Sweet Birch (Betula lenta) also known as Black Birch, Cherry Birch, Mahogany Birch, or Spice Birch, makes a beautiful essential oil. It comes from the pulverized bark of the birch tree and is steam distilled from the tree bark. The oil has a sweet, sharp, minty, fresh, camphoraceous aroma (reminiscent of Germolene).
Historically Sweet Birch bark and wintergreen were used by North American native people as ingredients for their herbal teas. It has also traditionally been used for arthritis and other joint/muscular aches and pains. The essential oil can be used as an anti-inflammatory, antifungal and much more! *see below for common uses.
There are two types of birch trees: Betula pendula and Betula lenta. People know Betula pendula as white birch or silver birch. Common names of Betula lenta are black birch, sweet birch, or cherry birch. a tall and graceful tree with bright green leaves and dark reddish-brown aromatic bark. It is native to southern Canada and north-eastern USA but also grows in Russia and parts of Eastern Europe.