Betula pubescens

Betula pubescens

Betula pubescens [birch] is a slow-growing (10 m in 20 years) slender tree. It generally reaches a height of 10 to 15 m, sometimes 20 m. Smooth and downy branches, diamond-shaped leaves that are downy on the underside. Betula pubescens has a whiter, more matte, sometimes pinkish-coloured bark, that often has greyish strips or horizontal lines, but does not have black marks or cracks.

Latin name

Betula pubescens Ehrh.

Origin

Betula pubescens comes from Northern Europe. It occupies 1% of French forestland.
It can be found in Siberia and in Greenland.

Used part

The leaves.

Active components

Flavonoids (quercetin): They have an antioxidant effect, and are mainly responsible for increased urine production.

Usage

Birch is often planted in parks and gardens thanks to its white bark and graceful drooping branches. The wood is excellent for sculpture and for cooking utensils such as wooden spoons and spatulas. The sap contains approximately 1% sugar. It can be drunk or fermented as wine. Traditionally, it is used in depurative cures, but since the sap contains only a very small amount of flavonoids, it only has a low diuretic effect and will hardly have any effect on the kidneys. Science indicates that for proper detoxification, the extract from the leaves or the bark is preferable.1-5

Bibliographical references

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