Herb latin name: Betula alnoides
Synonyms: Betula acuminata
Family: Betulaceae (Birch Family)
Medicinal use of Betula alnoides:The plant has been used as an antidote in the treatment of snake bites. A decoction of the bark is used to treat dislocated bones.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Forests, ravines and streamsides, Himachel Pradesh to S.W. China, 1500 - 2700 metres.
Edible parts of Betula alnoides:Inner bark - can be dried, then ground into a powder and added to flour for use in making bread, cakes etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply.
Other uses of the herb:The thin layer of outer bark is used as a paper. The juice of the bark is used for decorating wood. Wood - moderately hard, close grained, strong, durable. Used for minor construction.
Propagation of Betula alnoides:Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring - do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter.
Cultivation of the herb:Forests, ravines and streamsides, Himachel Pradesh to S.W. China, 1500 - 2700 metres.
Known hazards of Betula alnoides:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.