How to Use Oak

The oak is the most majestic of trees, and although it grows all over Europe it is regarded as being pecu­liarly English. The Common or British oak is intricately linked to British history since the time of the Druids. An oak twig featured on British coins until replaced by the British lion. The oak is well-known both for growing slowly, and for growing to 9 huge size. It may take 500 years in growing, 500 years in maturity and 500 years declining. As a result the oak is symbolic of how the British liked to see themselves: strong, proud and steadfast. The acorn is a symbol of effort and great achievement; we say great oaks from little acorns grow’ and sing proudly of being like ‘heart of oak’.

Oak timber, renowned for its toughness and dura­bility, is also strong and elastic, making it excellent for building houses and ships. So the oak also sym­bolizes durability, courage, protection and truth. To the Chinese and the Druids it symbolizes masculine strength. In Christianity it denotes Christ as strength in adversity, steadfastness in faith and virtue. The oak was often called the Gospel oak, as psalms and gospel truths were uttered in its shade.

The Druids planted sacred groves of oak, and it was believed to ward off lightning – another reason for using the timber in building, especially if the tree it came from had already been struck, as lightning was said never to strike the same place twice. Acorns were carved on bannisters to deter lightning, and car­ried to ward oft illness and ensure potency and long life. The acorn symbolizes the cosmic egg, whence all life springs, and of immortality. To the indigenous people of California, the oak was the world tree or cosmic axis, sacred to the earth mother.

Herbal remedy

The astringent properties of oak bark, provided by the tannins, have been well known since the time of Hippocrates. A decoction of acorns and oak hark was added to milk and taken to resist the effect of poisons and infections in the digestive tract, and to heal infection and inflammation in the bladder.

The tannins have a toning effect on the mucous membranes throughout the both and protect them from irritation, inflammation and infection. Thus oak bark makes a good remedy for catarrh, sinus congestion and post-nasal drip. It reduces excessive-menstrual bleeding and tones pelvic and abdominal muscles, very useful for prolapse. In the digestive tract it aids digestion and absorption, and also makes an excellent remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery. By toning muscles throughout the circulatory system it is useful for varicose veins and haemorrhoids.

Oak has been valued as an antidote to the effects of alcohol, and to control alchol craving. It was taken daily in small doses for withdrawal symptoms.

Externally, it makes a gargle for tonsillitis, pharyn­gitis and laryngitis. As a mouthwash it is good for bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. As a lotion it relieves chilblains, varicose veins, ulcers, haemorrhoids, burns and cuts, and as a douche or lotion treats vaginal discharges and infections.

Homeopathic remedy: Quercus

Quercus is a predominant remedy for the effects of alcoholism, and excess alcohol consumption, such as liver problems, ascites, gout, enlarged spleen, skin flushing, diarrhoea, irregular heartbeat, trembling hands, tottering gait, nervousness, depression and craving for alcohol.

The flower essence

An oak person has great strength and powers of endurance, tremendous willpower and courage, devo­tion to duty and high ideals. However, they can become rigid in their approach to life, stuck in high achievement stress. They are hard-working, reliable, often plodding, but do not allow time to relax, have fun or allow creative interludes. Their inner life may become impoverished while the oak person keeps working, gradually becoming increasingly tired, even to the point of exhaustion. In illness or exhaustion, an oak person struggles bravely on, never complain­ing or showing others how they feel, as they do not like to appear weak, or unable to support others. The Bach Flower Remedy oak helps to reduce the inner pressure to achieve and keep going. The pleasure in life returns — you feel more able to relax and let go, as well as fulfilling your commitments in life. Oak allows the vital energies to flow naturally through the body, as the rigid fighting spirit begins to let go, and makes it possible to be as strong as an oak tree.

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About the Author: Greenery always attracts Arthur Kunkle. He has a big garden where he plants many fruits and vegetables. His passion for gardening motivates him to write and share different tips on gardening.

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