Native to the Northern Hemisphere in America, Asia, Europe, and North Africa, the largest number of oak trees are found in North America and the second largest is in China.
There are over 600 species of oak trees. Here we include the two most commonly referenced varieties: Quercus alba (white oak) and Q. rubra (red oak). Both have similar properties.
Oak bark, oak galls (made from wasps laying larvae in the leaves and young branches), leaves, and acorns are high in tannin content. In fact, 20% of their healing compounds are tannins!
While too high a dose of tannins can be toxic, the tannins found in oaks contribute significantly to the tree’s antiseptic, antimicrobial, and astringent medicinal properties. Used in the correct doses and prepared properly acorns, oak bark, and oak galls are an important source of nutrition and medicine.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) they are known for Relieving Excessive Discharges, Eliminating Damp, and Relieving Fire Toxicity, to name just a few functions. Conditions that are treated with oak, in all its forms include, urinary incontinence, leukorrhea, diarrhea (especially with blood or mucus in the stool), parasites, and varicose veins.
Find out more about how oak is used from both a Western and Eastern perspective!