Vedic talismans (yantras) are written on a special bark called as Bhojapatra. The bark of betula utilis is used for writing sacred mantras, which are placed in an amulet and worn around the neck OR kept in puja altars, for protection and blessing. This practice is mentioned in the Lakshmi Tantra, a Pancaratra text. According to the legend, the bark was also used as clothing by attendants of Lord Shiva.
The bark of Himalayan birch was used centuries ago in India as paper for writing lengthy scriptures and texts in Sanskrit and other scripts, particularly in historical Kashmir. Its use as paper for books is mentioned by early Sanskrit writers Kalidasa, Sushruta, and Varahamihira. In the late 19th century, Kashmiri pandits reported all of their books were written on Himalayan birch bark until Akbar introduced paper in the 16th century. The Sanskrit word for the tree is bhurjaâ€”sharing a similarity with other Indo-European words that provide the origin for the common name "birch".
The papery layer of birch bark is considered to be highly astringent agent. By virtue of such quality its external use is recommended as styptic (to stop bleeding) and to stop any purulent discharge. Hence it is used more often to clean the wounds. Ayurveda also uses Birch in many formulations for obesity and other disorders of lipid metabolism. It has been described to be effective herb for treatment of obesity.
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