Betula sp p. – Birches  - Betulaceae

In Siberia the bark of birch is fashioned into bracelets, necklaces, pins and earrings.  About 60 species of birch grow in the northern hemisphere. Because of their emotional appeal to people of the north legends and symbolism about birches abound.

In Europe country people laid in a supply of “birch blood” every year.  They tapped a tree for two or three days and preserved the liquid either by sterilizing it or by adding cloves and a little cinnamon to each bottle.  This “birch blood” was taken medicinally in doses of four to six tablespoons per day.

The durable and very tough skin taken from the bark was long used as parchment or paper.  When worn inside the shoes, the bark was believed to promote perspiration that was helpful for some chronic conditions.  Oil of birch gives Russian leather its particular fragrance