Long time ago, when our Sun was God, people also worshipped the common birch. The white tree was celebrated as a symbol of life, wisdom, and fertility.
Nowadays, thanks to advanced laboratory methods, we know that the magical properties of birch undeniably exist and we were right about its healing power.
Village healers and shamans never needed such evidence. Their knowledge of plants, potions, and ointments was based on experience of many generations.
The properties of birch tree can help with numerous diseases, heal the damages of the internal organs, deal with general weakness and tiredness of the body as well as grievous, difficult to heal wounds and eczema. Birch was used as a remedy for ailments of the soul such as anxiety or melancholy. During the Second World War, the Russian orphans had a chance to experience the life-giving powers of the tree; they were given the rich in nutritious glucose and fructose juice as a substitute for mother’s milk. The main property of birch juice is a general boost of body’s immunity by stimulation of its immune system. Juice, in addition to the groundwater collected by roots, also contains valuable nutrients such as simple sugars, high energy compounds, organic acids, alcohols, mineral salts, vitamins, and probiotics. Thanks to the content of all these ingredients the juice purifies the blood, immunizes, improves metabolism, it has beneficial effects on the kidneys and liver as well as the complexion and hair.
The easiest way to get juice at any time of the year is to buy it in the store. If we want to get the juice by ourselves, we can do it only in the early spring. For this purpose, you can cut the birch twig and drill a hole in the tree. Then insert the tube to the hole and put its end to a bottle hanged below.
One litre of juice can be taken from one tree, and the hole made in it must be then secured with a wooden bung and a garden ointment.
The fresh juice needs to be consumed pretty quickly, usually fermentation starts within 2 or 3 days. This can be prevented by preserving the juice with sugar, pasteurizing, mixing with alcohol, or freezing. However, birch leaves are easy to store, and can be simply collected and consumed in the form of teas. The leaves show a diuretic and saluretic effect and can help in diseases with metabolic disorders, young acne or rheumatism. Externally, they are used for hair loss and psoriasis. Often picked in spring and summer, birch whisks have long been used in Russian banya and Finnish saunas.
Nowadays, it is known that methyl salicylate, which protects against colds and skin diseases, is released during the burning process of birch twigs. Knowing this fact, can you, Dear reader, make a connection between a birch twigs and our all too familiar subconscious image of a witch flying on a broom? Perhaps now, with a proof provided by modern science, it is clear that the hidden messages in old children stories hide in plain sight the secret, magical ingredient of health and beauty power, used by witches and alchemists all over the world to pro-long their life and beauty. After all what makes a witch’s broom fly?