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Birch

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What other names is Birch known by?

Abedul, Arbre de Sagesse, Betula, Betula alba, Betula pendula, Betula pubescens, Betula verrucosa, Betulae Folium, Biole, Bois à Balais, Boulard, Bouleau Blanc, Bouleau Odorant, Downy Birch, Sceptre des Maîtres d'École, Silver Birch, White Birch.

What is Birch?

Birch is a tree. The leaves of the tree, which contain lots of vitamin C, are used to make medicine.

Birch is used for infections of the urinary tract that affect the kidney, bladder, ureters, and urethra. It is also used as a diuretic to increase urine output. Some people take birch along with lots of fluids for "irrigation therapy" to flush out the urinary tract.

Other uses include treating arthritis, achy joints (rheumatism), loss of hair, and skin rashes. Birch is also used in "Spring cures" for "purifying the blood."

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Skin growths from sun damage (actinic keratosis). Early research suggests that applying a birch bark ointment for 2 months to the affected areas can help clear actinic keratoses.
  • Arthritis.
  • Hair loss.
  • Rashes.
  • Conditions of the urinary tract.
  • Achy joints (rheumatism).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of birch for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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