For centuries, white oak bark or Quercus Alba has been of great use as herbal medicine. Like many other herbal remedies, the interest in the properties of white oak bark to treat a variety of illnesses is growing.
The white oak tree is commonly found in the eastern parts of North America. The tree is a very impressive tree in terms of how tall it grows and how wide it spreads when given the opportunity to do so. This tree can live for a very long time with some specimens being over 100 years of age.
Although the tree itself is very beneficial, it is the bark which possesses many of the medicinal benefits that people keep talking about.
White oak bark contains a number of nutrients, including vitamin B12, tannin, potassium, and iron. These nutrients are attributed with the bark’s impressive health benefits. The bark is used to treat a range of health conditions including common cold, flu, diarrhea, and varicose veins. This amazing tree has a scientific Latin name of Quercus alba which means ‘fine tree’.
The bark is also used for its antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory abilities. It helps to heal wounds and skin problems as well.
Health Benefits of White Oak Bark
Let’s take an in-depth look at the incredible health benefits of white oak bark.
Treats Respiratory Conditions
White oak bark can help in the treatment of infections that affect the respiratory tract. The saponin in the herb means that it might have expectorant effects that help eliminate mucus and phlegm from the respiratory system. The bark is a powerful remedy for coughs, bronchitis, and colds.
Possess Diuretic Properties
White oak bark also contains natural diuretic properties that help promote the frequency of urination as well as the amount of urine the body produces. White oak bark is a diuretic that is an effective alternative to conventional diuretic medication for people who would prefer to use herbs.
As a diuretic, white oak bark can help enhance bladder health, treat urinary tract infections and even get rid of kidney stones resulting from the accumulation of uric acid in the bloodstream.
Has Astringent Properties
The astringent properties of white oak bark are attributed to the high level of tannins found in it. Natural astringents like white oak bark function by shrinking the body’s tissues internally and externally.
On the inside, the bark can help treat diarrhea, bleeding, and varicose veins. They also provide some essential external functions and can help stop bleeding from the skin and treat skin problems like eczema, burns, wrinkles, and bruises. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties are also very good for the skin.
Boosts Oral Health
Traditionally, white oak bark has been used to treat oral infections and other dental problems like toothache and gingivitis.
The bark has antibacterial and antiseptic properties which can help prevent as well as treat oral infections and oral sores.
You can also make a natural mouthwash by boiling up a cup of white oak bark tea and allowing it to cool before use.
Contains Antiseptic Properties
The tannin content of the white oak bark is also responsible for its antiseptic properties which can help to prevent and treat both internal and external infections. The tannins stick with the proteins found in the tissues which help to fight harmful bacteria and pathogens.
White oak bark can be effectively used to treat urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, and dysentery. To treat any internal health problems, white oak bark supplements, whether in the form of tea, capsule, or tincture, can be very effective.
Good for the Skin
White oak bark can also be used to protect against certain skin infections and to treat a host of skin problems. Additionally, it can soothe pain, reduce inflammation, and treat poison ivy. When applied to the skin, it may also help hasten the healing process of cuts, wounds, burns, and scrapes. It is also a helpful natural remedy for herpes and mouth ulcers.
White oak bark can be applied directly to the skin. But alternatively, you can make a cold compress with white oak bark tea or liquid extract. You can also incorporate a cup of the dried bark into your bathtub and allow your skin to soak it up.
How to Take White Oak Bark
White oak bark extract is available in many different forms. In capsule form, the ideal daily dose is about a gram taken along with some food. As a liquid extract, the dosage varies but ideally, about 60 drops of the extract are diluted with water. ItThe diluted extract can be taken twice or thrice each day.
White oak bark can also be applied topically to treat skin conditions and wounds. When applied to the skin, it can help limit bleeding while creating an antiseptic layer that protects the wound against the risk of infections.
Side Effects of White Oak Bark
Although white oak bark is generally considered safe for both oral use and topical use, there are still some side effects that you should know of.
- It is not advisable to take white oak bark extracts for more than two weeks at a time. You should always adhere to the dosage instructions and avoid an overdose.
- Since not enough is known about the safety of using white oak bark during pregnancy and breastfeeding, pregnant women and nursing mothers should stay on the safe side and avoid its use.
- Those with skin problems like eczema or any other skin damage should not take baths that involve white oak bark.
- For health complaints like diarrhea, it is not necessary to take white oak bark supplements for more than three days as the long-term use of the bark can lead to some serious side effects.
- People who suffer from a heart problem should not use white oak bark.
- Do not take white oak bark baths if you suffer from fever or infections.
- Studies have shown that using oak bark might make liver problems worse. So it is not advisable to take the herb if you have liver disorders.
- Do not take white oak baths if you have hypertonia, a nerve condition that results in extremely tight muscles.
- There are concerns that using oak bark might aggravate kidney problems.
- An overdose of white oak can lead to stomach issues, nausea, kidney or even liver damage.
- White oak bark is not recommended for infants and young children.
White oak bark is a herb used for treating diarrhea, fever, colds, cough, and bronchitis as well as for stimulating appetite and enhancing digestion. In fact, the bark of white oak contains tannins, which might be helpful in treating pain and inflammation.
The bark can be applied topically to the skin in a compress or added to bath water to alleviate pain and inflammation of the skin, throat, mouth, genitals, and anal parts of the body. It can also be used to soothe red and itchy skin.
White oak bark is generally considered to be safe and is available in many different forms. However, there are certain side effects to take note of before using the herb.
Like with other herbs, you should also consult with a doctor or herb expert before using white oak bark.