Tar is a natural liquid product which is obtained by a wood processing (dry distillation). In Russia the main raw material to obtain this product is wood of birch.
The birch is a deciduous tree that grows anywhere around the world. And in Russia the birch generally is the most common and famous tree. It is some symbol of our country and has an important place in our culture.
Every Russian knows what the birch looks like since he was a kid. This is the beautiful slender tree with a dense branchy crown. Another distinctive feature of the birch is a white with black elements trunk. Height of the birch is usually from 15 to 30 meters. Longevity of this beauty tree is usually to 100 years (very seldom to 300 years).
Population of the birch is caused by not only its beauty but its useful properties. The birch has many different applications in the life of people. The main feature of that amazing tree is its healing property. People use its benefits in the treatment of different deceases for many centuries. In this all the components of the birch such as leaves, buds or roots are very useful.
Also the tar that is obtained from the birch wood has many helpful properties. It is very widely used in various areas of our life especially in folk and official medicine including veterinary and in pharmacology and cosmetology as well.
Externally, the birch tar is viscous oily liquid with dark, brownish-black color. It has a sharp specific flavor.
Method of obtainment is based on a dry distillation of the birch wood. The point of method is the wood is destroyed under influence of high temperature and lack of oxygen therefore difficult chemical elements split into more simple components. As a result the tar viscous liquid is formed. Then the tar is subjected to fractional distillation to split on high and low fractions. Low fraction is the tar that can be used in medicine. High tar fraction is the technical material that is widely used in industry.
The tar content is very reach. It contains a big amount of useful elements. We can allocate the most valuable of them:
• Salicylic acid;
• Tanning agents;
• Essential oils;
This product contains a small amount of carcinogens as well. Unfortunately deleting of these elements from the tar content will lead to losing all the healing properties.
Applications in medicine
Because of its rich content the birch tar is widely used in the treatment of different deceases. We can allocate its main properties:
Such kind of healing influence can explain its widely use as a natural antibiotic in the treatment of different infections and inflammatory deceases:
• skin infections (dermatitis, shingles, herpes, other fungal infections);
• parasitic, the deceases resulting of some infestations (scabies and similar deceases);
• systemic autoimmune deceases (psoriasis, eczema etc.);
• skin inflammatory processes (gangrene, trophic ulcer).
Deceases of the urinary system
• urinary tract infections (cystitis, urethritis);
• inflammations and fungal infections of in the genitals (mastitis, adnexitis, endometritis, prostatitis, candidiasis, herpes etc.;
• kidney infections (pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis);
Deceases of the digestive system
• gastro-intestinal infections;
• parasitic in the gastro-intestinal tract (giardiasis, helmintosis, ascariasis and so on);
• liver inflammations (hepapitis);
Deceases of the airways
• infectious and inflammatory of upper airways (pneumonia, bronchitis etc.);
• virus infestations (for example, tuberculosis);
Deceases of the ENT organs
• virus and infectious illnesses (angina, otitis, sinusitis etc.);
• mouth infections (gingivitis, stomatitis etc).
In addition to effective use of the birch tar in the treatment of infectious and inflammatory deceases, it is applied for eliminating toxins from the body. There is a complex restoration of the main body functions such as follow:
• to restorative the normal metabolic process;
• to improve the heart activity, clean the blood and the blood vessels;
• to normalize the blood pressure;
• to prevent the blood clotting;
• to eliminate toxins from the body;
• to normalize digestive processes;
• to strengthen the immune system;
• to eliminate excessive liquid from the body that helps to get rid of edemas;
• to help for a removal of stones in the gallbladder and the urinary bladder;
• to improve the skin, to avoid it from different inflammations and irritations.
The ways to use
The main way of the birch tar use is its external applying both in folk and official medicine. The birch tar is generally used in the treatment of dermatological deceases.
You can apply finished ointments based on the birch tar. In Russia the most famous medicaments based on the birch tar are ichthyol ointment, Vishnevsky liniment, Wilkinson ointment.
Also you can prepare a healing remedy with the birch tar independently. Advantage of such independent preparing is first your confidence in product quality. In the second you can pick up independently density of the birch tar that you need. The density usually depends on kind and the complexity of decease.
You can mix the birch tar and any vegetable oil, kindled animal fat, honey or glycerin. If you need a drying effect you can mix the birch tar with medical alcohol.
It’s very important to remember that would not be desirable to external use the birch tar in the pure form. Firstly it is very difficultly to rinse the tar off from the skin since the birch tar is a very viscous substance. Besides the tar is a high-concentrate product and it causes to skin irritant and even a severe burning.
In folk medicine it is allowed to taking the birch tar inside for the treatment of internal infectious and inflammatory deceases and for the body detoxification as well.
There are many different methods and schemes of taking the birch tar inside. They depend on a kind and difficulty of decease. The most common method is to dilute the tar (not more than some drops) with water or milk and then to take it in according to certain scheme. Usually you should begin from one drop and increase the dozen gradually.
The tar water
Another popular approach of the tar use is preparing of tar water. For its preparing you should pour 3 liters of water into a glass container and add 200 grams of the pure tar. Then you must mix thoroughly all that during 5 minutes at least. Then you should put the container closed tightly into a dark place for about a week but not less than 3 days. You must not forget everyday to mix it as well. On the last day you need to drain water carefully from the container. That is the finished tar water. Externally, the tar water must be transparent and as though glowed from inside. You should store that water into glassware closed tightly.
You can use such water as well internally, but not exceeding the dosages, as externally, for example in cosmetics.
The usage scheme and dozens depend on the problem that you need to decide. For the body detoxification for example, it is recommended to take 2 tablespoons one time a day before eating (better in the morning) during 10-15 days. You can repeat the treatment course 3-4 times a year.
Applications in cosmetology
Because of its unique properties the birch tar is widely used in cosmetology. Applying of cosmetics based on the tar helps to decide the following problems:
- Oily and problem face skin. This natural product decreases irritant and inflammations and helps to get rid of acne. Cosmetics based on the birch tar clean the face skin very effectively and normalize the sebaceous activity.
- Oiliness of head skin, dandruff and hair loss. Use of cosmetics with the birch tar removes skin irritation and redness. Because of its antifungal properties, the birch tar gets rid of dandruff and related hair loss.
For cosmetic care there are many products that include the birch tar. These are different shampoos, masks and famous in Russia the tar soap as well.
Besides you can prepare remedies based in the birch tar independently to use them for cosmetic purposes. For example, it will be very effectively and convenient to use the tar water in these cases.
- Individual intolerance to components of the birch tar.
- Pregnancy including period of planning the pregnancy, lactation period and childhood as well.
- Exacerbation of chronic dermatological deceases.
- If you have opened wounds.
- It is not recommended to use the pure birch tar (besides some cases such as fungus). The pure birch tar has high-concentrate content. If you apply the tar in the pure form onto your skin you can get a burning.
- External use of products with the birch tar can raise skin sensitive to the sun for some times. Protect your skin from sunlight or apply sunscreens during the period of the tar use and some time after.
- It is prohibited to take the pure tar that can lead to a severe poisoning.
- Consult with a doctor before beginning of the treatment.
- During the treatment it is essential to adhere to the dozens which depend on a kind of the deceases.
- Course of the treatment is from 10 days to 1 month. The longer use of the birch tar can cause to the body intoxication since the tar contains some quantity of carcinogens. These carcinogens can accumulate in the body and harm it. Symptoms of the intoxication can be nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, dizziness and cramps. If you are have these symptoms you will have to stop the treatment and see a doctor immediately.
Storage terms and shelf life
The storage of the birch tar doesn’t request any special terms. The single condition that the birch tar should store in the dark place protected from sunlight.
Shelf life of the pure birch tar is about 5 years.