Oak extract is a dietary supplement that is made using the bark of the white oak tree. In addition to preparation as an extract, the bark is sometimes powdered and sold as oak capsules. There are several ways to make oak extract, with some calling for pulverizing the bark and steeping the powder in hot water, while other recipes call for soaking small pieces of the bark in an alcohol base, allowing the nutrients to seep into the liquid.
A number of vitamins and minerals are found in the bark used to produce oak extract. The bark contains a high amount of calcium, as well as an ample amount of manganese. Moderate amounts of selenium, iron, and sulfur are also present. Smaller amounts of vitamins C, A, and several of the B vitamins are also found in this nutritional supplement, and account for many of the traditional uses of the extract.
Many of the benefits associated with oak extract have to do with the alleviating internal ailments. According to proponents of folk medicine, the extract is helpful in treating painful kidney stones and helping to promote efficient function of the kidneys in general. There are also claims that the extract may be taken internally to help ease the severity of diarrhea caused by some sort of gastrointestinal distress. Proponents of the extract also claim that the product will provide the nutrition needed by the body to overcome inflammation in muscles and tendons owing to overwork of those muscle groups.
Along with internal uses of oak extract, there are also claims that the supplement is useful in dealing with gingivitis or easing pain in the gums. Applying a small amount of the extract with the use of a cotton ball is said to begin taking away the pain almost immediately, making it easier to rest at night. The extract is also sometimes applied to hemorrhoids as a way to minimize discomfort, with some practitioners recommending consuming a tea brewed from the white oak bark at the same time. Among people who prefer to use home remedies, oak extract is also considered an effective cleanser for skin wounds, insect bites, and other irritations on the surface of the skin.
Using oak extract along with prescription medication is not generally recommended, except under the care of a physician. Even then, care should be taken to not consume or use the extract until three to four hours after a prescription medication has been taken. As with most herbs, there is some potential for negative interaction with different medicines. Should any type of side effects appear, use of the extract should be discontinued immediately and the side effects reported to the attending physician immediately.