Birch (Betula alba) is associated with purification, protection, and exorcism, and represents renewal, rebirth, and beginnings as it is the first tree after Winter to come into leaf.
To ward off the evil eye, tie a red ribbon on the branch of one of these lovely trees. To exorcise people and animals by gently striking them with the twigs of this tree. The wood was once used to make cradles as the wood would protect the young one within as well as boughs hung over the child to keep them from being enchanted by the Little People.
Birch will also protect against lightning. The branches were marked with ogham and carried for protection in small pouches as well as given to newlyweds for fertility. In Wales, the Birch is a tree of love, and wreaths are made of branches and twigs as tokens of love.
When beginning a new project or journey, call upon the powers of the Birch as it is also a tree of new beginnings and new viewpoints. Birch rods are used in protection spells and carried to protect from malicious magics (crossing/hexing) or even mundane situations/people.
The resinous substance secreted by young shoots and leaves have acidic properties and when combined with alkalies, create a tonic laxative.
To aid with dropsy, gout, and rheumatism, make an infusion (Birch Tea). This tea is also valuable in dissolving kidney stones.
An infusion made with the bark can be employed for treating and the ridding of putrefaction. A decoction (boiled in water) will aid skin eruptions and dropsy by bathing the area with the birch bark water.