Indian Paper Birch (Betula utilis)

B. bhojpattra.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Indian Paper Birch
Betula utilis

A paper is made from the inner bark[46, 51, 61]. The outer bark can be carefully peeled off the tree (this does not harm the tree) and used as a paper[158].

The outer bark can also be used as a waterproofing and for roofing houses[51, 146, 272].

The bark is sometimes used as an incense[272].

Wood – tough, even grained, moderately hard, elastic. Used for construction[51, 146, 158, 272].

  • Medicinal Use

    An infusion of the bark is antiseptic and carminative[240, 243, 272]. It has been used in the treatment of hysteria and jaundice[240, 243, 272]. It is applied as drops to the ears to rlieve earache[272]. A paste made from the bark is used as a poultice on cuts, wounds and burns[272].

  • Edible Use

    None known

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame[78, 80, 113, 134]. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position[78, 80, 134]. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame[113, 134]. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help[134]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter[78, 80, 113, 134].
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered position[11, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes wet soils[200]. Shade tolerant[200]. Plants are showing good wind-resistance on our Cornish trial ground[K]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[50]. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process[20]. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
E. Asia – Himalayas to S.W. China.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.