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NAME: Red Oak
SPECIES / FAMILY: Quercus Rubra / Fagaceae
OTHER COMMON NAME(S): northern red oak
CONDITIONS: sun-partial shade
COMMENT: Acorns are most often used for flour (pancakes, muffins, etc..) Red oak acorns are high in tannin and therefore need more leaching than white oak acorns. Seed/nut - cooked. A staple food for several native North American Indian tribes. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The traditional method of preparing the seed was to bury it in boggy ground overwinter. The germinating seed was dug up in the spring when it would have lost most of its astringency. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.(1) More on how to prepare acorns, see #5. To process them, first put them in water and discard any that float.
CAUTION: Contain tannins.
NUTRITION/MEDICINAL: Antidiarrhoeal; Antiseptic; Antiviral; Astringent; Cancer; Emetic; Febrifuge; Salve; Tonic. The bark and inner bark is antiseptic, astringent, emetic, febrifuge and tonic. It is used in the treatment of diarrhea, chronic dysentery, indigestion, asthma, severe coughs, hoarseness, intermittent fevers, bleeding etc. Externally, it is used as a wash for skin eruptions, rashes, burns etc. The bark can be chewed as a treatment for mouth sores. The bark contains tannins, experimentally these have been shown to be antiviral, antiseptic, anticancer and also carcinogenic. Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of hemorrhages, chronic diarrhea, dysentery etc. (1)
OTHER USES: Dye; Repellent; Tannin; Wood. Tannin is obtained from the bark. A reddish-brown dye can be obtained from the bark. Wood - coarse-grained, hard, strong, heavy, not durable. An important lumber source in America, it is highly valued for flooring, furniture, veneer, construction etc. (1)
SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):
- http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/acorn_20.html (good photos)
- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Quercus_rubra (good photos)