BIRCH

OTHER NAME(S):

Abedul, Arbre de Sagesse, Betula, Betula alba, Betula pendula, Betula pubescens, Betula verrucosa, Betulae Folium, Biole, Bois à Balais, Boulard, Bouleau Blanc, Bouleau Odorant, Downy Birch, Sceptre des Maîtres d’École, Silver Birch, White Birch.<br/><br/>

Overview

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.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • 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.
  • Arthritis.
  • Hair loss.
  • Rashes.
  • Conditions of the urinary tract.
  • Achy joints (rheumatism).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of birch for these uses.

Side Effects

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.

Interactions

Interactions?

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.<br /> Some "water pills" include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.

Dosing

Dosing

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.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Aabel, S. Prophylactic and acute treatment with the homeopathic medicine, Betula 30c for birch pollen allergy: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of consistency of VAS responses. Br.Homeopath.J. 2001;90(2):73-78. View abstract.
  • Arshad, S. H., Karmaus, W., Matthews, S., Mealy, B., Dean, T., Frischer, T., Tsitoura, S., Bojarskas, J., Kuehr, J., and Forster, J. Association of allergy-related symptoms with sensitisation to common allergens in an adult European population. J Investig.Allergol.Clin Immunol 2001;11(2):94-102. View abstract.
  • Arvidsson, M. B., Lowhagen, O., and Rak, S. Effect of 2-year placebo-controlled immunotherapy on airway symptoms and medication in patients with birch pollen allergy. J.Allergy Clin.Immunol. 2002;109(5):777-783. View abstract.
  • Bergmann, R. L., Edenharter, G., Bergmann, K. E., Forster, J., Bauer, C. P., Wahn, V., Zepp, F., and Wahn, U. Atopic dermatitis in early infancy predicts allergic airway disease at 5 years. Clin Exp Allergy 1998;28(8):965-970. View abstract.
  • Bez, C., Schubert, R., Kopp, M., Ersfeld, Y., Rosewich, M., Kuehr, J., Kamin, W., Berg, A. V., Wahu, U., and Zielen, S. Effect of anti-immunoglobulin E on nasal inflammation in patients with seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. Clin Exp Allergy 2004;34(7):1079-1085. View abstract.
  • Darsow, U., Vieluf, D., and Ring, J. Evaluating the relevance of aeroallergen sensitization in atopic eczema with the atopy patch test: a randomized, double-blind multicenter study. Atopy Patch Test Study Group. J Am Acad.Dermatol 1999;40(2 Pt 1):187-193. View abstract.
  • Huyke, C., Laszczyk, M., Scheffler, A., Ernst, R., and Schempp, C. M. [Treatment of actinic keratoses with birch bark extract: a pilot study]. J Dtsch.Dermatol Ges 2006;4(2):132-136. View abstract.
  • Jahnz-Rozyk, K., Glodzinska-Wyszogrodzka, E., Rozynska-Polanska, R., Paluchowska, E., and Zabielski, L. S. [The effect of specific immunotherapy on serum eotaxin level in patients with pollinosis: preliminary studies]. Pol.Merkur Lekarski. 2001;11(63):244-246. View abstract.
  • Kjaergaard, S. K., Pedersen, O. F., Taudorf, E., and Molhave, L. Assessment of changes in eye redness by a photographic method and the relation to sensory eye irritation. Int Arch Occup.Environ.Health 1990;62(2):133-137. View abstract.
  • Kopp, M. V., Brauburger, J., Riedinger, F., Beischer, D., Ihorst, G., Kamin, W., Zielen, S., Bez, Friedrichs, F., Von Berg, A., Gerhold, K., Hamelmann, E., Hultsch, and Kuehr, J. The effect of anti-IgE treatment on in vitro leukotriene release in children with seasonal allergic rhinitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2002;110(5):728-735. View abstract.
  • Lahti, A. and Hannuksela, M. Immediate contact allergy to birch leaves and sap. Contact Dermatitis 1980;6(7):464-465. View abstract.
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  • Mari, A., Wallner, M., and Ferreira, F. Fagales pollen sensitization in a birch-free area: a respiratory cohort survey using Fagales pollen extracts and birch recombinant allergens (rBet v 1, rBet v 2, rBet v 4). Clin.Exp.Allergy 2003;33(10):1419-1428. View abstract.
  • Marogna, M., Spadolini, I., Massolo, A., Canonica, G. W., and Passalacqua, G. Clinical, functional, and immunologic effects of sublingual immunotherapy in birch pollinosis: a 3-year randomized controlled study. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005;115(6):1184-1188. View abstract.
  • Mosges, R., Pasch, N., Schlierenkamper, U., and Lehmacher, W. Comparison of the biological activity of the most common sublingual allergen solutions made by two European manufacturers. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2006;139(4):325-329. View abstract.
  • Moverare, R., Elfman, L., Bjornsson, E., and Stalenheim, G. Changes in cytokine production in vitro during the early phase of birch-pollen immunotherapy. Scand.J.Immunol. 2000;52(2):200-206. View abstract.
  • Moverare, R., Elfman, L., Bjornsson, E., and Stalenheim, G. Cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells following birch-pollen immunotherapy. Immunol.Lett. 7-3-2000;73(1):51-56. View abstract.
  • Oei, H. D., Spieksma, F. T., and Bruynzeel, P. L. Birch pollen asthma in The Netherlands. Allergy 1986;41(6):435-441. View abstract.
  • Pauli, G., Purohit, A., Oster, J. P., de Blay, F., Vrtala, S., Niederberger, V., Kraft, D., and Valenta, R. Comparison of genetically engineered hypoallergenic rBet v 1 derivatives with rBet v 1 wild-type by skin prick and intradermal testing: results obtained in a French population. Clin Exp Allergy 2000;30(8):1076-1084. View abstract.
  • Pipkorn, U., Bende, M., Hedner, J., and Hedner, T. A double-blind evaluation of topical levocabastine, a new specific H1 antagonist in patients with allergic conjunctivitis. Allergy 1985;40(7):491-496. View abstract.
  • Rak, S., Hakanson, L., and Venge, P. Immunotherapy abrogates the generation of eosinophil and neutrophil chemotactic activity during pollen season. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1990;86(5):706-713. View abstract.
  • Rak, S., Heinrich, C., Jacobsen, L., Scheynius, A., and Venge, P. A double-blinded, comparative study of the effects of short preseason specific immunotherapy and topical steroids in patients with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001;108(6):921-928. View abstract.
  • Reisinger, J., Horak, F., Pauli, G., van Hage, M., Cromwell, O., Konig, F., Valenta, R., and Niederberger, V. Allergen-specific nasal IgG antibodies induced by vaccination with genetically modified allergens are associated with reduced nasal allergen sensitivity. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2005;116(2):347-354. View abstract.
  • Sloper, K. S., Wadsworth, J., and Brostoff, J. Children with atopic eczema. II: Immunological findings associated with dietary manipulations. Q J Med 1991;80(292):695-705. View abstract.
  • Swoboda, I., Hoffmann-Sommergruber, K., O'Raiodajin, G., Scheiner, O., Heberle-Bors, E., and Vicente, O. Bet v 1 proteins, the major birch pollen allergens and members of a family of conserved pathogenesis-related proteins, show ribonuclease activity in vitro. Physiologia Plantarum 1996;96(3):433-438.
  • Tsuda, Y. and Ide, Y. Wide-range analysis of genetic structure of Betula maximowicziana, a long-lived pioneer tree species and noble hardwood in the cool temperate zone of Japan. Molecular Ecology 2005;14(13):3929-3941.
  • van Neerven, R. J., Arvidsson, M., Ipsen, H., Sparholt, S. H., Rak, S., and Wurtzen, P. A. A double-blind, placebo-controlled birch allergy vaccination study: inhibition of CD23-mediated serum-immunoglobulin E-facilitated allergen presentation. Clin.Exp.Allergy 2004;34(3):420-428. View abstract.
  • Voltolini, S., Modena, P., Minale, P., Bignardi, D., Troise, C., Puccinelli, P., and Parmiani, S. Sublingual immunotherapy in tree pollen allergy. Double-blind, placebo-controlled study with a biologically standardised extract of three pollens (alder, birch and hazel) administered by a rush schedule. Allergol.Immunopathol.(Madr.) 2001;29(4):103-110. View abstract.
  • White, I. R. and Calnan, C. D. Contact urticaria to fruit and birch sensitivity. Contact Dermatitis 1983;9(2):164-165. View abstract.
  • Winther, L., Malling, H. J., and Mosbech, H. Allergen-specific immunotherapy in birch- and grass-pollen-allergic rhinitis. II. Side-effects. Allergy 2000;55(9):827-835. View abstract.
  • Winther, L., Malling, H. J., Moseholm, L., and Mosbech, H. Allergen-specific immunotherapy in birch- and grass-pollen-allergic rhinitis. I. Efficacy estimated by a model reducing the bias of annual differences in pollen counts. Allergy 2000;55(9):818-826. View abstract.
  • Aabel, S. No beneficial effect of isopathic prophylactic treatment for birch pollen allergy during a low-pollen season: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of homeopathic Betula 30c. Br Homeopath J 2000;89(4):169-173. View abstract.
  • Asero R. Effects of birch pollen-specific immunotherapy on apple allergy in birch pollen-hypersensitive patients. Clin Exp Allergy 1998;28(11):1368-73. View abstract.
  • Bauer L, Ebner C, Hirschwehr R, et al. IgE cross-reactivity between birch pollen, mugwort pollen, and celery is due to three distinct cross-reacting allergens: immunoblot investigation of the birch-mugwort-celery syndrome. Clin Exp Allergy 1996;26:1161-70. View abstract.
  • Berrens L, van Dijk AG, Houben GF, Hagemans ML, Koers WJ. Cross-reactivity among the pollen proteins of birch and apple trees. Allerg Immunol 1990;36(3):147-56. View abstract.
  • Hansen KS, Ballmer-Weber BK, Lüttkopf D, et al. Roasted hazelnuts--allergenic activity evaluated by double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge. Allergy 2003;58(2):132-8. View abstract.
  • Mittag D, Akkerdaas J, Ballmer-Weber BK, et al. Ara h 8, a Bet v 1-homologous allergen from peanut, is a major allergen in patients with combined birch pollen and peanut allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2004;114(6):1410-7. View abstract.
  • Mittag D, Vieths S, Vogel L, et al. Soybean allergy in patients allergic to birch pollen: clinical investigation and molecular characterization of allergens. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2004;113(1):148-54. View abstract.
  • Osterballe, M., Hansen, T. K., Mortz, C. G., and Bindslev-Jensen, C. The clinical relevance of sensitization to pollen-related fruits and vegetables in unselected pollen-sensitized adults. Allergy 2005;60(2):218-25. View abstract.
  • Robbers JE, Tyler VE. Tyler's Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals. New York, NY: The Haworth Herbal Press, 1999.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.