Looking for Something?

New study finds birch bark helps heal skin


A new study has found  that Birch Bark significantly speeds up and aides the skin healing process and could help with faster healing of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

birch treesBirch bark tar has been used as a remedy for acne, eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and itchy skin conditions as well as for cracked or ulcerated skin for centuries. However with the advent of the modern cosmetics industry, the benefits of birch bark tar have largely been forgotten.

Birch bark tar is made from the dry distillation of the bark of Birch trees. This process is really old. There is evidence that people were dry distilling birch tar in what is now Germany 40,000 years ago to make a glue for using in the production of weaponry.

[quote]In the past birch bark tar for skin tends to be found mostly in the form of soap. In Russia birch bark tar soap is still commonly used for treating dry, broken or itchy skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis as well as for infected acne.[/quote]

Birch bark tar works on damaged skin due to a naturally occurring salicylic acid (an organic plant hormone) and methyl salicylate (an organic ester) in birch tar.  It also helps stave off infections and speed up the healing process because of it’s disinfectant and antiseptic properties.

birch bark soap[quote]Recently, the efficacy of birch bark tar preparations has been proven clinically in a trial carried out at the University of Freiburg and published in January 2014 in the medical journal Plos One. The aim of the study was to scientifically prove the exact molecular mechanism of how birch bark helps damaged skin heal more quickly.[/quote]

The study found that a naturally occurring substance in birch bark extract called betulin works positively in the initial inflammation process of a new skin wound or skin trauma or damage.

In addition in the second phase of wound healing, betulin and a two more naturally occurring substances in birch bark called lupeol and erythrodiol help increase the production of certain proteins in skin cells that speed up and strengthen the formation of new skin cell structures during the healing process.




  • Joan

    Need a blend for severe eczema.

  • Connie Yanicka

    25 Jan. 2015

    On January 30, 2014, your magazine published an article about some of the positive effects of birch bark tar. I have a Russian/American friend who would like to buy a small amount of birch bark tar gum. Can you suggest a vendor that could supply it? If so, please end me an e-mail address for the vendor, or other contact information.

    Thank you.
    Connie Yanicka


Sign up to Skin Magazine email, to receive all the latest news.