Oak Herb - Uses And Side Effects
A slow-growing tree of North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, oak is prized by European herbalists for its astringent bark, leaves, and acorns. The Druids of prehistoric Britain considered oak trees sacred, as did the ancient Greeks and Romans. Quercus, the Latin name for the oak tree, probably comes from the Celtic quer (fine) and cuez (tree).
Today, herbalists use bark from young branches and twigs of the white oak (Quercus alba), English oak (Q. robur), and durmast oak (Q. petraea)-members of the beech family (Fagaceae). The bark can measure up to 4 millimeters thick. White oak bark makes a yellowish tea with a slightly bitter, astringent taste.
Oak trees can live 200 or more years. The largest oak tree of record is the Wye oak in the community of Wye Mills in Talbot County on Maryland's eastern shore in the U.S.A. It is believed to be more than 400 years old, and it measures 9 meters (32 feet) in circumference, it is 31 meters (105 feet) tall with a crown spread of 48.1 meters (158 feet).
Common doses of Oak
Oak comes as capsules, decoctions, extracts, ointments, ooze (a tea of oak bark), tincture, unground or powdered oak bark, and oak galls. Also, certain prepared herbal mixtures include oak bark. Some experts recommend the following doses:
Uses of Oak herb
Side effects of Oak
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of oak:
This herb also can cause:
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don't take oak internally while using:
Important paints to remember
What the research shows
Studies show that short-term, external use of oak decoctions can relieve certain skin problems, such as eczema, inflammation, and minor burns. Although some herbalists also claim oak is useful for diarrhea, clinical studies don't support this claim. At least for now, medical experts caution against taking oak internally until it's shown to be safe and effective.
Other names for Oak
Other names for oak include British oak, brown oak, common oak, cortex quercus, ecorce de chene, eicherinde, eichenlohe, encina, English oak, gravelier, nutgall, oak apples, oak bark, oak galls, stone oak, and tanner's bark.
Products containing oak are sold under such names as Conchae Compound, Eichenrinden-Extrakt, Entero-Sanol, Hamon No. 14, Kernosan Elixir, Menodoron, Peerless Composition Essence, Pektan N, Silvapin, Tisanes de I' Abbe, Tonsilgon-N, and Traxaton.
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