If individuals from developed countries followed a nourishing diet higher in vegetables and not so much in animal products, many of the most common disorders, such as arteriosclerosis, heart ailments, and thrombosis, would drastically decrease.
The acorn is a humble but exquisite meal for those who still have a taste, not accustomed to sophisticated and artificial modern cuisine flavors. For centuries, acorns have been a primary food for people of great physical strength, such as the Basques. In some locations, there is a sweet acorn, which is even tastier than chestnuts and may be eaten roasted like the latter.
Oak Tree Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name: Quercus robur L.
- French: Rouvre, chêne.
- Spanish: Roble, carballo.
- Environment: Well-known tree, growing in extensive forests in Europe and America.
- Description: Big tree of the Fagaceae family, with a broad crown and a thick, solid trunk, growing up to 20 m high, with lobulated, dark-green leaves with a lighter color on the underside. Acorns, its fruits, grow from large petioles hanging from its branches.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The bark and the acorns.
The BARK of all trees of the genus Quercus is very rich in tannins (up to twenty percent), among which the most outstanding is quercitannic acid. These tannins are astringent; that is to say, they dry inflamed mucous membranes and precipitate or coagulate the proteins of animal tissues. This is precisely the base for their tanning use: they dry the skin of animals and turn it into leather.
Tannins are the most active astringent agents known. They dry and tighten them momentarily by acting on inflamed tissues, while healthy tissues slowly substitute them. Tannins also have an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect and stop small surface hemorrhages (hemostatic action).
ACORNS also contain tannins, sugars (carbohydrates), and lipids (fats) with a high biological value. They are astringent and are an excellent food in the case of gastroenteritis caused by diarrhea, especially in children.
The BARK of oak and holm oak trees is applied in external use as a decoction (if taken orally, though not toxic, it may provoke nausea) and has many indications due to its excellent healing properties.
- Stomatitis and pharyngitis – It is applied in rinses or gargles several times a day for oral mucous membrane and throat inflammations, which eases the sensation of itching and stinging, besides achieving an antiseptic and cicatrizant effect.
- Conjunctivitis and blepharitis (eye inflammation) – In eye baths, or applying a compress soaked in the liquid of a decoction every four hours. Excellent results are achieved in the case of irritating or allergic conjunctivitis and styes.
- Nose hemorrhages – Applied in irrigations or by soaking a gauze that serves to plug the nostril. The combination with tormentil is recommended.
- Chilblains – Arm or foot bath, three times a day for fifteen minutes, with a hot decoction of oak or holm oak tree bark. It makes reddening and skin itching disappear.
- Hemorrhoids and anal fissures – It reduces anal inflammation, stops the slight hemorrhage which usually accompanies these disorders, and favors the cicatrization of the painful anal fissures. It is applied in hot sitz baths, for fifteen minutes, once or twice a day, and in enemas.
- Skin sores and eczema – Applied in compresses by soaking a cotton cloth, it dries, reduces inflammation, and heals the skin.
- Ulceration and sores that have difficulty healing, including vascular provoked ulcers due to impaired blood circulation in the legs (varicose ulceration). Apply a compress soaked in the decoction liquid, renewing it every 4 hours.
- Rheumatic aches – Fomentations or hot compresses with a decoction of oak tree bark have anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic effects. They are employed to ease osteoarticular or articular pains in the neck, back, lumbar areas, and thighs and legs. People suffering from rheumatism or arthrosis will benefit from oak tree bark fomentations.
Holm Oak, Cork Oak, White Oak
Besides the Quercus robur L., several trees belong to the genus Quercus, all acorn-producing and similar medicinal properties. Among them, the most outstanding are:
- Quercus ilex L., smaller in size and called the holm oak tree.
- Quercus suber L., or cork oak tree, from whose bark cork is obtained. Thus, in some Latin American places, it is called corkwood.
- Quercus alba L., or white oak tree, grows in large forests in Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
Washing the Yellow Dye
The yellow color that remains on the skin after applying oak tree remedies is caused by the action of the tannins it contains. Rubbing the skin with lemon juice will make this color disappear.
How to use Oak Tree
- Decoction with 60 to 80 grams (around four spoonfuls) of ground oak or holm oak tree bark per liter of water, simmer for ten minutes, then strain and apply it locally on the affected area utilizing any of the following methods.
– Rinses and gargles (for mouth and throat disorders).
– Vaginal irrigations.
– Sitz baths and enemas (for anal or rectum afflictions).
– Arm baths (for chilblains).
– Fomentations or hot compresses (for aching muscles or joints).
– Compresses, soaking a cotton cloth or gauze and renewing it every four
hours (for skin afflictions).
– Eye baths or nose plugs.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 208, 209, 210. Print.