Related entry: Quercus infectoria

The bark of Quercus alba, Linné (Nat. Ord. Fagaceae). Indigenous. Dose, 5 to 20 grains.
Common Names: Oak Bark, White Oak Bark.

Principal Constituent.—Tannic Acid (quercitannic acid).
Preparations.—1. Decoctum Querci, Decoction of Oak Bark (Quercus 1 ounce, Water 16 fluidounces). Dose, 1 to 2 fluidounces; used chiefly locally.
2. Specific Medicine Quercus. Dose, 5 to 20 drops.
Specific Indications.—Relaxation of mucosa, with unhealthy discharges; ulcerations with spongy granulations.

Action and Therapy.—External. Oak bark depends chiefly for its virtues upon the tannin it contains. However, it sometimes proves more agreeably effectual than the acid when used in decoction or poultice upon ill-conditioned ulcers, with stinking, spongy granulations, in gangrene, as an astringent for relaxed uvula, with flabby or ulcerated sore throat, and as an injection for leucorrhea, prolapsed rectum and hemorrhoids. The bark of Quercus tinctoria, Bartram (Black Oak), has similar properties, but is objectionable on account of its staining quality.

Internal. Oak bark is astringent. Combined with aromatics, as cinnamon or nutmeg, the decoction is often an effectual means of checking serous diarrhea and intestinal hemorrhages. In small doses it is a general tonic for debility, with tendency to relaxation of tissue and looseness of the bowels. In dysentery with a tendency to chronicity and not yielding readily to ordinary treatment the bowels may first be flushed by means of castor oil or magnesium sulphate, after which the decoction of oak bark may complete the cure.

The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.