Take this bark and call me in the morning

A factory in Two Harbors, Minn., is using a process developed at the University of Minnesota’s Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth to extract chemicals from birch bark.

The bark contains three compounds from which researchers aim to derive nutritional supplements, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals: Betulin, lupeol, and betulinic acid.

All contain anti-inflammatory properties which have been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, treat fungal and bacterial infections, stimulate the immune system, and more.

Read a University of Minnesota news release describing the research behind the process.