May Herb of the Month: Birch
Element: Air, Water
A birch is a thin-leaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula in the family Betulaceae. They are a rather short-lived pioneer species widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in northern areas with moderate climates. These are generally small to medium-sized trees or shrubs.
The birch has simple leaves, and the bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long, horizontal pores.
Medicinally, birch bark when made into a tincture, works well as an anti-inflammatory analgesic pain reliver. Birch has also been used for kidney and bladder stones, urinary tract infections and joint pain.
The oil from the birch tree may be useful in treating those with heart and kidney edema, rheumatism, arthritis, calcium spurs, chronic cystitis, high cholesterol. It can also be used as an astringent for the skin, helping with skin eruptions and wet eczema.
The metaphysical uses of Birch include inception, fertility, purification, and protection, especially psychic protection. It was used traditionally in the besom, Beltane fires and Maypoles as well as Yule logs.
Birch brings an abundance of strong, positive energy to magic. Appeal to the spirit of the birch for a promising start to new ventures. Combine birch into charms for love, protection, and wisdom.
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