Botanist's Glossary

Silver Birch - Betula alba

  • Description
    • The silver birch (Betulaceae family) is a widespread tree in much of Europe, except the Mediterranean region. A pioneer species, it has colonized bare land: cut-down forests, burnt-down land. Its slender trunk, smooth, white bark, crown of fine branches, triangular leaves and distinctive flowers make it one of our most easily recognizable trees.
  • Traditions
    • In the past, a decoction of leaves or bark was used externally to treat dermatosis, or internally to treat rheumatism. The sap, which is extracted in spring by drilling a hole into the trunk and inserting a tube, is a diuretic and helps rid the body of toxins. A sparkling drink can be made from it. The silver birch is also used in intensive treatments for rheumatism, water retention and skin problems.
  • Properties
    • The sap is rich in trace elements and minerals - nutritional elements necessary for the skin. It helps to combat skin sagging and invigorate the skin.