OAK bark


Chêne Anglais, Chêne Blanc, Chêne Blanc d’Amérique, Chêne Commun, Chêne Pédonculé, Common Oak, Corteza de Roble, Durmast Oak, Écorce de Chêne, Écorce de Chêne Blanc, Eichenrinde, English Oak, Pedunculate Oak, Quercus alba, Quercus Cortex, Quercus pedunculata, Quercus petraea, Quercus robur, Quercus sessiliflora, Sessile Oak, Stave Oak, Stone Oak, Tanner's Bark, Tanner's Oak, White Oak, White Oak Bark.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Oak bark is the bark from several types of oak trees. It is used to make medicine.

Oak bark is used as a tea for diarrhea, colds, fever, cough, and bronchitis; for stimulating appetite; and for improving digestion.

Some people apply oak bark directly to the skin in a compress or add it to bath water for pain and swelling (inflammation) of the skin, mouth, throat, genitals, and anal region; and for red itchy skin due to cold exposure (chilblains).

How does it work?

Oak bark contains tannins, which might help treat diarrhea and inflammation.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of oak bark for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Oak bark might be safe for most people when taken for up to 3-4 days for diarrhea. Oak bark can cause serious side effects such as stomach and intestinal problems, and kidney and liver damage.

Oak bark might be safe for most people when applied directly to the skin for up to 2-3 weeks. When applied to damaged skin or when taken for longer than 2-3 weeks, oak bark is UNSAFE.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of oak bark during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Heart conditions: If you have a heart problem don’t use oak bark.

Skin conditions including eczema or large areas of skin damage: Don’t take oak bark baths if you have one of these conditions.

A nerve condition that leads to overly tight muscles (hypertonia): Don’t take oak bark baths if you have this condition.

Fever or infection: Don’t take oak bark baths if you have one of these conditions.

Kidney problems: There is concern that using oak bark might make kidney problems worse. Avoid use.

Liver problems: There is concern that using oak bark might make liver problems worse. Avoid use.



We currently have no information for OAK bark Interactions.



The appropriate dose of oak bark 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 oak bark. 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


  • Maciejewska, A., Wojtczak, J., Bielichowska-Cybula, G., Domanska, A., Dutkiewicz, J., and Molocznik, A. [Biological effect of wood dust]. Med.Pr 1993;44(3):277-288. View abstract.
  • McCune, L. M. and Johns, T. Antioxidant activity in medicinal plants associated with the symptoms of diabetes mellitus used by the indigenous peoples of the North American boreal forest. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;82(2-3):197-205. View abstract.
  • Garg, S. K., Makkar, H. P., Nagal, K. B., Sharma, S. K., Wadhwa, D. R., and Singh, B. Oak (Quercus incana) leaf poisoning in cattle. Vet.Hum.Toxicol. 1992;34(2):161-164. View abstract.
  • Glabasnia, A. and Hofmann, T. Sensory-directed identification of taste-active ellagitannins in American (Quercus alba L.) and European oak wood (Quercus robur L.) and quantitative analysis in bourbon whiskey and oak-matured red wines. J Agric.Food Chem 5-3-2006;54(9):3380-3390. View abstract.
  • Kinde, H. A fatal case of oak poisoning in a double-wattled cassowary (Casuarius casuarius). Avian Dis. 1988;32(4):849-851. View abstract.
  • Loria, R. C., Wilson, P., and Wedner, H. J. Identification of potential allergens in white oak (Quercus alba) pollen by immunoblotting. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1989;84(1):9-18. View abstract.
  • Mammela, P., Tuomainen, A., Vartiainen, T., Lindroos, L., Kangas, J., and Savolainen, H. Biological monitoring of wood dust exposure in nasal lavage by high-performance liquid chromatography. J Environ.Monit. 2002;4(2):187-189. View abstract.
  • Tyler VE, Brady LR, Robbers JB. Pharmacognosy. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lea and Fibiger, 1981.

More Resources for OAK bark

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. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.