The Oak Tree in Natural Medicine
The bark of the oak brewed into a tea has been used for healing varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and reducing fevers. Acorns from the tree are also crushed and used in various herbal preparations including mixing with milk to help counteract reactions to medication.
Oak was one of the first Bach flower remedies. Dr. Edward Bach developed his oak essence to be used by those who suffered from instability and hopelessness drawing upon the tree's physical strength and ability to give shelter.
The Oak Tree in Spiritual and Magical Practice
As mentioned, the Druid priests considered a grove of trees, especially the oak, as a sacred space for religious communion and ritual. Drunemeton is a Celtic word for sacred oak grove, and some Pagan groups today gather in what they call their Nemeton or grove. The Druids, according to the Roman natural historian Pliny, believed that the parasitic plant mistletoe was a great healer used best if gathered from the Valonia oak tree on the sixth day of the moon.
Catherine Yronwode tells us in Hoodoo: Herb and Root Magic that African American hoodoo practitioners use tea brewed from oak bark to remove a jinx from their clients. In this tradition, oak chips and mistletoe are burned to remove unfriendly spirits from a dwelling.
The planet Jupiter is heavily associated with the oak. The god the planet takes its name from was a ruler among gods and held the responsibility of law and order as one of his tasks.
Oak is considered mighty ruler among trees in folklore and has come to be associated with sacred kingship. The cycle of the oak and holly king in Wiccan rituals represents the death and rebirth of the sacred king. Therefore, magic and ritual honoring the divine masculine is especially powerful when aided by the oak.
Modern Pagans use wands from the tree as well as leaves, acorns, and bark for use in magic, meditation, incense and talismans. Its strong, sheltering presence is the chief energy drawn upon for use in oak tree medicine and magic.
References not mentioned in article:
- Hopman, Ellen Evert. Tree Medicine Tree Magic. Phoenix Publishing, Inc., 1991.
- Green, Miranda J. The World of the Druids. Thames and Hudson, Ltd., 1997.
© Trish Deneen