Also Known as: White Birch, Canoe Birch, Paper Birch.
Native to the northern hemisphere's temperate and sub-arctic zones, the birch tree's outer layer has had many different uses over the centuries, ranging from writing paper to the manufacture of canoes. In fact, the birch tree was an object of worship and veneration among the pagan Slavs of early Russia, where it is still the national tree.
Birch is a broadleaf tree in the same family as hazel and alder. Because its bark is speckled with dark patches that resemble peering eyes, it has been dubbed the watchful tree of the North American landscape, although it’s actually native to Europe. The bark lends a camphor-like flavor to teas and other beverages.
This European species of tree gets its name from the Celtic word betu and the Latin word alba, which mean "birch" and "white," respectively. The bark contains several active compounds, including a triterpene called betulin that gives the bark its white or silvery color and protects the tree from pests and the sun's UV rays.
The dried bark is used to make topical skin products and to make teas and extracts.
North American natives used birch bark for numerous purposes. The bark was used as a form of paper, to make musical instruments, children’s toys, hunting and fishing gear, and as an element in decorative beadwork. The bark was also used to construct vessels for holding and storing foods and even entire canoes.
The main constituent in birch bark, betulinic acid, is named after the trees botanical name. Although 18th century Native Americans couldn’t have been aware of presence of this anti-inflammatory compound, they showed European settlers how to make salves and other topical formulations to counter various skin conditions.
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No harmful chemicals have been applied to the land for at least three years.
Farmers and processors pass yearly inspections by an independent certifying agency.
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Farmers maintain a written organic management plan.
Information contained in this shop is for educational purposes only.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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