The white oak bark is a hardwood native to eastern North America. It comes from the Quercus Alba tree. Although its name refers to it as “white,” it actually has a light gray color. It can last approximately 200 to 300 years, with some older specimens such as the famous Wye Oak in Wye Mills, Maryland which is estimated to be over 450 years old.
For centuries, the hardwood has been used to treat a variety of health conditions. It was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia for its astringent and antiseptic properties. It has also been approved as a diarrhea treatment by the German Commission E – a government agency that oversees the use of herbal products.
It is known as Common Oak or Chêne Commun, Chêne Anglais, Chêne Blanc or Chêne Blanc d’Amérique, and Chêne Pédonculé. In some areas, it is called the Durmast Oak, the Corteza de Roble, or the Écorce de Chêne.
Among the many claimed benefits of this hardwood are listed below. Its safety and effectiveness have not been proven yet. It is best to consult with a health professional before taking it.
- Treats wounds and problems in the intestines
- Provides protection from infections caused by bacteria and viruses
- Relieves episodes of diarrhea, passive haemorrhages, and chronic mucous discharges
- Works as an effective gargling solution for sore throat
- Functions as an astringent lotion to treat ulcers characterized by spongy granulations
- Effectively serves as an astringent injection to remedy haemorrhoids and leucorrhoea
- Solves gangrene
- Treats several cutaneous dieases
- Treats scrofulas
The key component of the white oak bark is tannin, which gives it its astringent and antiseptic properties. As an astringent, the hardwood constricts the body’s tissues both internally and externally to treat bleeding and diarrhea, as well as haemorrhoids, varicose veins, and other skin conditions. As an antiseptic, the tannin helps control infections inside and outside the body by binding with proteins in the tissues. Some infections it treats include bladder infections, venereal diseases, skin infections, and vaginal infections, among others.
Another known benefit of the hardwood is its function as a diuretic, anthelmintic and expectorant. As a diuretic it can improve bladder health and remove kidney stones and gallstones. As an anthelmintic it can expel parasitic worms in the intestinal tract. Lastly, as an expectorant it can help remove phlegm and mucous.
The white oak bark has many known benefits that you can try for yourself. With it being recognized by several institutions, you are assured that the hardwood is also reliable for use.