Herbal Health Information on Oak (Quercus Rubus)

If someone said to you “name an English tree” the Oak would be the first one you would think of. It is so beautiful with large spreading branches and pretty wavy edged leaves. The fruit is the Acorn and it is this, as well as the bark that is used medicinally.

These parts of the oak are very high in tannins (same as in tea). Tannins are astringent, meaning they tone up membranes. The oak also has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties.

It makes an excellent mouthwash and is used to tone up the gut in cases of chronic diarrhoea and colitis.

Acorns can be dried and roasted then ground up to make a coffee. They are bitter, though, so are an acquired taste but I do know they were used extensively during the war as a coffee substitute, or to make coffee go further.

An example can be seen in the Herstmonceux video click here

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist

Herbal Health Information on White Dead Nettle

We stayed with my Uncle in Arundel over the weekend and went for a glorious walk on Sunday morning around the Arun valley. The autumn colours were spectacular, all red, gold, orange and yellow.

There were quite a lot of plants still flowering, the nicest of which was the White Dead Nettle.

It looks like a nettle but has a white flower a bit like an antirrhinum but it doesn’t sting if you touch it.

The flowering tops of the plant are used medicinally which contain saponins and tannins.

It is an astringent (toning) plant due to the tannin content, with anti inflammatory, healing, antispasmodic and menstrual regulating properties.

It is used internally in tincture form for painful periods, cystitis, diarrhoea and irritable bowel. Externally it may be used as a douche (wash) for vaginal discharge.

2 oz of fresh herb is steeped in 2 pints of boiling water until the water is cool. This is then strained and the liquid used as a vaginal douche.

If you have never used a douche before please do your research to find the correct way to use a douche so that you do not hurt yourself.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information

Herbal Health Treatment of Diarrhoea

Symptoms vary from just passing a loose stool once a day, to several bowel movements accompanied by bowel cramping, pains and often an urgency to go to the toilet.

Severe diarrhoea due to a bacterial or viral infection is the world’s biggest killer of children due to resulting dehydration.

If the diarrhoea is caused by a bacterial or viral infection then it will probably only last up to 48 hours and the important thing is to keep fluid and electrolyte levels up. There are several rehydrating products on the market such as Dioralyte, which will prevent dehydration in severe cases of diarrhoea. If it lasts longer than 48 hours and you suspect you have a bacterial or viral infection then go to the Doctor. Many cases of Gastroenteritis are caused by toxins produced by bacteria in food and this can be very dangerous not only due to the dehydration caused but also due to the effect the toxin can have on the kidneys. So it is important to try to drink plenty of water but go straight to the Doctor or hospital if you start passing blood in the urine.

If the diarrhoea is long term with blood and mucous then you must go to the Doctor for a diagnosis as it may be Colitis or Crohn’s disease. I am not going to discuss, Colitis, or Crohn’s disease in this article. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is discussed in its own article.

The last paragraph sounds a bit scary but I want you to be aware that a possibly innocent tummy bug may be extremely detrimental to the body and needs quick action.

If the symptoms are loose bowel movements several times a day with urgency and possibly stomach cramping with no underlying cause, then Herbal Medicine is worth trying.

I have helped many people in my clinic who have suffered with diarrhoea from varying causes.

Food intolerance is often a cause of unexplained Diarrhoea and I do ask people to keep a food diary for a month to see if there is any connection to food substances.

Obviously this is one time when high fibre foods should be eliminated from the diet.  All high fibre cereals and wholemeal bread need to be cut out. Dairy and wheat are also prime suspects for causing gut irritation, but it is difficult to cut out all these foods at once, so cut the high fibre foods first and take the Herbal medicine.

The aim with herbal medicine is to tone the gut lining, making it less sensitive to food irritants and to calm the gut down.

A typical Herbal mixture of tinctures would be:-

Agrimony to tone the gut lining

Chamomile to calm the gut making it less irritable

Marshmallow is high in mucilage which coats and protects the gut

Fennel to calm the gut and dispel wind

Drink plenty of water, but cut out Caffeine containing drinks. Caffeine is a strong stimulant and also a diuretic which may contribute to dehydration.

Caffeine is in:-



Boost drinks

Some alco pops

And don’t hate me too much on this one, CHOCOLATE

If you would like to see me in my Clinic please click here or on the Clinic tab at the top of the page

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information