar, it has been a boon to people in the cold north for thousands of years. Its medicinal properties have been historically valued and should be better known today.
Called the oldest tree, birch was a pioneer species when the ice caps retreated, moving in on the devastated land, growing quickly and then rotting to leave more fertile earth in which other species could take over. In its rapid life cycle birch pushes upward too fast to develop a strong heart wood, but this makes it perfect for making buckets and canoes.