Kermes oak

Quercus coccifera L.


A detail of the plant with the fruits
. © Daniel Martínez Bou

Common Noun: Kermes oak

Scientific Noun: Quercus coccifera L.

Family: Beech family - Fagaceae

Habitat: In scrubs and dry places

Characteristics of Kermes oak

Perennial shrub of the beech family - fagaceae - till 2 meters tall. Stems downy.

Undivided leaves a bit toothed, dark green, spiny edge. Young leaves show lighter green, white hairy beneath.

The fruit is an acorn with scales in its cup, ripening two years after.

It is sometimes worth noting the presence of some wood like balls in some of the branches. They are the galls, produced by the same shrub so as the insects lay the eggs into them. By this method, the plant preserves its own branches.

Picking and storing Kermes oak

Bark should be picked up in Spring, from trees about 15 or 20 years old. Acorns at the end of Summer or at the beginning of Autumn.

Composition: Active components of Kermes oak

- Tannins (cuercitanic, elagic and galic acids)
- Fat,
- Starches,
- Sugars, etc.


Kermes oak as a Medicinal Plant

Internal use remedies with kermes oak

It is one of the best astringents, such as the rest of the trees in its family - Quercus (oaks)

- Astringent: We should use the bark of the young trees, although the leaves and galls may be used, too. All these parts have astringent properties. It can be used for urinary incontinence.

- Diarrhea: Infusion for 10 minutes of 10 gr. of bark in half a litter of water. We should drink a glass after each one of the three daily.

- Hemorrhoids: Use the same infusion.

- Hemorrhages of any kind which specially affect to women: metritis (Uterus inflammation) uterine fibromas, leucorrhoea and blennorrhagia. Decoction of some dry leaves in a litter of water. Three glasses a day.

External use preparations with kermes oak

Since the tannins contained in this plants are very irritating to the stomach, specially the cuercitanic acid, you should rather make an external use of it.

Antiseptic: The decoction seen above can be used for mouthwashes against pyorrhoea and gingivitis.

-To treat hemorrhoids and anal fissures make a 35 minutes decoction of a big handful of dry bark. This decoction can also be used to treat female illness as leucorrhoea and blennorrhagia.

- Chilblains: Use the same decoction.

Anti-inflammatory: We should apply a compress soaked with the juice extracted from the smashed acorns to diminish inflammation.

Other uses for Kermes oak

- Alimentary: Its fruits (acorns) are good for feeding pigs. They are also eatable for human beings, in spite of their bitter and sour taste.

punto rojo More information about natural medicine in the listing above.

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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.

Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.