Birch Tea for Joint Health
Birch trees are a common sight in the forested regions across the northern hemisphere. Its distinctly patterned bark has served to fascinate humanity, giving rise to much folklore and a variety of nicknames, including ‘The Watchful Tree’ for the many dark formations on the bark that seem to resemble observant eyes. Though the appearance of the tree has certainly fascinated people for many generations, birch has even more value, as its leaves, buds, twigs and barks are all known to offer medicinal benefits. For many generations, people have used birch tea for a wide number of benefits, including its ability to promote healthy joints and ease joint ache.
What Causes Joint Ache
Our joints are an integral part of our health, and their function has a direct impact not only on our mobility, but on our ability to perform simple everyday tasks. Joint problems are a common issue, especially as we age, and they can range in severity from mild intermittent aches to a constant severe pain. There are a number of things that can cause joint pain, including:
Injury: Trauma to the joint or the surrounding muscle is likely to result in pain. In most cases, when an injury heals, the pain will subside. Some injuries, however, may cause scarring or heal incorrectly, which will result in lasting pain or pain that develops later in life.
Illness: Some illnesses may result in joint pain, particularly infections that cause a fever or inflammation. Usually, pain will subside once the infection is eliminated.
Repeated Use: Constant repetition of physical tasks can lead to strain on the muscles or the joint itself, often resulting in inflammation and pain in the affected joint. Activities that result in such joint ache may be anything from sports or jobs requiring one to frequently bend, lift and carry to even miniscule actions such as long periods of time spent typing on a keyboard.
Osteoarthritis: There are more than 200 variations of arthritis, but all of them deal with some form of damage to the protective cartilage, a type of tissue that cushions the joints and allows them to move easily without grinding against the bone. Without this protective cartilage, movement of the joints becomes painful. Cartilage damage may be the result of an injury, or of natural wear that occurs with aging.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: This type of arthritis is the result of inflammation to the joint, and differs from other types of inflammation as there is no discernible cause for the inflammation. RA is classified as an autoimmune disease, and is usually treated by medication and therapy.
Gout: Elevated levels of uric acid in the blood form crystalized buildup that are then deposited in the joints and cause severe inflammation. While gout can appear in places other than the joints, it is most commonly seen in the foot, particularly in the joint of the big toe.
Cancer: Though the least common cause of joint pain, some cancers may form in the bone or other tissues of the joint, resulting in pain.
How Birch Tea Helps Joint Health
Birch tea has been used for generations as a natural remedy for a variety of joint pain. Birch tea contains betulinic acid, which has been identified as an anti-inflammatory agent. This helps to bring down inflammation in the joints, thus easing the pain caused by the inflammation. Birch tea also contains a natural pain reliever called salicylate, the same compound as is found in aspirin. This compound helps to naturally relieve pain, and also reduces fevers, providing further natural relief to aching joints.
Birch tea also helps to protect against various causes of joint pain. Its natural antibacterial and antiviral properties help the body to stave off infection, and as a fever reducer, it helps to regulate high fevers that often cause joint ache. It is also a natural diuretic, which is highly effective at reducing the risk of gout by increasing the elimination of uric acid through urination. Overall, birch tea has a vast number of effects that make it highly beneficial for maintaining healthy joints.