Acide Tannique, Ácido Tánico.


Overview Information

Tannic acid is found in the nutgalls formed by insects on the twigs of certain oak trees. Purified tannic acid is sometimes used as medicine.

People use tannic acid for conditions such as cold sores, diaper rash, heat rash, and many others, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods and beverages, tannic acid is used as a flavoring agent.

In manufacturing, tannic acid is used in ointments and suppositories; for tanning hides and manufacturing ink; and to kill dust mites on furniture.

How does it work?

Tannic acid contains ingredients that have a protective effect on the skin.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Burns. Applying tannic acid to the skin does not seem to work for minor burns or sunburns.
  • Diaper rash. Applying tannic acid to the skin does not seem to work for diaper rash.
  • Cold sores (herpes labialis). Applying tannic acid to the skin does not seem to work for cold sores.
  • Heat rash. Applying tannic acid to the skin does not seem to work for heat rash.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Diarrhea. Early research shows that taking a product containing tannic acid and gelatin (gelatin tannate) might improve symptoms in children who have had diarrhea for no more than 3 days. But not all research agrees.
  • Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Early research shows that applying tannic acid to the palms might not work as well as iontophoresis, an electricity treatment, for reducing excessive sweating on the palms of the hand.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Cancer.
  • Swollen tonsils.
  • Ingrown toenails.
  • Poison ivy.
  • Thinning gums.
  • Sore throat.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tannic acid for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Tannic acid is LIKELY SAFE when used in the amounts found in foods. There isn't enough reliable information to know if it is safe when used in larger, medicinal amounts. Very large amounts of tannic acid can cause stomach irritation, nausea, and vomiting.

When applied to the skin: Tannic acid is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when applied to skin that is tender or damaged. There isn't enough reliable information to know if tannic acid is safe to use on healthy, undamaged skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's POSSIBLY UNSAFE to apply tannic acid to tender or damaged skin. There is concern that it might be absorbed and cause harmful side effects. There isn't enough reliable information to know if tannic acid is safe to take by mouth when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Skin conditions: Don't take a bath with added tannic acid if you have weeping eczema and extensive skin damage. The broken skin could allow too much tannic acid to get into your body.



Major Interaction

Do not take this combination

  • Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with TANNIC ACID

    Tannic acid absorbs substances in the stomach and intestines. Taking tannic acid along with medications taken by mouth can decrease how much medicine your body absorbs, and decrease the effectiveness of your medication. To prevent this interaction, take tannic acid at least one hour after medications you take by mouth.



The appropriate dose of tannic acid depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tannic acid. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Laslett, L. L., Quinn, S. J., Darian-Smith, E., Kwok, M., Fedorova, T., Korner, H., Steels, E., March, L., and Jones, G. Treatment with 4Jointz reduces knee pain over 12 weeks of treatment in patients with clinical knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled trial. Osteoarthritis.Cartilage. 2012;20(11):1209-1216. View abstract.
  • Adamczyk B, Simon J, Kitunen V, Adamczyk S, Smolander A. Tannins and their complex interaction with different organic nitrogen compounds and enzymes: old paradigms versus recent advances. ChemistryOpen. 2017;6(5):610-614. View abstract.
  • Covington TR, et al. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs. 11th ed. Washington, DC: American Pharmaceutical Association, 1996.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
  • Goh CL, Yoyong K. A comparison of topical tannic acid versus iontophoresis in the medical treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis. Singapore Med J. 1996;37(5):466-8. View abstract.
  • Jaramillo Á, Briones L, Andrews M, Arredondo M, Olivares M, Brito A, Pizarro F. Effect of phytic acid, tannic acid and pectin on fasting iron bioavailability both in the presence and absence of calcium. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2015 Apr;30:112-7. View abstract.
  • Kołodziej M, Bebenek D, Konarska Z, Szajewska H. Gelatine tannate in the management of acute gastroenteritis in children: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2018;8(5):e020205. View abstract.
  • McRae JM, Kennedy JA. Wine and grape tannin interactions with salivary proteins and their impact on astringency: a review of current research. Molecules. 2011;16(3):2348-64. View abstract.
  • Mennini M, Tolone C, Frassanito A, Midulla F, Cucchiara S, Aloi M. Gelatin tannate for acute childhood gastroenteritis: a randomized, single-blind controlled trial. Paediatr Drugs. 2017 Apr;19(2):131-137.View abstract.
  • Pabst H, Schaefer A, Staiger C, Junker-samek M, Predel HG. Combination of comfrey root extract plus methyl nicotinate in patients with conditions of acute upper or low back pain: a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2013;27(6):811-7. View abstract.
  • Smith DB, Jacobson BH. Effect of a blend of comfrey root extract (Symphytum officinale L.) and tannic acid creams in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multiclinical trials. J Chiropr Med. 2011;10(3):147-56. View abstract.
  • Zhang J, Song Q, Han X, et al. Multi-targeted protection of acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in mice by tannic acid. Int Immunopharmacol. 2017;47:95-105. View abstract.
  • Zhao W, Iyer V, Flores FP, Donhowe E, Kong F. Microencapsulation of tannic acid for oral administration to inhibit carbohydrate digestion in the gastrointestinal tract. Food Funct. 2013;4(6):899-905. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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