Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brother Oak And His Acorns

photo by Mike Baird
I have been feeling an affinity with the Oak. In the house I just moved out of, there was a little sapling emerging in a space between the fence and the patio. An unlikely place to thrive. And yet. . . or maybe in solidarity with its un-optimal living conditions. . . I sensed such a strength and protective energy emanating from that little tree. I felt its presence like a brother.

Coincidentally, or rather, serendipitously, I discovered that Oak is a kidney strengthener (in small doses--use with caution), which is another topic I have been researching. (see Small Bladder? Could Be Kidney Deficiency

I made a tincture from its leaves and twigs, with permission from brother Oak, before moving away. (I'll give you an update after I've been taking it awhile). 

Oak can be used in tincture or tea form for treating inflammations, colds, sore throats & bleeding gums. You can use its bark, twigs & leaves. It's very astringent, so helps with fluid loss & relaxed tissues (but again, use internally only in small doses).

I have always wondered if Oak's acorns were as edible for people as they are for squirrels. Well, they are, with some preparation. They need to be leached (soaked, changing water until it runs clear) to remove their tannins, and then dried and/or roasted to preserve. 

I thought I missed acorn season because the squirrels beat me to all the ones from the tree down the street, but apparently acorn season can last from fall till spring, so I'll be out looking for more oak trees!

More about acorns:

Do you have a relationship with Brother Oak?

Brown, Kristine. Herbal Roots Zine. Volume 5, Issue 11: Ode to Oak. November 2013.
Wood, Matthew. The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants.