as:Betula, Betulae folium, Silver Birch, White Birch.
Scientific name:Betula pendula, Betula alba.
Botanical family: Betulaceae.
Parts used: The leaves and bark.
Traditional use. Birch is used as a diuretic,
for rheumatic ailments, for cystitis, for arthritis, rheumatism
and as an alterative for aiding eliminatory processes.
There are no safety concerns when used within the recommended
Pregnancy: Consult with a medical herbalist.
Breastfeeding: Consult with a medical herbalist.
Flavonoids; mainly hyperoside, luteolin and quercetin.
Caffeic acid derivatives, including chlorogenic acid.
Monoterpene glucosides; the betula albosides and roseoside.
Saponins; betula triterpenes.
Volatile oil containing betulin, caryophyllenes and methyl
Betulenols and their acetates.
No clinical research has been done.
Mechanism of action.
A study offers a rational basis for the use of Betula pendula
leaf extract for the treatment of immune disorders, like
rheumatoid arthritis, by diminishing proliferating inflammatory
The aquaretic and possibly saluretic (loss of salt through the
kidneys) effects are due to the flavonoid constituents of the
birch leaf. Aquaretics increase urine volume (water loss) but not
electrolyte excretion.2 The high vitamin C content of
the leaf can enhance the effect.3
An extract of betulinic acid may hold promise as an anticancer
agent. Some laboratory and animal studies of betulinic acid have
reported antitumor activity. Additional studies are under way to
find out whether it has a role in treating several forms of
cancer, including melanoma and certain brain cancers. Clinical
trials are needed to determine what effect, if any, betulinic
acid may have in treating cancer in
Interactions with herbs and supplements:
Interactions with drugs:
Interactions with foods:
Interactions with laboratory tests:
Recommended dose: 3-10mls per day 1:5 tincture 30% alcohol.
Infusion: range from 2-3tsps. per day.
The recommended dose of Dr Clare’s Joint Support Blend provides
3mls per day of 1:3 Tincture in 15mls daily, at a dose of 5mls
three times a day.
Oral: The typical dose of birch leaf is several times daily as a
tea, which is prepared by steeping 2-3 grams of finely cut dried
leaf in approximately 150 mL boiling water for 10-15 minutes and
straining.4,3 The tea should be taken with plenty of
1. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American
Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca
Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.
2. Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The
Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York, NY: The Haworth
Herbal Press, 1999.