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Thread: Birch tar/oil uses...

  1. #1

    Default Birch tar/oil uses...

    I recall seeing a mention on a show I watched recently (although I cant recall the show), that Birch tar/oil can be used as an effective insect repellent.
    I have read a lot in regards to the benefits of birch oil, being a disinfectant, working well as a natural polysporin, etc. However, I haven't been able to find much (or any) information about it used as a repellent.
    Has anyone tried this?

    I have not yet made any birch oils, but I do plan to start doing so this summer. That said, I do very much love the smell of birch as it burns, and I wonder if the oils have a similar smell? If so, I would much rather wear birch oil than the off the shelf stuff, which smells like...well...bug spray, LoL.

    Another use for birch tar, I had seen done, was to mix 2 parts birch oil with 1 part ash, and heat it well. It then gets applied as a glue, and when cooled it becomes very solid.

    Thanks for your help,
    and any other uses for birch tar/oil would be great.


    (edit: I forgot the "I" in Polysporin, as a result, I was denied posting due to 'forbidden word'. LoL, found it amusing, thought I'd share)


  2. #2

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    It works well as a repellent I can confirm that, as for the smell. The oil doesn't smell as much like burning bark to me as it does the fresh.
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  3. #3

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    Do you need to dilute it, or us just dip a finger in the jar and apply a few drops to skin?
    Im pretty interested in this, any details you could provide would be great.
    Thanks again

  4. #4
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    I have personally made birch bark oil and tried it as a mosquito repellent. It did not work here in south central Alaska. the movie I watched said it needed to be mixed with fish oil or some other oil though. I have not tried the mix yet. There are However, many plants found in the woods that make a good emergency mosquito repellent. And they do work. The Birch Bark oil smells VERY strongly of woodsmoke smell. I have videos on my YouTube channel both on how to make the birch bark oil as well as what northern wilderness plants are effective as repellent. I demo-ed the plants in the woods and showed their effectiveness in real time if you are interested.

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    I forgot to add that the oil is flammable and I have made a lamp using the oil, a birch tree shelf fungus and amadou. It is a smoky lamp though. I use the birch bark oil mixed with caribou tallow as my leather preservative for my boots and gloves. I also use the oil on my carbon steel knife blade to keep the steel from rusting.

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    "sorry backside" rebel's Avatar
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    Good post.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by phreshayr View Post
    I have personally made birch bark oil and tried it as a mosquito repellent. It did not work here in south central Alaska. the movie I watched said it needed to be mixed with fish oil or some other oil though. I have not tried the mix yet. There are However, many plants found in the woods that make a good emergency mosquito repellent. And they do work. The Birch Bark oil smells VERY strongly of woodsmoke smell. I have videos on my YouTube channel both on how to make the birch bark oil as well as what northern wilderness plants are effective as repellent. I demo-ed the plants in the woods and showed their effectiveness in real time if you are interested.
    Thanks.
    I checked out the video, I am a bit confused however. You mentioned how you essentially extracted the oils from the plants by putting them in a bit of water and cooking slowly, you then added this to an oil base.
    My question is the mixing into the oil (forgive me if you mentioned these things and I missed it).

    I would assume that you mixed the water with the oil? If so, does simply shaking the container before applying bind the oil and water enough? Or did you put the plant leaves in the oil and cook it that way?

    I will have to write down the plants you mentioned and find out if they are native to my area, and look into what else works here.

    Off topic: I also watched your video about lining a canoe. Very helpful, I'm sure this will come in handy in the future. There was a shallow swamp I was trying to get my canoe through, a few years back, in order to carry on, however I wasnt able to do so, as I wasnt able to steer the canoe properly from shore and havent tried since. This may very well be the technique I need to get through. Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlintonSteele View Post
    Thanks. I checked out the video, I am a bit confused however. You mentioned how you essentially extracted the oils from the plants by putting them in a bit of water and cooking slowly, you then added this to an oil base. My question is the mixing into the oil (forgive me if you mentioned these things and I missed it). I would assume that you mixed the water with the oil? If so, does simply shaking the container before applying bind the oil and water enough? Or did you put the plant leaves in the oil and cook it that way?............
    I cooked the plants in the oil directly. The plants really should not be "cooked" but rather just heated. Like I mentioned in the video, putting the plants in oil in a slow cooker that is on its l lowest setting is great for making a repellent. That same method works well for a lot of wild plant medicinal preparations as well. Hope that canoe lining technique works well for you.

  9. #9

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    I just wanted to add for the person interested in birch tar oil as an insect repellant. I have studied herbs and essential oils since I first went to the woods as a child. Remember, almost all essential oils except lavendar should generally for skin safety, be diluted with a carrier oil, i.e., olive oil or something similar. The oils can be irritating to the skin unless diluted. Thought I'd also add that Pennyroyal essential oil and clove essential oil are wonderful insect repellants. I use them on myself and as a flea repellant for my dog. As a flea repellant, I put some drops on a bandana and put it as a dashing fashion accessory for Sam, my Papillion. I love the wild herbs and plants that are so good for you. I have a Peterson's Field Guide of Medicinal Plants and find it interesting and a wonderful tool. Happy rambling.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    If I was a dog named Sam and you put a fashion accessory on me I would be totally p.o.'d. Other than that, welcome. We have an introduction section if you care to tells us more about yourself.

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...-Introductions

    Oh, never mind. I just looked up Papillion. I get it.

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    My dog seems to like pooh smell. If she finds any, she is sure to roll in it to make sure she gets it all over herself. She is such a Bi.....
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Friend of mine swears by rubbing some birch oil on his feet during thunderstorms.......also drinks birch tea.

    Claims he got it form a medicine women....to keep lightning away...has been hit 3 times...2 while on the phone, once in his truck....
    Works because birch trees never get hit by lightning.

    Don't know if its true or not, but he was the one that gave me my "buckeye" nut for arthritis...that he got for the same lady.
    That's does help....I think.

    If it clouds up.....I just leave.
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    The oil probably works because he's busy putting it on his feet and not talking on a land line or riding in the truck. Nothing better than a sound conclusion derived by faulty logic. Lord knows I've landed there a time or two.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Sounded good after about the third beer......
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    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    I use birch oil to repel elephants. So far so good.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finallyME View Post
    I use birch oil to repel elephants. So far so good.
    Haven't seen any yet?....
    Must work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FinallyMe
    I use birch oil to repel elephants. So far so good.


    That right there is funny I don't care who you are. Thanks for the laugh.

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