The leaf of the birch - recognize and use birch leaves

The leaf of the birch - recognize and use birch leaves

This is what birch leaves look like

When the leaf of the birch is mentioned in general, this information refers to the widespread common birch. The Eurasian tree can be found all over Europe with the exception of the extreme north and south. Its spread extends to Siberia. This Betula Pendula is known by various names. According to her profile, she is called white birch, sand birch or silver birch. While this is one and the same tree, there are numerous other birch shapes with beautiful names like sugar birch or golden birch.

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All birch leaves have a very classic characteristic: They have an oval, slightly diamond-shaped to triangular silhouette and are jagged at the edges. Depending on the type, the serration can be stronger or weaker. The leaves, which are often arranged on short shoots, are divided into petiole and leaf blade. They usually appear alternately and are usually placed in two rows. Other general characteristics:

  • 0.5 to (rarely) 14 centimeters long, depending on the species
  • 0.5 to 8 centimeters wide, depending on the species
  • glabrous to slightly hairy
  • Leaf margin is serrated to double serrated
  • initially fresh green, later medium to dark green
  • young leaves secrete sticky secretions via numerous resin glands
  • in older leaves whitish remains of the dried secretion
  • balsamic aromatic scent, slightly bitter taste

Blue birch

The blue birch actually owes its name to the slight blue tint of its strongly serrated leaves. Its bluish-green leaves overflow into a reddish leaf stalk. The rounded, egg-shaped leaf shape gives this birch a particularly decorative charm.

Yellow birch

The yellow birch gets its name not because of its leaves, but because of the yellowish color of the trunk. Their leaves, on the other hand, are a strong matt green. The double-sawn leaf margin is striking.

Gold birch

The widespread gold birch brings yellow-green leaves with it. The silhouette of this birch leaf is egg-shaped with a distinctive tip and an equally conspicuous sawn edge.

Paper birch

The leaf of the paper birch is comparatively very long with up to 10 centimeters. Since it is also pointed, this birch leaf appears more elongated than the leaves of other birch species. Its color is an intense dark green. The leaf margin is also sawed here.

Sugar birch

The sugar birch also has egg-shaped, but rather elongated leaves up to 10 centimeters long and with a sawn leaf edge. In terms of color, it is a bright, medium shade of green.

Bog birch

With a length of around 5 centimeters, the medium-sized leaves of the bog birch are significantly wider than those of the other species listed as examples. It is heart-shaped with heavily serrated edges. In addition, its silky, shiny surface catches the eye.

Change in autumn

The color of the leaves of a birch tree in autumn can also help determine the leaves. Most of the birch leaves turn their strong green into a deep golden yellow during the transition to the cool season. In species such as the golden birch, whose leaves always have a slight yellowish undertone, the autumn color can turn out to be a warm orange tone.

Medicinal effects of the birch leaf

Birch leaves have many vitamins, especially the important vitamin C. Because of its essential oils as well as diuretic substances, flavonoids, saponins and tannins, the leaves of the birch have always been used for medicinal purposes. When poured as tea, birch leaves are used in cures for detoxification.

Appropriate infusions are also popular to compensate for high cholesterol levels and to lose weight. The leaves of the birch tree are said to be helpful against the symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism and gout because of their diuretic and anti-inflammatory effects. If used regularly, the leaf juice can prevent kidney and bladder stones - or completely eliminate existing ailments.

In fact, the entire leaves of the birch are edible - unlike the leaves of most other trees. In addition to being used as tea, salads, for example, can also be used to channel the strength of the birch leaf into the body.

Birch leaves in cosmetics

Birch tea is also used in many different ways in the field of body and beauty care. Its ingredients can be enjoyed internally or applied externally to help combat skin problems. These include rashes such as eczema or blotchy areas, but also pimples and generally oily skin.

When used as a conditioner, the infusion of birch leaves can be integrated into hair care: The brew can soothe the scalp and thus work against dandruff. In addition, a homemade birch leaf conditioner ensures shiny and supple hair.

Birch extracts are also effective in the fight against cellulite. Here they are mainly used dissolved in body oils. In addition, internal use should also support an even complexion in the typical problem areas.