Betula lenta – Plant Family: Betulaceae
Type of plant: Tall deciduous leafy tree that produces male pendulant seed
flowers called catkins that hang down from the branches while the female
catkins are upright.
Part used: Bark
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
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Data: Native to the east coast of the United States and southern Canada and to parts of Russia. The sweet in the name derives from the sugar syrup made from the boiled sap of the tree, traditionally gathered by American First Nations peoples. Sweet birch oil was formerly used as a substitute for wintergreen oil (Gaultheria procumbens).
Principal places of production: United States, Canada, Russia
When buying look for: Colorless to pale-yellow liquid with a strong, sweet,
wintergreen-like aroma. Not to be confused with white birch essential oil (Betula alba).
Therapeutic properties: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic,
circulatory, diuretic, stimulant
Therapeutic uses: Muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, arthritis, muscular injury, skeletal inflammation, lumbago, neuralgia, circulatory conditions, edema, heavy limbs
Blends well with: Basil linalol, cedarwood, chamomile roman, clary sage,
eucalyptus radiata, frankincense, geranium, juniper berry, lavandin, lavender, lemon, marjoram (sweet), peppermint, plai, rosalina, sage (Greek), saro.
Precautionary advice: To be avoided by those on multiple medications or
anticoagulants. Not recommended for nonprofessional users. Not to be used
during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.