BIRCH Overview Information
Birch is a tree. The leaves of the tree, which contain lots of vitamin C, are used to make medicine.
Birch is used for infections of the urinary tract that affect the kidney, bladder, ureters, and urethra. It is also used as a diuretic to increase urine output. Some people take birch along with lots of fluids for “irrigation therapy” to flush out the urinary tract.
Other uses include treating arthritis, achy joints (rheumatism), loss of hair, and skin rashes. Birch is also used in “Spring cures” for “purifying the blood.”
How does it work?
Birch leaves contain chemicals which increase water loss through the urine.
- Skin growths from sun damage (actinic keratosis). Early research suggests that applying a birch bark ointment for 2 months to the affected areas can help clear actinic keratoses.
- Hair loss.
- Conditions of the urinary tract.
- Achy joints (rheumatism).
- Other conditions.
BIRCH Side Effects & Safety
Birch is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth or applied to the skin for short periods of time.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking birch if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Allergy to wild carrot, mugwort, celery, and other spices: Birch pollen might cause allergies in people who are sensitive to wild carrot, mugwort, and celery. This has been called the “celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome.” Birch pollen might also cause allergies in people who are sensitive to certain other plants, including apples, soybeans, hazelnuts, and peanuts.
High blood pressure: There is some concern that birch leaf might increase the amount of salt (sodium) that the body retains, and this can make high blood pressure worse.
Minor Interaction Be watchful with this combination
- Water pills (Diuretic drugs) interacts with BIRCH
Birch seems to work like "water pills" by causing the body to lose water. Taking birch along with other "water pills" might cause the body to lose too much water. Losing too much water can cause you to be dizzy and your blood pressure to go too low.
Some "water pills" include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.
The appropriate dose of birch depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for birch. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.