Betula Alba Leaf, commonly known as East Asian white birch, silver birch or warty birch, is a species of tree in the family Betulaceae, native to Europe and parts of Asia, though in southern Europe it is only found at higher altitudes.
Commonly referred to as Birch, the leaves and bark from which the extract is derived come from the Birch Tree. Birch is known for its purifying and detoxifying effects. The plant encourages the excretion of fluids and promotes metabolic activities.
Known for its skin healing and purifying properties, yet it also functions as an astringent. The shoots and leaves of the plant have been shown to act as a laxative and diuretic, and many consume it orally to treat their gout, rheumatism and kidney stones. In fact, one of the plant’s chemical components, Betullinic Acid, is currently being tested as a promising cancer treatment. The water soluble form of the acid inhibited the growth of human prostate cancer cells by nearly 96%, according to a Weill Cornell research team. Some researchers believe that it has the ability to destroy tumor cells and slow the growth of both HIV and melanoma.
While the plant’s leaves and bark have played a vital role in folk medicine for centuries, both its effectiveness and safety have yet to be adequetely tested. Current research testing its anti-tumor abilities seems promising, though further studies are needed to test its safety with humans.
Because this ingredient can act as an astringent, there’s a potential risk of dermal irritation, especially with sensitive and dry skin types. In addition, because Birch extract resembles the chemical composition of aspirin, people with aspirin allergies should avoid this ingredient, as should individuals with poor heart and kidney health. Lastly, because we’re not yet aware of this ingredient’s full range of effects on humans, experts recommend that it’s not used by pregnant women, breast-feeding women or children.
Source: TruthinAging, https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/betula-alba
USA Weleda, http://usa.weleda.com/ingredients/birch-betula-alba.aspx
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