Birch - Betula Pubescens
Downy Birch is Iceland’s only native tree.
For Icelanders it had many uses in the past, e.g. as a carving material, paper and fire-starter.
They also used it as a powerful and versatile medicine, according to a survey of folk medicine from 1830.
Birch’s benefits are mostly the result of betulin, a compound in its bark which shows great promise in fighting cancer. On your skin, betulin is very effective in calming inflammation, toning pores and helping wounds heal.
Birch bark also contains tannins, a small amount of salicylic acid and ursolic acid, the same compound that gives bearberry its lightening effects.
The leaves contain several antioxidants including quercetin and anthocyanin.
All these things together help to protect skin and give it a lovely, clear luminosity. Beyond cosmetic and preventative care for skin, birch is also effective in reducing the symptoms of eczema, actinic keratosis, and psoriasis.
Birch is also reputed to make hair thick, shiny and healthy, which is why we’ve made one of our shampoos,BirkiR, with an extra dose of birch! Birkir is the masculine form of the word “birch” in Icelandic and is a popular name for men. Perhaps you are already familiar with the feminine form,Björk?
We harvest and pick our wild birch from untouched lowlands in the south of Iceland.
References:· Andrew McDougall. “Scientists explain skin regeneration properties of birch bark”. cosmeticsdesign-europe.com. Jan. 28, 2014. http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Formulation-Science/Scientists-explain-skin-regeneration-properties-of-birch-bark· Sarah E. Edwards, Ines da Costa Rocha, Elizabeth M. Williamson and Michael Heinrich’s Phytopharmacy: An Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products for a summary of clinical trials and analysis. (Wiley Blackwell, 2015)· James Breasted. “Edwin Smith Papyrus.” Accessed on 11-03-2016.