Encino - Common Oak
Common Oak, Oak Bark, English Oak, Tanner’s Oak
What is Common Oak?
The oak is a well-known shrub or tree that can be found in the pages of history and even in many children’s fairy tale stories. It is believed that there are almost 600 species of oak trees and that many of these varieties can be found in continents like Asia, Europe and North Africa. China is home to more than 90 different species of oak trees that dot the length and breadth of the country. It can be difficult to spot an oak tree and one of the best ways to do so is to check if there are acorns growing on the tree. If history is to be believed, then the oak tree was considered sacred across many cultures. The Aztecs were aware of the many medicinal benefits of the tree and the early settlers in Britain also held the tree in high regard. The earliest Americans often relied on the oak tree for acorns especially during the bitter winter months. In Spanish, the word used to refer to the oak tree is ‘Encino’.
Benefits of Common Oak
Traditionally, acorns were eaten just as they were or were dried and then ground into flour. When cooked with water, the consistency becomes similar to that of oatmeal. The bark of the white oak tree is rather strong and even has medicinal properties along with the presence of tannins. It can be used to treat severe diarrhea and is also useful for external treatments as in the case of sores or wounds on the skin. Surprisingly, the bark can also be used for treating a sore throat and makes quite an effective astringent solution. However, the real benefits of the Encino tree can be felt on using the leaves regularly. It is said that the leaves contain plenty of antioxidants which act against free radicals in the body and effectively halter the growth of cancer cells. The leaves also boost overall cardio health and can work effectively to combat blood vessel inflammation and also halt any formation of plaque. If you want a quick cure for an injury or an open wound, merely applying oak leaves is guaranteed to assist quicker healing as well as reduce inflammation to a large extent. The juice of the oak leaf has been proven to be a safe treatment for gastric ulcers and the presence of anti-microbial compounds also helps in quick recovery from fever. The presence of antioxidants in the leaves acts as a double health booster and helps to boost the levels of good cholesterol in the blood.
How to consume Common Oak
The bark of the oak tree is available in powdered form as a capsule and should ideally be taken with food. Oak leaf extracts are also available but they need to be diluted thoroughly before consumption and the same can also be used for external treatments. Oak leaf wine is also very popular especially in states like Texas. It is best to avoid eating oak leaves directly as doing so can have an adverse health reaction.