White Oak Bark
White Oak Bark: Tree of the Gods?
For thousands of years, the mighty Oak has stood exonerated above the rest; particularly the white oak and white oak bark. Believed by the ancients to have been a favored perennial of the gods, the white oak symbolized spiritual gateways, magical healing, and religious strength. Moving westward from the European world, white oak was implemented as a staple among American Indians who used its bark to heal wounds. Today, white oak bark remains prominent in pagan religions as well as for use in healing through herbal medicine.
How is White Oak Bark Used?
For many who believe in the mystical, white oak is a common ingredient used in spells, rituals, and curses. Believed to be effective in removing evils such as jinxes, unwanted spirits, and ghosts, white oak bark is combined with other all natural elements and burned for its incense. It can also be taken internally as a tea or mixed with bath water and bathed in for the same results.
In herbalism or phytotherapy, white oak and its bark are used to treat a large number of health conditions. Most commonly applied as a topical antiseptic, white oak’s medicinal value has been time tested and proven to work. Here are just some of the many benefits related to white oak:
- Astringent: Due to the barks astringent qualities it makes a great cleanser for deep down dirt and clearing up facial blemishes.
- Anti-itch: Often prescribed by herbalists for relief of symptoms caused by common ailments such as poison ivy, rashes, and even herpes outbreaks.
- Anti-inflammatory: Used in moderation, white oak powder mixed with water has been known to reduce inflammation associated with irritations such as hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and diarrhea.
Antiseptic: Because of its astringent qualities, white oak works to kill germs and speed healing on minor cuts and abrasions. It may also be used to alleviate bleeding gums.
- Pain relief: Because white oak acts as an anti-inflammatory, many people use the product to remedy symptoms associated with repetitive sore throats.
Where to get White Oak Bark
Most health food stores, pharmacies, and online herbal outlets offer white oak in a variety of forms. Frequently it is sold as a dietary supplement in capsules, but can also be purchased as a powder, in processed whole form, or in a liquid extract. Cost for this type of herb generally varies from $4.00 up to $20.00 depending on form and size of purchase.
Are White Oak Supplements Safe?
Although white oak bark has been proven effective throughout the years, safety has yet to be investigated. While sales are permissible, the American Food and Drug Administration does not endorse or imply that white oak has any real medical value and does not suggest that taking the supplement is in any way safe. Despite lack of federal backing, herbalists insist on white oak’s medicinal value and continue to use the herb within their field of practice. However, many do not administer or prescribe white oak to children under the age of 18 or women who plan on becoming pregnant, are pregnant, or who are breastfeeding.
As with every medication, whether herbal or pharmaceutical, drug interactions and allergic reaction are always a concern. When beginning any dietary supplement or attempting to use herbal remedies it is best to consult with a qualified physician beforehand. People who have certain digestive system conditions or who are taking certain medications should not take white oak without first talking to their doctor as the herb can aggravate or increase symptoms. In some cases, death can result.