The Magnificent Healing Oak
Tree Trunk on Beach
Tree of Life
Once there was a garden where peace and harmony prevailed. The sweetest of scents filled the air from fruit trees and bright beautiful flowers that graced the landscape. A great tree stood in the center as the nourished of all life.
From the great tree’s base four great rivers flowed out in each of the four directions to spread the tree’s nourishment to all the gardens of the world. This great tree is known to all even though the tree’s great powers have long been forgotten.
Garden of Eden
The great tree is remembered as the “Tree of Life” and remains a symbol in many cultures as the bearer of life’s fruit and labor. This symbol suggest the first great tree that stood in the center of the Garden of Eden where the rivers crossed was a mighty Oak.
Ancient civilizations valued trees as sacred because they realized the importance of trees in our environment. Great trees were known as symbols of longevity, strength and fruitfulness. Trees represented the mysteries of change and endurance, the abundance and perfect beauty of nature.
The majestic Oak that grows so plentiful in certain areas of the country has long been known throughout history as a very sacred tree. The Oak has been considered as a doorway connecting the two parts of the year. The name Oak is derived from the Sanskrit word for door.
To Northern Europeans the Oak has been known as the Tree of Life sacred to the Thunder God Thor. The Oak was associated with the Greek God Zeus and his Roman counterpart Jupiter. Both symbolized by the thunderbolt.
The Oak’s widespread attachment with thunder Gods is probably due to the fact that Oaks are struck by lightening more then any other tree because many of them are hollow and hold water in their trunks.
As a medicinal herb Oaks have a long standing history with many uses that are overlooked today except by a handful of healers. In days gone by, Oak was a common ingredient in many herbal remedies. One of the most powerful healing properties of the Oak is that the leaves and bark are rich in Tannin which is known to be an astringent and antiseptic. Tannin can produce unwanted side effects when not used properly which is why Oak is not as highly recommended as it once was.
Tannin was once recommended as a tonic for use after over exertion. Acorns are the fruit of the Oak and were a food source of Native Americans. Acorns were often used by earlier settlers as a coffee substitute.
Native Americans washed and then soaked the Acorns for a day or two in water to remove the Tannin before preparing or drying so that the nut was safe to consume.
Not only were Oaks used for healing and food the inner bark of the Black Oak continues to be used to obtain dyes of various colors including yellow to buff, gold, olive green and orange. The dyes are used on wool, cotton, silk and wood floors or furniture.