Oak: A Translation from The Garden of Blossoms

General Information

Amongst the varieties of great trees with pointed leaves, with many types: sweet and bitter. Of the sweet variety there is one with a longer fruit and one with a shorter, some being very dark-bodied and thick, and others red, others very yellow, and they are known to people of all regions, and some of its varieties fall when crimson. Amongst them is the ‘Shaahibloot’ which is also ‘al-qastal’, all of which came to us as imports from Andalusia into the Andalusian quarter of Fes. 

Its Nature

Cold and dry in the first degree, whilst Shaahibloot is slightly hot because of its sweetness.

Uses and Characteristics

Prevents pus from fungal infections and ulcers when burnt and used, helpful against dampness in the stomach and blood clots. If the oak leaf is crushed and spread onto wounds it heals them, it is also useful for the stomach, against poisoning and the pus of wounds. The inside of the acorn is good to heal poisoning. The sap of the acorn, between its skin and centre, is useful for settling the stomach, more so than its centre, whilst its centre is used to remedy an excess of urine. 



From Hadiqat al-Azhar (The Garden of Blossoms) by al-Wazeer al-Ghassani, a 16th Century pharmacopoeia. Translated by Miriam Hicklin.

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