Sweet Birch (Betula nigra) tea
The leaf tea is reported to eliminate gravel and dissolve kidney stones when taken daily for a time, 1 to 1 1/2 cups a day.
A decoction of the leaves is sometimes recommended for baldness;
or try the fresh expressed juice. Mild sedative.
Use a wash or bath additive for chronic or severe skin problems.
The inner bark contains an oil which is sometimes substituted for wintergreen in liniment. Relieves headaches, menstrual cramps, abdominal cramps, gout, dropsy, acne, eczema, pruritis, rheumatism pains, diarrhea, colic, colitis, and dysentery.
The liquid from boiling bark can be used to wash sores and wounds, boils, expels worms. Sap can be taken as a spring tonic or used as a hair tonic.
Beer is often made from the sap of sweet birch.
A type of oil of wintergreen is distilled from the inner bark and twigs.
How to Make Sweet Birch (Betula nigra) tea
- A brew of sweet birch. I break a handful of twigs (with unopened buds) into a quart jar, fill it with boiling water, and cap it tightly. The next morning, I pour off (and drink) the wintergreen- flavored tea, leaving the twigs in the jar. I pour another quart of boiling water over the (same) twigs. And so on, up to thirty times.
- After the third or fourth brewing, try some of the liquid as a grease-cutter in the oven. Amazingly, the birch tea gets stronger the more often you use the twigs.