Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Betula utilis DON.

English Name : Himalayan Silver Birch, Indian Paper Birch

Family : Betulaceae

Origin : Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and South West China.

It is a moderate-sized tree that grows up to 20m in height. The bark is smooth, shining, reddish white or white, with white horizontal lenticels. The outer bark consists of numerous thin papery layers, exfoliating in broad horizontal rolls. The inner cortex is red and moist. The leaves are ovate-acuminate, elliptic, and irregularly serrate. The flowers bloom in May-June, in pendulous spikes. Seeds are thin and winged.

Parts Used : Bark

Herb Effects
Antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, contraceptive (according to the Himalaya Drug Co.. see Miscellaneous field below).

Active Ingredients
Betulin, lupeol, oleanolic, betulitic and acetyloheanolic acids, sitosterol, lupenone, methyl betulonate, methyl betulate and karachic acid.

Medicinal Use
As a carminative (infusion), antiseptic and in maladies involving convulsions, such as epilepsy (decoction).


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