Yes, I am referring to the bark of White Oak trees. I have seen these lovely trees throughout the north east. White Oak is the state tree of Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland. Drive through the ranges in the New England area and you see them all over the hills and mountainsides. It is impervious to liquids and has been used extensively in ship building. It is one of the tallest trees and the largest one in Ohio stands a mighty 84 feet tall.
White Oak has traditionally been used in furniture, flooring, architectural millwork, mouldings, doors, kitchen cabinets, paneling, barrel staves (tight cooperage) and caskets. It has not been known to be useful as a medicine. However, there are wonderful medicinal uses for the bark of this majestic tree. Just as there are uses for Pine and Cedar oils, you can also purchase White Oak Bark in liquid form or in capsules or tablets. It has strong astringent and antiseptic properties and the uses for this readily available bark are many.
The leaves, inner bark and the cups of the acorn from the white oak tree (quercus alba), are the parts used in a variety of medicinal and natural remedies. Herbalists for many years have used the inner bark of the oak tree specifically in the treatment of hemorrhoids, thrush, pyorrhea, and varicose veins. A strong, dark tea made from white oak bark is helpful with Leukoreah and other uterine troubles. It will also expel pin worms. To make use of the tea, simmer a tbsp in a pint of water for ten minutes. Drink up to three cups a day or 1 cup every 8 hours.
Oak Bark tea is also one of the best remedies for piles, hemorrhoids, hemorrhages, or any trouble in the rectum. Drink as a tea or use in an enema. For enemas and douches, steep a heaping tbsp in a quart of boiling water for a full thirty minutes, and strain through a cheese cloth or coffee filter. Try to use it as hot as you can tolerate. This tea also stops hemorrhages in the lungs, stomach, and bowels and helps stanch bleeding in the mouth. This is an expression of it’s antiseptic and astringent properties.
The active ingredients in oak bark are tannin and quercin. Quercin is similar in effect to salicin and is used along with bioflavinoids to strengthen the capillaries and veins. White oak bark also contains a lot of calcium, manganese, potassium and magnesium. It can shore up a weakened system and speeds healing. Several Indian tribes used thin strips of the inner bark to heal sores on their gums and to tighten up loosening teeth. They did this by placing them between the gum and lips, and leaving them there over night. Today, the tea is drank and topically applied to bleeding gums, gingivitis, thrush and pyorrhea. The crushed bark was also used in a poultice for gangrene.
Other than being antiseptic and astringent, Oak Bark also has the properties of haemostatic (arrests internal bleeding), febrifuge (reduces fever), diuretic, anti-emetic (relieves malarial-type fevers and chills), and anti-venomous (antidote for poisonous plants, insects and snake bites.) White Oak Bark also increases the flow of urine, and removes gallstones and kidney stones. It also helps to slow excessive menstrual flow. The tea is good for use in bathing when the skin is stricken with scabs and sores. In fevers it brings the temperature down and works like aspirin. This is because has similar properties of the White Willow Bark
Adding to White Oak Bark’s list of medicinal properties seems extensive. Why it isn’t used by more people is a mystery to me. In addition to everything I’ve already listed here, White Oak helps with ulcerated bladders, goiter and varicose veins. In treating varicose veins, make a strong tea (as described above) and either drink it daily or wash the veins externally with it. To make a compress to be used externally for skin problems, goiter and varicose veins just fold a small towel into a manageable square and moisten in the tea. Apply by pressing it to the skin and holding it there for some time.
Now that you know the whole story with White Oak bark, consider getting some and using it. You can forage for it if you have White Oaks in your area or you can just mosey on down to the health food store and buy it there. Available online at Amazon.com