Birch Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions
Birch essential oil (Betula lenta) is a rare and hard to produce oil created from the steam distillation of the wood of the tree. Because of the challenge to sustainably, safely, and frequently harvest, it's difficult to find a quality supplier of this oil. Many companies offer birch only seasonal and in very limited quantities, or it'll be diluted or of weaker potency.
The aroma of birch is interesting as well. It doesn't have the same "woody" aroma as other tree oils. Instead it smells minty, like Wintergreen. Likewise its properties and uses are very similar to wintergreen, as well, supporting the muscular and joint systems of the body. This is because both contain a natural form of methyl salicylate, a compound known for soothing achy muscles and joints.
- Frequently used in massage therapy and to support muscles and joints
- Supports circulatory system
- Supports respiratory function
- Beneficial for oily skin conditions
- Stimulating aroma promotes feelings of strength, warmth, and vitality
In addition to the physical support birch essential oil offers, its aromatic affect on the nonphysical are quite interesting as well. It's said to be the oil of support, helping you find your own inner support and strength, rooting yourself into your own center and allowing you to seek, find, and receive support in new ways.
Like White Fir, it can also support you in breaking generational patterns, and bring healing to relationships. It will assist you in processing and overcoming feeling unsupported, alone, or rejected, but also in being flexible while sturdy and grounded. It may also help when you're feeling scattered, overwhelmed, unsupported, resistant toward or lack of connection with others, challenge around trust, and so on.
Birch essential oil blends well with Frankincense, Lavender, Sandalwood and all spice oils. Depending on your uses for this oil, substitutes may include: Frankincense, Wintergreen, White Fir, or Cypress.
How to Use Birch Essential Oil
Traditionally, birch essential oil uses these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:
Precautions of Birch Essential Oil
Avoid during pregnancy, if you have a history of seizures, or are allergic to methyl salicylate. Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use and use on the feet when possible. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose. Not all oils are created equal, so test brands carefully, and never use an oil in a way not recommended by its maker.
Popular Uses of Birch Essential Oil
- Use aromatically through the day, from the bottle, or by massaging into the solar plexus for increased confidence.
- When you're feeling unloved, unsupported, etc, use birch essential oil with your favorite aromatic use to find your inner strength.
- Massage into the soles of the feet and use aromatically during meditation or breathing techniques.
- Consider adding birch essential oil to your cleansing or moisturizing routines.
- Gently massage 1-2 drops of birch essential oil into the neck and shoulders 2-3 times a day to relieve tension.
Inspiration for Using Birch Essential Oil
Easing Growing Pains: In 5 ml roller bottle blend 10 drops each Birch and Lavender essential oils. Apply to joints or muscles soothe your kiddos while they grow.
Runners Relief: Mix equal parts Lemongrass and Birch with carrier oil, such as coconut oil, apply to soothe feet after a run.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON QUALITY
Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).
A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:
- Proper plant varieties
- Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
- Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
- Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
- Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
- Third-party testing of every batch
- Stand behind the internal use of their oils