NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art
Indigenous Plants & Native Uses in the Northeast

(Quercus species)
OAK Food: White (Q. alba) oak acorns are the most palatable. Boiling or soaking in water helps remove bitterness from the acorns of Red (Q. Rubra) and Black (Q. velutina) Oak species. The nut meat may be ground for use in grits or meal or pounded into a paste.

Medicine: Bark of white oak contains tannin, an astringent, which can be applied to insect bites. The bark of oak can be brewed into a tea for diarrhea, and the scraped and dried inner bark of Red or Bur (Q. macrocarpa) oak can made into tea to relieve heart symptoms.

Technology: The wood was carved to make awls, corn pounding mortars, and other tools. Oak bark was used in making some Iroquois canoes. In later times basket splints were made of oak because of the toughness and durability of the wood. Inner bark of the Bur oak was used in Chippewa red and black dye recipes. Black oak is also known as Dyer's Oak, as the orange inner bark produces strong dye.

Note: For additional information browse NativeTech's Information on Natural Dyes

<<- Previous Plant->> Next Plant

Return to Plants Gathered in the Northeast

Return to Gathering Walk

Plant Bibliography and Books to Order On-line

NativeTech Home Page
Text and Graphics
© 1994 - Tara Prindle
unless otherwise cited.