It is no wonder that birch essential
oil is so effective for this purpose; it contains the same active
ingredient, methyl salicylate, found in aspirin. Anyon with aspirin
sensitivities should therefore avoid using birch essential oil.
Birch essential oil is extracted
from the pulverized bark of the birch tree by using steam distillation
methods. Cold pressed methods are preferred to steam distillation
methods of extraction because the heat in the seam can change
the properties of the extracted oil; however, birch essential
oil is extremely potent, even in its heat extracted form.
Potent Birch Essential Oil
Birch essential oil is used
in small quantities in men's colognes and commercial fragrances.
In larger, undiluted quantities, the oil can have potentially
toxic effects. It should always be used in its diluted form.
Even diluted, it should be avoided by patients who have liver
disease, blood thinning medications, the elderly, the fragile,
and the very young, pregnant or nursing mothers.
Birch oil is so potent that
it is considered an environmental and marine pollutant and contaminant.
Always use all your birch oil completely up; if you have some
leftover birch oil, dispose of it through a toxic disposal vendor
and do not simply pour it down the drain or flush it down the
As with any essential oil, a
skin patch test should be performed before the oil is used in
great quantities, to assess any allergic reaction that may occur.
Furthermore, birch essential oils should not be applied directly
to any open wounds or irritated skin. And of course, oils should
always be kept away from the reach of children.