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Oak tree

All my years of being a medical herbalist, I have looked for an English adaptogenic. This is a class of herbs which helps us to adapt to the stresses of life, and usually they provide stamina, an immune boost, help with brain fog, and adrenal fatigue. The herbs that we usually use come from all over the world, and are loosely known as The Ginsengs, although only one is actually botanically known as Panax ginseng. It has always disturbed me that I haven’t found our own English adaptogenic herb, and that we must import from abroad. Adaptogenic herbs are very helpful in my dispensary because so many people are stressed out and struggle with low energy levels.

Our body’s energy depends on tiny little energy factories called mitochondria found within each of our 50 trillion cells. These mitochondria manufacture ATP, which you can think of as currency of energy – if you have lots, you have lots of energy; if you don’t, you have low energy levels. However, the very process of producing ATP causes oxidative stress, which damages the mitochondria. The aging mitochondria are able to produce less and less ATP, and this is the underlying problem with chronic fatigue syndrome, and quite likely the fatigue and brain fog symptoms of Long Covid.

As with all the best of secrets – I have found it right here, hidden in plain sight. And it is everywhere. Renowned on every level for its strength, sturdiness, and endurance, our English Oak contains within its wood a special chemical, only found in Oak wood, called Roburin A.

Within our gut, bacteria convert the Roburin to two further chemicals: Urolithin A, which reverses the mitochondrial aging processes, and Urolithin B which enhances muscle mass and sexual performance.

The way they perform these miracles is just amazing! Urolithin A packs off the aged and dysfunctional mitochondria to lysosomes, organelles within the cells, which break down the old mitochondria and reassemble new, fully functioning mitochondria. It is practically recycling of our life force! Urolithin B generates healthy muscle growth by mimicking testosterone, but it is a non-hormonal enhancement of the muscles.

Therapeutically, this translates into enhanced physical endurance and faster recovery for athletes. A real possibility of recovery for those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Long Covid, where the person is extremely exhausted, and takes a long time to recover from energy output, brain fog, muscle weakness and and erectile dysfunction in the old man.

Oak wood extract supports kidney insufficiency, liver insufficiency and mild heart failure, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder and fatigue after physical trauma. It may provide a non-chemical option for erectile dysfunction in the aging male, and general loss of vigour in all older folk.(1)

This is all very new information to me, so I am going to make an oak wood tincture, and try it out on myself before I let it loose on my patients, but watch this space!

(1)^ Weichmann F, Avaltroni F, Burki C. Review of Clinical Effects and Presumed Mechanism of Action of the French Oak Wood Extract Robuvit. J Med Food. 2021 Sep;24(9):897-907. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2020.0165