1.1 What is a sawtooth oak?
The sawtooth oak (botanical name: Quercus acutissima, Chinese Pinyin: Xiang Shi, Simplified Chinese: 橡实), is a species of large, flowering, fruit-bearing, deciduous tree in genus Quercus in the beech family, Fagaceae. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins. The edible fruit is a pale oval nut, small in size between 2-3 cm long with dark skin when ripe. The plant can grow up to 30 m tall. Native to China, Korea, Japan, Indochina (Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia) and the Himalayas and extensively cultivated in other regions like North America, habitats of sawtooth oak include mountainous regions and forests (usually found from between 200 to 2,500 meters in elevation). Characteristics of sawtooth oak include adaptations to different growth conditions and ability to withstand cultivation at high altitudes.
Other simplified Chinese names for sawtooth oak include: 芋栗, 橡栗, 棣, 皂斗, 橡子, 栎子, 抒斗, 橡斗子, 栎木子, 柞子, 麻枥果.
1.2 How does sawtooth oak acorns taste? Are sawtooth oak acorns edible?
Sawtooth oak acorns have a firmed and dense texture with a flavor that is very bitter and astringent (sawtooth oak contain large amounts of tannins). Therefore, sawtooth oak acorns are inedible and often used as animal fodder and livestock fodder.
1.3 How do I tell if my sawtooth oak acorns are ripe?
Sawtooth oaks produce acorns at a very young age. Sawtooth oak acorns start to ripen when turning brown and drop early in the fall.
1.4 How long does it take for a Sawtooth oak tree to produce acorns?
Most oak species take 25 to 30 years to start producing acorns. In comparison, sawtooth oak is growing much faster and yield the first batch of acorns in the 15th or 16th growing seasons. It is reported that sawtooth oak trees that are 15 years of age produced 1,000 to 1,300 pounds of acorns in a single year (whitetailsunlimited.com 2017).
1.5 How are sawtooth oak acorns used in traditional Chinese medicine?
The acorns of sawtooth oak is considered to have bitter, mildly warm and nontoxic properties and to be associated with the spleen, large intestine, and kidney meridians. It is used as astringent, hemostatic (stops bleeding drug), heat-clearing drug and detoxicant in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as hematochezia (blood in stool).
2. Uses, Health Benefits of Sawtooth Oak & Medical Formulas
[CTM Formula] Sawtooth oak acorns and leaves of Broussonetia papyrifera are powdered and taken orally before meal with syrup of prunus mume to treat dysentery (a type of infection of the intestines leading to serious diarrhea with the presence of blood and mucus in the stool).
2.2 Reducing Inflammation, Swelling And Relieving Pain
[CTM Formula] A decoction of sawtooth oak acorns, Trichosanthes kirilowii peel and Viola yedoensis is taken orally to treat mastitis.
[CTM Formula] Ash of sawtooth oak acorns is taken orally with Shaoxing rice wine to treat orchitis.
2.3 Rectal Prolapse
[CTM Formula] Ash of sawtooth oak acorns mixed with lard oil is applied externally to treat diarrhea related rectal prolapse.
2.4 Skin Health
[CTM Formula] Powdered sawtooth oak acorns and soybean can be applied externally to treat chloasma.
The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.
The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.
Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.
List of reference
whitetailsunlimited.com 2017 Sawtooth Oaks for a Food Lot [online] link: http://www.whitetailsunlimited.com/conservation/foodplotdoc/sawtooth-oaks.phtml/