Herb: Indian Paper Birch


Latin name: Betula utilis


Synonyms: Betula bhojpattra


Family: Betulaceae (Birch Family)



Medicinal use of Indian Paper Birch:

An infusion of the bark is antiseptic and carminative. It has been used in the treatment of hysteria and jaundice. It is applied as drops to the ears to rlieve earache. A paste made from the bark is used as a poultice on cuts, wounds and burns.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Tree

Height:
20 m
(66 feet)

Flovering:
April

Habitat of the herb:

Forests at the upper height limit of tree growth, rarely found below 3000 metres. Moist hillsides at elevations of 2000 - 4000 metres in Nepal.

Other uses of Indian Paper Birch:

A paper is made from the inner bark. The outer bark can be carefully peeled off the tree (this does not harm the tree) and used as a paper. The outer bark can also be used as a waterproofing and for roofing houses. The bark is sometimes used as an incense. Wood - tough, even grained, moderately hard, elastic. Used for construction.

Propagation of the herb:

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 Indian Paper Birch:

Forests at the upper height limit of tree growth, rarely found below 3000 metres. Moist hillsides at elevations of 2000 - 4000 metres in Nepal.

Known hazards of Betula utilis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.