Three new retail outlets for P.Birch products.
Frome Whole foods, Somerset and No4 Bampton and Brimblecombe Dulverton. See 'Find Birch' page.
British Stylist Lisa Eldridge recommended P.B. birch sap and moisturisers in her favourite roundup of products for Vanity Files, Marie Claire magazine, January Issue 2017 USA edition.
The teeny weeny little paragraph at the bottom right of the page says:
"Local Favourite": Priestlands Birch makes a birch water and creams with birch sap. I discovered them at the London Farmers Market on Hampstead Heath, near where I live in London."
Priestlands birch was invited to trade at the RHS Harvest Festival show held at their headquarters in Vinent Square, London in October.
It was a great success and we met and chatted to lots visitors including gardeners who came to see the stunning presentation of award winning fruit and vegetables, including giant pumpkins.
My delicate Celtic skin is being pin-cushioned by mosquitos and was reacting with swelling gusto but luckily my friend Helen the Herbalist from Elder Farm set me up with a tincture for calming down my body's rather panicky response (doesn't taste disgusting) and is giving me huge relief. I also have a spray and creme that gives great results and stops the itching. I was going to resort to taking antihistamine but haven't needed to after all.
Helen the Herbalist from Elderfarm and I went to the Steiner School Summer fair in Exeter last week and had a stall together.
We had a very interesting time and so it appears did a small child who thought my sample bar of soap was something nice to eat and took a big bite out of it. We looked in vain for the piece that must surely have been spat out. Is there a child out there somewhere foaming at the mouth?
Priestlands Birch Sap teams up with two other Exmoor-based producers of hand-crafted food and drink to create Wild & Fermented.
This natural partnership between these three entrepreneurial companies - Priestlands Birch Sap, Tracebridge Fermentaria and The Red Devon Cheese Company was formed in order to share ideas, early morning starts and inspiration. Their produce will be shown under the Wild & Fermented banner at Frome Independent market on the first Sunday of the month from April 2016 and at other venues to be confirmed here.
The medical herbal properties of Birch Sap (Betula Succus)
Trees have existed long before man. They existed in the Mesozoic era (200 million years ago) whereas man, a mere 3 million years. Trees offer so much to the wellbeing of man - tools, fuel, shelter and medicine. Silver Birch offers so much to relieve the suffering of man and the leaves, bark and sap have been used for centuries.
There are two kinds of sap - raw mineral sap collected in the spring which rises from the roots to the buds and emerging leaves. This is similar to fresh water, an intracellular organic liquid collected before leaves appear on the tree and feed the emerging buds. The minerals in this sap are essential for the rejuvenation of the dormant tree and it has been associated with rejuvenation in humans too.
The second type of sap is known as phloem sap and is produced by the leaves and back down to the roots.
There is documented use of Birch sap as early as 1350 for a variety of conditions including skin, kidney and rheumatic conditions.
Today birch sap is used for the elimination of organic waste such as uric acid and cholesterol. In turn, this improves skin conditions which are the result of the accumulation of waste products due to disorders of the excretory systems. The reduction of cellulitis is particularly responsive to Birch sap therapy. It is also useful as a part of herbal therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis as it acts on the inflammation of synovial ligaments, tendons and the contraction of muscles.
In emergencies the sap can be used as a first aid recovery from burns and in the past vets used it to treat diarrhoea in calves as a re-mineralisation and dehydration therapy.
The constituents are well documented, for herbal medicine the geography and nature of the subsoil the Birch is grown in provides subtle differences in the qualities of the sap including the minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc, two major glycosides (betuloside and monotropitoside), methyl salicylate, the plant hormone abscisic acid, 17 amino acids, mucilage and mineral salts.
March is traditionally the time to use Birch sap as a general tonic - reuniting man with the seasons and plant kingdom and harmonising the ancient relationship. Man has been dependent on plants for medicines since time began and they still serve us well today. However we have lost the skill because we have forgotten. Revive your interest and confidence in plant medicine.
Bernadette Dowling, Medical Herbalist, RN, OHN, Herb Med Bsc (hons). MCPP.
Tel: +44 (0) 1398 361607
164 Westbourne Grove,
London W11 2RW
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