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Medicinal Trees: Oak (Quercus)

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Sixty-nine varieties of Oak can been found useful in Herbal Medicine: Quercus acuta - Japanese Evergreen Oak, Quercus acutissima - Sawthorn Oak, Quercus agrifolia – Encina, Quercus alba - White Oak, Quercus aliena - Oriental White Oak, Quercus aucheri - Boz-Pirnal Oak, Quercus bicolor - Swamp White Oak, Quercus cerris - Turkey Oak, Quercus coccifera - Kermes Oak, Quercus coccinea - Scarlet Oak, Quercus dentata - Japanese Emperor Oak, Quercus douglasii - Blue Oak, Quercus dumosa revoluta - California Scrub Oak, Quercus ellipsoidalis - Northern Pin Oak, Quercus emoryi - Black Oak, Quercus engelmannii - Evergreen Oak, Quercus falcata - Southern Red Oak, Quercus floribunda, Quercus frainetto - Hungarian Oak, Quercus fruticose, Quercus gambelii - Shin Oak, Quercus garryana - Oregon White Oak, Quercus glauca, Quercus hispanica, Quercus chrysolepis - Live Oak, Quercus ilex - Holly Oak, Quercus ilex ballota - Holm Oak, Quercus imbricaria - Shingle Oak, Quercus infectoria - Aleppo Oak, Quercus ithaburensis macrolepis - Valonia Oak, Quercus kelloggii - Californian Black Oak, Quercus laevis - American Turkey Oak, Quercus lamellosa - Bull Oak, Quercus leucotrichophora, Quercus libani - Lebanon Oak, Quercus lineata, Quercus lobata - Californian White Oak, Quercus lyrata - Overcup Oak, Quercus macrocarpa - Burr Oak, Quercus marilandica - Blackjack Oak, Quercus michauxii - Swamp Chestnut Oak, Quercus mongolica, Quercus mongolica grosseserrata, Quercus muehlenbergii - Yellow Chestnut Oak, Quercus myrsinaefolia, Quercus nigra - Water Oak, Quercus oblongifolia - Mexican Blue Oak, Quercus palustris - Pin Oak, Quercus petraea - Sessile Oak, Quercus phellos - Willow Oak, Quercus phillyreoides, Quercus prinoides - Dwarf Chinkapin Oak, Quercus prinus - Rock Chestnut Oak, Quercus pubescens - Downy Oak, Quercus pungens - Sandpaper Oak, Quercus robur - Pedunculate Oak, Quercus rubra - Red Oak, Quercus semecarpifolia, Quercus serrata, Quercus shumardii - Shumard Oak, Quercus stellata - Post Oak, Quercus suber - Cork Oak, Quercus suber occidentalis - Cork Oak, Quercus undulata - Wavyleaf Oak, Quercus variabilis - Chinese Cork Oak, Quercus velutina - Black Oak, Quercus virginiana - Live Oak, Quercus wislizenii - Live Oak, Quercus x bebbiana

A great many oaks are native to my region and are one of the main reasons that North Carolina was called “The Cradle of Forestry In America”. Only the Magnolia rivals the Live Oak as emblematic of the American South, the famous “Angel Oak” being a magnificent example. Native to my region are: Quercus alba (White Oak), Quercus austrina (Bluff Oak), Quercus bicolor (Swamp White Oak), Quercus coccinea (Scarlet Oak), Quercus falcata (Southern Red Oak, Spanish Oak), Quercus geminata (Sand Live Oak), Quercus georgiana (Georgia Oak), Quercus hemisphaerica (Sand Laurel Oak, Darlington Oak), Quercus imbricaria (Shingle Oak), Quercus incana (Bluejack Oak), Quercus laevis (Turkey Oak), Quercus laurifolia (Laurel Oak), Quercus lyrata (Overcup Oak), Quercus margaretta (Sand Post Oak), Quercus marilandica var. marilandica (Blackjack Oak), Quercus michauxii (Swamp Chestnut Oak), Quercus montana (Chestnut Oak), Quercus muehlenbergii (Chinkapin Oak), Quercus nigra (Water Oak), Quercus pagoda (Cherrybark Oak), Quercus palustris (Pin Oak), Quercus phellos (Willow Oak), Quercus prinoides (Dwarf Chinkapin Oak), Quercus rubra var. ambigua (Northern Red Oak), Quercus rubra var. rubra (Northern Red Oak), Quercus shumardii (Shumard Oak), Quercus stellata (Post Oak), Quercus velutina (Black Oak), Quercus virginiana (Live Oak). Two oaks have been naturalized here, Quercus acutissima (Sawtooth Oak) and Quercus variabilis (Chinese Cork Oak)

Dioscorides wrote of Oak:

Each part of the oak is astringent, but the film which lies between the bark and the stock (similar to that under the cup of the acorn) is most therapeutic for the bowels. A decoction of this is given for coeliac [intestinal complaints], dysentery, and to blood-spitters, and pounded into small pieces it is put into suppositories for women troubled with excessive discharges of the womb.

Acorns …are also diuretic. Eaten as meat they cause headaches and are wind-inducing, but also help poisonous bites. A decoction of them and their bark (taken as a drink with cows' milk) helps poisoning. The unripe ones pounded into small pieces and applied as a poultice relieve inflammation. With salted swines’ grease they are good for malignant calluses and injurious ulcers. Those of the ilex [holly oak — Quercus ilex] have greater strength than those of the oak.

Cecides [oak gall] is a fruit of the oak, of which some is called omphacitis. It is little, knobby, heavy and without a hole. Some is smooth and light and has a hole in it, but the omphacitis ought to be chosen as it is the most effective. Either of them is strongly astringent. Pounded into small pieces they stop abnormal growths of the flesh, and stop discharges of the gums and the middle ear, as well as ulcers of the mouth. That which is in the middle of them put into the cavities of teeth eases the pain. Laid on hot coals until they are set on fire and quenched with wine, vinegar, or brine made with vinegar they are able to staunch blood. A decoction of them is good in hip baths for a prolapsed uterus and for discharges. They make the hair black steeped in vinegar or water. They are good for coeliac [intestinal complaints] and dysentery pounded into small pieces and rubbed on, or taken as a drink with wine or water, and also mixed with sauce, or first boiled whole in water (with which you must boil something else too, of things that are good for people). Generally where there is need of an astringent, or to stop or dry, you ought to make use of them.

Gerard wrote of Oak:

A. The leaves, bark, acorn cups, and the acorns themselves, do mightily bind and dry in the third degree, being somewhat cold withal.

B. The best of them, saith Galen, is the thin skin which is under the bark of the tree, and that next, which lieth nearest to the pulp, or inner substance of the acorn; all these stay the whites, the reds, spitting of blood and lasks: the decoction of these is given, or the powder of them dried, for the purposes aforesaid.

C. Acorns if they be eaten are hardly concocted, they yield no nourishment to man's body, but that which is gross, raw, and cold.

D. Swine are fatted herewith, and by feeding hereon have their flesh hard and sound.

E. The acorns provoke urine, and are good against all venom and poison, but they are not of such a stopping and binding faculty as the leaves and barke.

F. The Oak apples are good against all fluxes of blood and lasks, in what manner soever they be taken, but the best way is to boil them in red wine, and being so prepared, they are good also against the excessive moisture and swelling of the jaws and almonds or kernels of the throat.

G. The decoction of Oak apples stayeth women's diseases, and causeth the mother that is fallen down to return again to the natural place, if they do sit over the said decoction being very hot.

H. The same steeped in strong white wine vinegar, with a little powder of brimstone, and the root of Ireos mingled together, and set in the sun by the space of a month, maketh the hair black, consumeth proud and superfluous flesh, taketh away sun-burning, freckles, spots, the morphew, with all deformities of the face, being washed therewith.

I. The Oak Apples being broken in sunder about the time of their withering, do foreshew the sequel of the year, as the expert Kentish husbandmen have observed by the living things found in them: as if they find an ant, they foretell plenty of grain to ensue: if a white worm like a gentle or maggot, then they prognosticate murrain of beats and cattle; if a spider, then (say they) we shall have a pestilence or some such like sickness to follow amongst men: these things the learned also have observed and noted; for Matthiolus writing upon Dioscorides saith, that before they have an hole through them, they contain in them either a fly, a spider, or a worm: if a fly, then war insueth, if a creeping worm, then scarcity of victuals, if a running spider, then followeth great sickness or mortality.

Culpepper wrote:

It is so well known (the timber thereof being the glory and safety of this nation by sea) that it needs no description. Jupiter owns the tree. The leaves and bark of the Oak, and the acorn cups, do bind and dry very much. The inner bark of the tree, and the thin skin that covers the acorn, are most used to stay the spitting of blood, and the bloody-flux. The decoction of that bark, and the powder of the cups, do stay vomitings, spitting of blood, bleeding at the mouth, or other fluxes of blood, in men or women; lasks also, and the nocturnal involuntary flux of men. The acorn in powder taken in wine, provokes urine, and resists the poison of venomous creatures. The decoction of acorns and the bark made in milk and taken, resists the force of poisonous herbs and medicines, as also the virulency of cantharides, when one by eating them hath his bladder exulcerated, and voids bloody urine. Hippocrates saith, he used the fumes of Oak leaves to women that were troubled with the strangling of the mother; and Galen applied them, being bruised, to cure green wounds. The distilled water of the Oaken bud, before they break out into leaves is good to be used either inwardly or outwardly, to assuage inflammations, and to stop all manner of fluxes in man or woman. The same is singularly good in pestilential and hot burning fevers; for it resists the force of the infection, and allays the heat. It cools the heat of the liver, breaking the stone in the kidneys, and stays women's courses. The decoction of the leaves works the same effects. The water that is found in the hollow places of old Oaks, is very effectual against any foul or spreading scabs. The distilled water (or concoction, which is better) of the leaves, is one of the best remedies that I know of for the whites in women.

Mrs. Grieve included interesting historical bacgkround in her writings on Oak:

The Oak is noted for the slowness of its growth, as well as for the large size to which it attains. In eighty years the trunk is said not to exceed 20 inches in diameter, but old trees reach a great girth. The famous Fairlop Oak in Hainault Forest measured 36 feet in girth, the spreading boughs extending above 300 feet in circumference. The Newland Oak in Gloucestershire measures 46 feet 4 inches at 1 foot from the ground, and is one of the largest and oldest in the kingdom, these measurements being exceeded, however, by those of the Courthorpe Oak in Yorkshire, which Hooker reports as attaining the extraordinary girth of 70 feet. King Arthur's Round Table was made from a single slice of oak, cut from an enormous bole, and is still shown at Winchester.

Humboldt refers to an oak in the Département de la Charente-Inférieure measuring nearly 90 feet in circumference near the base; near Breslau an oak fell in 1857 measuring 66 feet in circumference at the base. These large trees are for the most part decayed and hollow in the interior, and their age has been estimated at from one to two thousand years.

The famous Oak of Mamre, Abram's Oak, was illustrated formerly in the Transactions of the Linnean Society, by Dr. Hooker. It is a fine specimen of the species Q. Coccifera, the prickly evergreen or Kermes Oak, a native of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean; the insect (coccus) from which it derives its name yielding the dye known as 'Turkey red.' Abram's Oak is 22 feet in circumference; it is popularly supposed to represent the spot where the tree grew under which Abraham pitched his tent. There is a superstition that any person who cuts or maims this oak will lose his firstborn son.

The oak of Libbeiya in the Lebanon measures 37 feet in girth, and its branches cover an area whose circumference measured over 90 yards. The Arab name is Sindian.

The Greeks held the Oak sacred, the Romans dedicated it to Jupiter, and the Druids venerated it.

In England the name Gospel Oak is still retained in many counties, relating to the time when Psalms and Gospel truths were uttered beneath their shade. They were notable objects as resting-places in the 'beating of the parish bounds,' a practice supposed to have been derived from the feast to the god Terminus.

The following is a quotation from Withers:

'That every man might keep his own possessions,

Our fathers used, in reverent processions,

With zealous prayers, and with praiseful cheere,

To walk their parish limits once a year;

And well-known marks (which sacrilegious hands

Now cut or breake) so bordered out their lands,

That every one distinctly knew his owne,

And brawles now rife were then unknowne.'

The ceremony was performed by the clergyman and his parishioners going the boundaries of the parish and choosing the most remarkable sites (oak-trees being specially selected) to read passages from the Gospels, and ask blessings for the people.

'Dearest, bury me

Under that holy oke, or Gospel Tree;

Where, though thou see'st not, thou may'st think upon

Me, when you yearly go'st Procession.'


Many of these Gospel trees are still alive five in different parts of England.

An old proverb relating to the oak is still a form of speculation on the weather in many country districts.

'If the Oak's before the Ash,

Then you'll only get a splash;

If the Ash before the Oak,

Then you may expect a soak.'

The technical name of the Oak is said to be derived from the Celtic quer (fine) and cuez (tree).

A curious custom in connexion with wearing an oak-leaf (or preferably an oak-apple) on May 29, still exists in some villages in South Wilts. Each one has the right to collect fallen branches in a certain large wood in the district. To claim this privilege each villager has to bring them home shouting 'Grovely, Grovely, and all Grovely!' (this being the name of the large wood).

After the Oak has passed its century, it increases by less than an inch a year, but the wood matured in this leisurely fashion is practically indestructible. Edward the Confessor's shrine in Westminster Abbey is of oak that has outlasted the changes of 800 years. Logs have been dug from peat bogs, in good preservation and fit for rough building purposes, that were submerged a thousand years ago. In the Severn, breakwaters are still used as casual landing-places, where piles of oak are said to have been driven by the Romans.

Medicinal Action and Uses---The astringent effects of the Oak were well known to the Ancients, by whom different parts of the tree were used, but it is the bark which is now employed in medicine. Its action is slightly tonic, strongly astringent and antiseptic. It has a strong astringent bitter taste, and its qualities are extracted both by water and spirit. The odour is slightly aromatic.

Like other astringents, it has been recommended in agues and haemorrhages, and is a good substitute for Quinine in intermittent fever, especially when given with Chamomile flowers.

It is useful in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, either alone or in conjunction with aromatics. A decoction is made from 1 OZ. of bark in a quart of water, boiled down to a pint and taken in wineglassful doses. Externally, this decoction has been advantageously employed as a gargle in chronic sore throat with relaxed uvula, and also as a fomentation. It is also serviceable as an injection for leucorrhoea, and applied locally to bleeding gums and piles.

An Irish Herbal states:

All parts of oak have a binding nature, and are therefor useful against diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhages and flows of all kinds. The bark can be used in gargles for dropped uvula.

Fr. Kneipp wrote of Oak Bark:

Bark of oak.

Are we then to use even the bark of oak as a medicine? Certainly, be it fresh from the tree, or dried. Young bark of oak, boil- ed for about half an hour, gives a sanative decoction.

A small towel is dipped into it and tied as a bandage round the neck; such bandages give great help to people afflicted with thick throats, and even with a wen on the' throat, if it has not yet grown too large and firm, this decoction operates as a most effective and harmless remedy. Complaints of the glands are removed just as thoroughly by these bandages.

Whoever is troubled with prolapses of the rectum, may often take sitting baths with a decoction of oak-bark, and also from time to time an enema of a diluted decoction. The troublesome and often dangerous fistules on the rectum are dissolved and healed by the decoction.

Also hard tumours, if they are not inflamed, may be treated and dissolved in the same way.

Tea made of oak -bark operates like resin in a strengthening way on the inner vessels.

Brother Aloysius wrote of Oak:

The acorns, together with the bark and the leaves, are used medicinally. The acorns are gathered in autumn, burned and ground into a powder; when steeped in boiling water to make acorn coffee, they are highly recommended for scrofula and many indispositions which stem from it, such as diarrhea and abdominal swelling, anemia and leukorrhea. Use one sugarspoon powdered acorn in a cup of water.

The bark can be removed from two or three year old branches. It has no smell, but a very astringent taste, and is used externally in the form of compresses, baths, washes, syringes, gargles etc. For a gargle, take 2 to 4 teaspoons bark per 2 cups water; for compresses 2/3 to 1 cup of leaves or bark per 2 cups water. Internally, 1 to 2 teaspoons of powdered bark should be taken in syrup, honey, etc, to control heavy menstrual bleeding, blood spitting and blood in the stools. The bark is also used externally, in the form of a compress for lupus, soft, rotten ulcers, sores, etc.

An excellent remedy for leukorrhea is to boil a handful of oak bark for 15 minutes in 4 cups water, strain and syringe with this quantity every evening.

Frink 1 cup of oak bark teak daily for blood-spitting, heavy bleeding, painful bleeding, urinary incontinence, chronic dysentery and excessive mucus.

Jolanta Wittib writes of Oak:

Oak bark is my strongest anti-inflammatory, antiseptic home medicine. I always have oak bark at home, but, thank God, I very seldom need it. I collect oak bark in the same way as I collect willow bark and keep it dried in a jar. I would use oak bark decoction externally for washing the wounds which do not heal properly, or for very strong perspiration of the feet, although, after what I have read in this book, I might never “heal” sweaty feet. As sweat bodies detoxify themselves, so why hem this process?

I might use oak bark decoction for a very severe diarrhea, but, so far, I have not done that, as I have never had one. Well, it is very important to know the reason for diarrhea, especially when it is severe, thus consulting a doctor is always useful.

I use oak leaves in my recipe for fermented cucumbers. I add a leaf per jar before I finally close it for storing so that cucumbers keep firm, crispy and crunchy.

People still remember times when they used roasted acorns for food. I will definitely try out one of the old recipes. I am sure that there is enormous power in the seeds of such a powerful tree.

Herbal Remedies of the Lumbee Indians tells us of Red Oak:

A handful of red oak bark was boiled until the water became deep red. This wash was used by Lumbee healers to rub on the skin affected by poison oak. The Lumbee also used the red oak in an external was to bathe or aid the treatment of chills and fevers. A tea made from the red oak was used by many Lumbee healers to aid the system, especially after long fevers. The bark was also used as an astringent, a tonic and as an antiseptic. The tea was also drank to serve as an emetic, and to treat indigestion, chronic dysentery, asthma and debility of the system. The bark was used externally and applied to sore, chapped skin.

Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests states:

Black Oak: The bark, a powerful and valuable astringent, is also possessed of purgative properties, in which respect it has an advantage not met with in the Q. falcata. They have both been efficacious in leucorrhoea, amenorrhoea, chronic hysteria, diarrhoea, rheumatism, pulmonary consumption, tabes mesenterica, cynanche tonsillaris and asthma. Oak-balls produced by these are also powerful astringents, and are employed in many cases requiring such remedies—as in diarrhoea, dysentery and hemorrhage; also, in mild cases of intermittent fever. The dose of the powder is forty grains. The powder of this, or of the bark, mixed with hog's lard, is a very simple and effectual remedy in painful hemorrhoids and a decoction is serviceable as a fomentation for prolapsus uteri and ani, and for defluctions from those parts. According to Dr. Cullen, it is applicable in relaxations or impaired conditions of the mucous membranes, on account of its tonic, constringing effect, and as a gargle in inflammation of the fauces, prolapsus uvulae, etc. Mr. Lizars has used it with " wonderful success " in the cure of reducible hernia. It is applied topically in mortification, and to ill-conditioned ulcers. Marasmic and scrofulous children are bathed with great advantage in a bath made of the bark. Although this species acts slightly on the bowels, it contains more tannin and gallic acid than the Q. alba and Q. falcata; hence it is better suited to cases requiring an external astringent.

White Oak: The bark is officinal, and is generally used in similar cases with the above, with the exceptions before mentioned. By some it is preferred to the others on account of its not acting on the bowels. The decoction is sometimes employed as an injection in leucorrhoea and gonorrhoea. The bark contains tannin, gallic acid, and bitter extractive, the former predominating. The bark is officinal, the young bark being preferable. The whiter bark, and the delicate and finely lobed leaves, with the general neat appearance of the tree, serve to distinguish this from the other varieties of the oak, than which it is more acceptable to the stomach. All, however, are valuable for external application. It is astringent and somewhat tonic. Powder: dose, from one-half drachm to one drachm. Extract: dose, half that of the powder. Decoction: bark bruised, one ounce; water, three half-pints ; boil to one pint. Dose, one wineglassful. Surg. McLauglin and others of Lynchburg, re- port through the Surgeon-General's office C. S. A. a favorable notice of the decoctions and syrups of the Quercus alba and Hubiis villosus in chronic diarrhoea, stating that the tinctures of R. V. and of Ooniiis Florida make an excellent astringent tonic.

King's American Dispensatory, 1898 tells us:

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Oak bark is slightly tonic, powerfully astringent, and antiseptic. It is useful, internally in chronic diarrhoea, chronic mucous discharges, passive hemorrhages, and wherever an internal astringent is required. In colliquative sweats, the decoction is usually combined with lime-water. It is, however, more generally used in decoction, as an external agent, which forms an excellent gargle for relaxed uvula and sore throat, a good stimulating astringent lotion for ulcers with spongy granulations, and an astringent injection for leucorrhoea, prolapsus ani, hemorrhoids, etc. The ground bark, made into a poultice, has proved useful in gangrenous or mortified conditions. In sickly, debilitated children, and in severe diarrhoeas, especially when the result of fevers, the decoction, given internally, and used as a bath to the body and limbs, 2 or 3 times a day, will be found very efficient. When given for diarrhoea or dysentery, it should be combined with aromatics, and sometimes with castor oil. A bath is often advantageous in some cutaneous diseases. The green bark of elder and white oak bruised together, or in strong decoction, forms a very useful and valuable application to abrasions. Dose of the decoction, 1 to 2 fluid ounces; of the extract, from 5 to 20 grains. A coffee made from roasted acorns, has been highly recommended in the treatment of scrofula.

Specific Indications and Uses.—Relaxation of mucous membranes, with unhealthy discharge; ulcerations, with spongy granulations.

Plants for A Future lists the medical uses of the oaks similarly, but states of White Oak:

White oak was often used medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes, who valued it especially for its antiseptic and astringent properties and used it in the treatment of many complaints. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. The inner bark contains 6 - 11% tannin, it has powerful antiseptic and astringent properties and is also expectorant and tonic. The bark is boiled and the liquid drunk in the treatment of bleeding piles and diarrhoea, intermittent fevers, coughs and colds, consumption, asthma, lost voice etc. The bark has been chewed as a treatment for mouth sores. Externally, it is used as a wash for skin eruptions, burns, rashes, bruises, ulcers etc and as a vaginal douche. It has also been used as a wash for muscular pains. The bark is best collected in the spring. Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc.

Peterson Field Guides Eastern and Central Medicinal Plants tells us of white oak:

Astringent inner bark tea once used for chronic diarrhea, dysentery, chronic mucus discharge, bleeding, anal prolapse, piles; As a gargle for sore throats and a wash for skin eruptions, Poison Ivy rash, burns, hemostatic. Folk cancer remedy. Contains tannins. Experimentally, tannic acid is antiviral, antiseptic, anti-tumor and carcinogenic. Warning: tannic acid is potentially toxic

Botany In a Day states:

Medicinally, the oaks are astringent throughout, due to the tanning. The bark also contains quercin, a compound similar to salicin (like aspirin). The astringency is used internally for gum inflammations, sore throat and diarrhea. Externally it is used for first and second degree burns. The tannin binds to proteins and amino acids, sealing off the burns from weeping and from bacterial infections. The leaves can be chewed into a mash and use for an astringent poultice. Oak galls also have a high tannin content, as much as 60 to 70% in the galls.

The Physicians” Desk Reference for Herbal Medicine tells us:

Indications and usage approved by Commission E: cough-bronchitis, diarrhea, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, inflammation of the skin. Oak is used internally for nonspecific diarrhea. In smaller doses is used to the stomach tonic. The drug is used externally for inflammatory skin diseases and inflammation of the mouth and throat. Unproven uses: in folk medicine, oak is used for inflammation of the genital and anal area, suppurating eczema, hyperhidrosis, interigo, an as an adjutant treatment of chilblains. Oak is also used in folk medicine internally for hemorrhagic stool, non-menstrual uterine bleeding, hemoptysis, and chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. External uses include hemorrhoid bleeding, varicose veins, uterine bleeding, vaginal discharge, rashes, chronic itching, scaly and suppurating eczema, and eye inflammations.

Oak gall: the astringent quality of the drug can be explained by the tannins it contains. The dry extract, exhibits analgetic, hypoglycemic, and sedative-hypnotic efficacy. Unproven uses external use includes treatment of inflammation of the skin and frostbite and as an adjuvant in the treatment of infectious skin conditions. Oak gall is used externally for chilblains and gingivitis, for which efficacy appears plausible but is not yet been sufficiently documented.

This article is an excerpt from The Medicinal Trees of the American South, An Herbalist's Guide: by Judson Carroll

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His weekly podcast may be heard at: www.spreaker.com/show/southern-appalachian-herbs

He offers free, weekly herb classes: https://rumble.com/c/c-618325


The information on this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or condition. Nothing on this site has been evaluated or approved by the FDA. I am not a doctor. The US government does not recognize the practice of herbal medicine and their is no governing body regulating herbalists. Therefore, I'm just a guy who studies herbs. I am not offering any advice. I won't even claim that anything I write is accurate or true! I can tell you what herbs have "traditionally been used for." I can tell you my own experience and if I believe an herb helped me. I cannot, nor would I tell you to do the same. If you use any herb I, or anyone else, mentions you are treating yourself. You take full responsibility for your health. Humans are individuals and no two are identical. What works for me may not work for you. You may have an allergy, sensitivity or underlying condition that no one else shares and you don't even know about. Be careful with your health. By continuing to read my blog you agree to be responsible for yourself, do your own research, make your own choices and not to blame me for anything, ever.
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How I love our oak trees! And the Latin word "Quercus" which is one of my favorites. I knew that the American Indians used acorns for food, and wondered if oak had medicinal uses. But it seems that Europeans used them medicinally much more than the Indians, which surprised me!
Judson Carroll
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Rachel Lindsay wrote:How I love our oak trees! And the Latin word "Quercus" which is one of my favorites. I knew that the American Indians used acorns for food, and wondered if oak had medicinal uses. But it seems that Europeans used them medicinally much more than the Indians, which surprised me!

Well, the European tradition is more documented.  I could not say more than that.
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