- What other names is Birch known by?
- What is Birch?
- How does Birch work?
- Are there safety concerns?
- Are there any interactions with medications?
- Dosing considerations for Birch.
vitamin C, are used to make medicine.
Birch is used for infections of the urinary tract that affect the kidney, bladder, ureters, and urethra. It is also used as a diuretic to increase urine output. Some people take birch along with lots of fluids for "irrigation therapy" to flush out the urinary tract.
Other uses include treating arthritis, achy joints (rheumatism), loss of hair, and skin rashes. Birch is also used in "Spring cures" for "purifying the blood."
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Skin growths from sun damage (actinic keratosis). Early research suggests that applying a birch bark ointment for 2 months to the affected areas can help clear actinic keratoses.
- Hair loss.
- Conditions of the urinary tract.
- Achy joints (rheumatism).
- Other conditions.
Quick GuideVitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking birch if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Allergy to wild carrot, mugwort, celery, and other spices: Birch pollen might cause allergies in people who are sensitive to wild carrot, mugwort, and celery. This has been called the "celery-carrot-mugwort-spice syndrome." Birch pollen might also cause allergies in people who are sensitive to certain other plants, including apples, soybeans, hazelnuts, and peanuts.
High blood pressure: There is some concern that birch leaf might increase the amount of salt (sodium) that the body retains, and this can make high blood pressure worse.
Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.
Birch seems to work like "water pills" by causing the body to lose water. Taking birch along with other "water pills" might cause the body to lose too much water. Losing too much water can cause you to be dizzy and your blood pressure to go too low.
Some "water pills" include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011