Essential oils have piqued my interest in the last year, due to their supposed health benefits. Whenever I’d visit the natural food store in my college’s downtown city, I’d take a peek at the widely varied collection of bottles presented on the shelf. Initially, I was turned off by the ridiculous price on some of the oils. For example, one small 30ml bottle of lavender essential cost over $10.

The prices didn’t stop me from at least sampling the oils to see if any of them struck my fancy. Woodsy scents like frankincense smelled the best to me, and when I checked out birch essential oil, I was drawn in by its cool, minty-cherry scent. It quickly became my favorite essential oil to use at all times, especially for aromatherapy purposes.

I read online that birch essential oil is useful for combating feelings of depression, among other things. I put this to the test one night when I was feeling lonely in my dorm room, by putting a few drops on a paper towel and leaving it at the foot of my bed. After a few minutes, my mood actually lifted, and I felt cheerier. My worry that the supposed benefits were nothing but a farce melted away afterwards.

Out of curiosity, I also looked online to see what the web says about any symbolism birch may have. I wasn’t disappointed. The following is a direct quote from Eco Enchantment’s page on the Birch tree:

Birch is the first of the tree symbols, for the first moon cycle in the Ogham Tree Calendar. Known by the celts as Beith (pronounced ‘bay’) it is the symbol of new beginnings, regeneration, hope, new dawns and the promise of what is to come.
The tree carries ancient wisdom and yet appears forever young.” 

 The fact that this tree is considered to be a symbol of hope and a coming promise helps me understand why I’m so drawn to its essential oil. I also found out from my mom that the tree we used to have in our backyard happened to be a birch tree. The connection to my childhood is probably another reason why I enjoy the scent so much. I don’t think any other essential oil could hope to replace my love of birch.