Jun 14 , 2016
by Amelia E. Hoard, RN
Common Name: Birch (Sweet) Essential Oil
Synonyms: B. capinefolia, cherry birch, southern birch, mahogony birch, mountain mahogany
Latin Binomial: Betula lenta
Production Method: steam distillation of bark
Countries of Origin: Canada and USA (mailnly Pennsylvania)
Typical Constituents: Methyl salicylate (90.4%), Ethyl salicylate (5.5%),
Linalyl acetate (1.1%)
Description of Oil: Colorless, pale yellow or red tinted with a sweet woody, refreshing scent.
Description of Plant: Large woodland tree distinguished by catkins (slim cylindrical flower clusters).They have slim downward pointing brancheswith serrated oval leaves.
History, Folklore and Myth: Centuries old medicinal wine has been from the sap with a link to warding off evil spirits. It's main chemical ingredient gives asparin indicating pain relieving properties.
Properties and Uses: A stimulant, and diuretic. Birch also has analgesic, anti-inflammatory,antiseptic, rubefacient, and detoxifying actions.
Precautions and Contraindications: Possible skin irritatant when undiluted.
Other Interesting Information: The layer just under the bark has been stipped and eaten like vermicelli in the spring.
Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Virginia, Queensland, Australia: The Perfect Potion. 1995.
Lawless, Julia. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Shaftesbury, Dorset. Element Books. 1995.
Tisserand, Robert, and Tony Balacs. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. 1995.
Sellar, Wanda. The Directory of Essential Oils. London: Random House. 2005