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Birch Leaf Meaning

What is the meaning of the birch tree?

Birch 'lady of the woods' is one of the first trees to come into leaf and is a representation of the emergence of spring. In early Celtic mythology, the birch came to symbolise renewal and purification. it was celebrated during the festival of Samhain (now Halloween in Britain), the start of the Celtic year, when purification was also important. Bundles of birch twigs were used to drive out the spirits of the old year. Birch besoms, or brooms were also the archetypical witches' broomsticks, used in their shamanic flights, perhaps after the use of extracts of the fly agaric mushrooms commonly found in birch woods.

Deities associated with birch are mostly love and fertility goddesses, such as the northern European Frigga and Freya. Eostre (from whom we derive the word Easter), the Anglo Saxon goddess of spring was celebrated around and through the birch tree between the spring equinox and Beltane.

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What are the uses of birch leaves?

The leaves of the birch tree are used to make medicine for a variety of ailments. They contain a lot of vitamin C and are used for infections of the urinary tract that affects kidneys, bladder, uterus, and urethra. The leaves are also used as a diuretic to increase urine output. Other uses include treating arthritis, achy joints (rheumatism), hair loss and skin rashes. 

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Are birch leaves poisonous?

There is evidence that birch pollen may cause allergies in people who are sensitive to wild carrot, mugwort, and celery. Birch pollen might also cause allergies in people who are sensitive to certain other plants, including apples, soybeans, hazelnuts and peanuts. Birch leaves when young, the twigs, inner bark and sap are all considered safe and edible.

What are the health benefits of birch?

Birch water is derived from the sap of birch trees and offers numerous minerals and antioxidants. It's particularly rich in manganese and magnesium while low in calories and sugar. It may even improve skin and hair health. It also tastes pretty good!

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What is birch used for?

Birch is a good firewood. It gives off a good amount of heat and burns quite slowly. The bark can be distilled down to an oil or tar consistency. This has medicinal uses. Birch wood is used in furniture, wooden utensils and more. It's a light coloured wood that isn't poisonous so can be used in many applications.

What does birch smell like?

The smell of birch wood has a sweet, sappy, green fragrance.  The firewood has a sweet smell that fills the campsite like natures incense. Birch tar is associated with leather fragrances and soaps.

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