3. Bet'Ula Len'Ta, Sweet-, Spice-Birch

Bet'Ula Len'Ta, Sweet-, Spice-Birch. Betulaceae. The volatile oil distilled from the bark, official 1890-1910; N. America (Newfoundland to Georgia, west), forests. Plant large tree, bark dark brown, sweet, aromatic, not separable into layers, but in spring exudes sweetish, edible juice; leaves ovate, acuminate, serrate, peti-olate; flowers catkins, staminate, pistillate; wood reddish, strong, compact. Oil (natural oil of wintergreen) exists in plant as a glucoside, gaultherin, which must be hydrolized, by inherent ferment in the presence of water (macerating bark for 12 hours), into methyl salicylate and glucose, and then distilled; it is a colorless, yellowish liquid, characteristic aromatic odor, sweet, warm, aromatic taste, optically inactive, as is methyl salicylate, sp. gr. 1.187; consists of methyl salicylate, CH3C7H5O3, 99.8 p. c, triacontan (paraffin), C30H62, ester, C14H24O2, but no alcohol as in oil of gaultheria. Adulterations: Methyl salicylate, alcohol, phenols, oil of turpentine, petroleum, etc. Properties, uses, poisoning same as oil of gaultheria. This bark and gaultheria leaves are distilled together indiscriminately in varying proportions for the volatile oil. Dose, v-10 (.3-.6 Ml. (Cc.)), gradually increased. B. al'ba. - Asia, Europe, N. America (Can. to Penn.). The buds and twigs yield by distillation .33 p. c. of colorless volatile oil; the wood and bark (in layers) yield brown birch tar, having odor of Russia leather. When this tar is distilled we get Oleum Betuloe Empy-reumaiicum Rectificatum (Oleum Rusci Rectificatum). B. papyrifera, Paper or Canoe Birch (White Birch) - Canada, New York. This has cordate leaves, tough white bark, splitting into papery layers. Used by the Indians in making canoes.