Oak (Mo Shi Zi, Wu Bei Zi, Xiang Shi)
Botanical Name: Genus Quercus and Lepidobalanus (in North America).
The oak tree has a history as deep and long as its roots and branches. Used by many cultures as a food, medicine, building material, and symbol of strength.
Below is an overview of oak, combining and interpreting the best of Western science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), shamanism, folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of oak.
Western Name: Oak
Also Known As: California Oak, English Oak
Organs/Systems: Digestion, Immunity, Stop Bleeding
Key Actions: Antiseptic, Controls Bleeding, Astringent, Anti-inflammatory, Reduces Fever
Medicinal Uses: Used as a gargle for sore throat. Gall ointment for hemorrhoids, and nose and gum and bleeding. Acorns/Nuts are a food by themselves and can also be ground into flour. Good for chronic diarrhea, internal hemorrhage, prolapse of uterus or anus, fever, bruises, damp skin conditions.
Pin Yin: Mo Shi Zi (oak gallnuts), Wu Bei Zi (sumac gallnut), Xiang Shi (acorn)
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Kidney, Large Intestine, Lung
Key Actions: Relieves Excessive Discharge, Reduces Swellings, Eliminates Damp, Relieves Fire Toxicity
Medicinal Uses: Diarrhea, rectal prolapse, parasites, hemorrhoids, enuresis, frequent urination, leucorrhea, night sweats, seminal emissions, used topically as a wash or powder for sores, ringworm, damp ulcerated skin.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Nut, Bark, Galls
Flavors: Very Bitter, Slight Warming
Caution: Due to high tannin content only use bark internally for no longer than four weeks.
History/Folklore: Oak is a symbol of strength and endurance. It has become the national tree for many countries. Germany puts the oak image on their coins. In 2004, the U.S. congress designated it the national tree. The ancient Greeks identified it with Zeus (King of Gods) and in Celtic times the name of the oak tree was part of the name for druid which meant strong, firm, or strong in knowledge. Oaks were also associated with the god of thunder.
The largest number of oaks are found in North America, the second largest is in China.
Inks and Dyes
Oak bark can be used to create inks and dyes with the color depending on what the bark is mixed with (salts of iron for black ink, alum for brownish dye, and tin for yellow dye).
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