OAK BARK, Qurcus alba faraceae

One night, just at the beginning of an herbal lecture, a lady came up front and asked if she could speak to the group for a minute. She said about a month before, she had walked into this same herbal gathering. The night was cold and stormy, and she stopped in for a minute just to get out of the storm and get warm. They offered her a seat up front, but she declined. The subject being discussed was oak bark. She heard that oak bark was very astringent and antiseptic. This made it very good for pyorrhea. When they mentioned the word pyorrhea, she really paid attention. She had just come from the second dentist who confirmed she had incurable pyorrhea. Her perfect set of teeth would have to be pulled. She thought maybe oak bark could save her teeth.

Before catching the bus to go home, she got some oak bark and packed it around her teeth. Within a week, her gums stopped bleeding, the infection cleared up and her loose teeth became tight. Neither dentist could believe what he saw. Oak bark had saved her teeth.

Oak bark tea has been used for many different purposes: for a gargle, for sore throats, to stop diarrhea, for burns and to stop weeping sores from running. It is good for pinworms, kidney and gallstones, helps to increase the flow of urine, tones the alimentary tract and helps stop gangrene. It is also good for pyorrhea and excellent for varicose veins.

Concentrated tea made from oak bark and applied locally is very effective in dealing with varicose veins. The astringent power of the bark pulls the vein together and the abundance of calcium feeds and strengthens the vein walls.

There are more than eighty species of oak trees. White oak, black oak, red oak, tanner's oak, scrub oak, and many more. They all have acorns. Many have different leaves. Some will lose their leaves in the winter and some will not. Some will only grow to a foot tall and others will grow up to 180 feet tall, and some will have trunks more than eight feet in diameter.
Besides being very astringent, oak bark is an excellent cleanser for inflamed surfaces of the skin and mucous membranes. The tea is very effective as a gargle for sore throats, and can be used as a mouthwash against thrush.

A little boy had bad case of thrush, which is a fungus infection (monilia) of the mouth, often seen in children. It can cause swelling and white patches in the throat and mouth. The little boy's throat was swollen almost shut. They made, and concentrated, some oak bark tea down to half its volume. They sprayed it into his mouth and throat with an atomizer. They repeated this process many times. After a while, the swelling was down enough so that he could swallow. They then gave him red raspberry leaf tea to sip. By the next day, the little boy was better.

Besides the many health uses for the oak bark, the acorns from the oak tree can be made into a meal, or flour, and used for food. Acorns are very nutritious. They are about 5 percent protein, 20 percent fat, and about 60 percent carbohydrate. The taste is close to that of a pine nut. When the Pilgrims came to this country the Indians taught them two or three ways they could remove the tannin, or the bitter taste, out of the acorns. First, you remove the nut from the husk. Boil the nut several times in clean water. This removes the tannin and they become sweet and edible. Another way is to cut the soft acorn center (nut) into pieces. Place all the pieces in a muslin bag and put it in a fast moving stream for a few days. To make into flour, dry pieces and grind into flour. The flour is very rich. Blend with other types of flour. There are recipes for breads and dishes using acorns. Overall, the oak tree is very important (herb) tree.

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