|Name: Black birch
Name: Betula lenta
Names: Black birch, cherry birch, mahogany birch, mountain mahogany, spice birch, sweet birch.
Used: inner bark and small twigs (leaves)
Anthelmintic, astringent, diuretic.
Leaf tea is used for urinary problems and to expel intestinal worms. A tea made from the inner bark makes a good mouthwash, and taken internally is good for diarrhea, rheumatism, gout and boils. The tea makes a good bark for canker sores (mouth ulcer). It is also used sometimes for stones in the kidneys and bladder. It is believed to purify the blood. It is also used to make root beer.
An oil similar to oil of wintergreen can be distilled from the inner bark and twigs.
Black birch is a tree that grows 60 to 80 feet high. The bark and little twigs of the birch tree has a splendid flavor similar to that of wintergreen. The bark is brown when the tree is young, dark gray later, and is horizontally striped. On old trees the bark is more irregularly broken. The ovate, pointed leaves occur alternately in pairs and are finely serrate. The male trees bear flowers about 3 inches long. Female catkins produce flowers about 1 inch long.
The male flowers appear in the fall and the female the following spring.
Decoction: Use 1 tsp. inner bark
or leaves with 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups a day.
Tincture: A dose is 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.
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