Birch

It’s branches white in the wan moonlight ending in bone like fingers pointed skyward the Birch looks skeletal in winter with its leaves on the floor. In the spring it comes alive with leaves green and bright there are few trees which change so much with the seasons.

There are many remidies which come from the bark of the birch. Coming off of the trunk in long curls a number of different salves and balms can be made from the different sides of the bark. The outer silver bark can be used, when boiled down with spring water to cure baldness or, if hardened and washed it makes a fine soap for tick removal. The inner pulp of the bark can boiled to make a tea which will break down the hard stone of the bladder. This potion, in stronger doses cause sleep but too much will induce paralysis or even death.

The Birch is known te be the preferred home of the Ghillie Dhu, a capracious tree sprite which disguises itself as foliage and has a particular dislike of human beings. One touch from its long skeletal fingers to the head will cause a man to go mad, whilst a touch to the heart will unravel his pattern. Each of these will leave a silver-white mark. The Ghillie Dhu is protective of their trees for the power which the Birchwood holds within it. Its protective qualities make it sought after by many to look after everything from newborn bairns to cattle and knowledge.

A cradle made of Birch twigs will keep malaise away frae a newborn bairn, stopping disease and discomfort to the child. Many a new parent has been saved sleepless nights by using a crib of this kind. The protective qualities of Birch can be used te keep disease at bay in cattle by making their enclosures from beach poles. This will of course only help while the cattle are penned in though, out on the high pastures they will be susceptible to any malaise out there.

If you can find a Birch struck by lightning then shafts cut from it to make roof beams will shield your home from a second lighting strike. Paper made from the same tree will make a parchment which will not burn.

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