Birch Essential Oil
Birch trees can grow up to 50-80 feet tall with bark that is grayish-white-brown color. They have pointed leaves and bear flowers.
- Botanical Family: Betulaceae
- Other Common Names: Sweet Birch, Black Birch, Southern Birch, Cherry Birch, Mahogany Birch
- Part of Plant Used: Wood and Bark
- Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
- Variations: Birch essential oil is typically steam distilled. Birch is related to the White Birch species that produces Birch Tar.
- Chemistry: Birch is high in esters, particularly methyl salicylate and has a whole host of safety precautions (see below).
- Circulatory: supports health circulation
- Digestive: supports oral health
- Endocrine System: regulates and supports hormonal balance
- Musculoskeletal: pain relief for muscular and joint inflammation, aches and pains
- Nervous System: improves sluggish energy and general fatigue, soothes headaches and migraines
- Skin: Used in moderation it can provide hair care and reduce dandruff. It is astringent and can be used minimally in skincare.
- Spiritual: Supports the Root Chakra with feelings of security and support; the Solar Plexus Chakra with personal and mental power and ability; and the Crown Chakra by expanding the mental and spiritual process. Supports the Third Eye chakra associated with intuition and imagination.
- Scent Profile: Sweet smelling top note that has the aroma of candy
- Longevity: The aroma of Birch can last up to 12 hours.
- Fragrance Classification: Balsamic
- Blends well with: Benzoin, Eucalyptus, Jasmine, Laurel, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary ct verbenone, and Sandalwood
- According to Tisserand & Young, since Birch contains methyl salicylate, it should not be used for anyone on anticoagulant medications, or the elderly or fragile and should be avoided in cases of liver problems.
- Do not use when pregnant or lactating.
- Possible skin irritant - avoid contact with any open wounds or mucous membranes.
- Keep away from children and do not use on babies and children, due to the possible risk of developing Reye's Syndrome.
- Contraindications: major surgery, hemophilia, other bleeding disorders, gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Should not be given to people with salicylate sensitivity (those with ADD/ADHD).
Products Using Birch Essential Oil
- Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. A Pathfinder Book Reprint Edition, 2017.
- Clark, Demetria. Aromatherapy and Herbs for Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding. Book Publishing Company, 2015.
- “Flavor, Fragrance, Food and Cosmetics Ingredients Information.” The Good Scents Company, The Good Scents Company (TGSC), 2019, www.thegoodscentscompany.com/.
- International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists. “PREGNANCY GUIDELINES Guidelines for Aromatherapists Working with Pregnant Clients.” International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists , IFPA, 2013, www.ifparoma.org.
- National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. “Other Safety Considerations: Pregnancy.” National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety#other.
- Shutes, Jade and New York Institute of Aromatic Studies. "Foundations of Aromatherapy" and "Aromatic Scholars" Aromatherapy Certification Programs and Course Materials. 2017-2019.
- Tiran, Denise. Aromatherapy in Midwifery Practice. Singing Dragon an Imprint of Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016.
- Tiran, Denise. “Is It Safe to Use Essential Oils While I'm Pregnant?” BabyCentre UK, BabyCentre Blog, July 2013, www.babycentre.co.uk/x536449/is-it-safe-to-use-essential-oils-while-im-pregnant.
- Tisserand, Robert, et al. Essential Oil Safety: a Guide for Health Care Professionals. 2nd ed., Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier, 2014.