Birch trees have played a major role in North American history, and it appears they can also play a major role in your health.
Native North Americans gave birch bark a number of uses. They used it to build canoes, homes, and to make containers to store food. The leaves and inner bark of the birch tree can also be used as a diuretic. But one of the more important uses in today’s society—keeping with its tradition of assisting in survival—is its ability to heal skin wounds.
When it comes to healing wounds in a timely fashion, alternative therapies are needed. Birch extract works efficiently to close and heal skin wounds by reacting quickly with skin cells.
The active ingredient used from the birch extract is betulin. When applied to cuts, it’s been found to help damaged skin around a wound regenerate quickly.
When you cut your skin, the surrounding damaged cells release substances that lead to inflammation. The inflamed cells attract a natural cleaning crew, called phagocytes, that work to remove any foreign bacteria and dead skin cells from the affected area. This is how your body naturally responds to heal itself. The betulin in the birch extract will activate phagocytes so they arrive on the scene faster and work more efficiently. In fact, researchers noticed the response time tripled when the extract was added.
The discovery was made by a research team at the University of Freiburg’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Germany.
The research not only showed increases in healing response time, but that birch extract was capable of jumpstarting the rebuilding process of tissue over the wound. It provided support to the outermost layer of the skin to cover and close the wound by activating skin-generating proteins.
If you’re looking for a natural way to heal wounds, I’d recommend getting your hands on some birch extract. You can get it online or try and find it at your local natural health store.
Ludwigs, A., “Birch Helps Wounds Heal Faster,” Science Daily web site, January 24, 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140124082600.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ftop_news%2Ftop_health+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Top+Health+News%29, last accessed January 29, 2014.