The health benefits of Oak Moss Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, demulcent, expectorant, and restorative.
Oak Moss, as the name suggests, is a kind of moss or lichen that grows on the branches of Oak trees. Oak is distributed all over Europe and North America and so is Oak Moss. While most European nations collect this moss, the essential oil from this moss is extracted mainly in France and it is the biggest producer of Oak Moss Essential Oil. Other than France, there are very few nations, such as Bulgaria and the USA, who produce this oil.
The scientific name of Oak Moss is Evernia Prunastri. The essential oil of Oak Moss is extracted first by the solvent extraction method, which first yields a concrete, and then is completed by a vacuum distillation method. The chief components of Oak Moss Essential Oil are atranorine, chloratronorine, delta usnic acid, and evernic acid.
The Oak Moss may look ugly to many, with greenish, wet, and a somewhat sludge-like look, but since Mother Nature has hidden uncountable treasures in its most unlikely places, it has bestowed this moss with some very beautiful medicinal properties. Let’s explore these benefits in greater detail.
Antiseptic: Septic! This small, humble-looking word is a dreaded villain. You might have heard its name innumerable times since your childhood, whenever you got a wound, which would set your Mom running for the hot water and that well known, but scary antiseptic “Tincture Iodine”, so that you do not develop septic. You always thought that these were atrocities and ways of punishing you. However, all your Mom did was giving you a little pain to protect you from a much bigger threat, and that was for your own good.
What is this septic? Septic is a situation caused by infections from microbes, predominantly bacteria. Others, like viruses, protozoa, and fungi can join the place already weakened with infection and make the situation worse. Septic mostly happens to wounds, but is not restricted to it. It can affect the soft and vulnerable internal organs such as the food pipe, inner ear, colon, urethra, urinary tracts, kidneys, and even the nerves.
Newborn babies are most susceptible to septic since their skin is not strong enough to counter these infections. In developing and backward countries, hundreds of newborn babies
still die due to septic, which they catch mostly when their umbilical cord is cut, although there are a number of causes.
The symptoms of septic are acute pain in the affected places or in the whole body, cramps, convulsions, swelling with redness, stiffness in the muscles and joints, abnormal behaviour, and even death in the most severe cases.
The essential oil of Oak Moss has antiseptic properties and there are two good things about it. It does not give burning sensation like the dreaded tincture and it is a sweet-smelling natural substance. It protects from septic by creating conditions in the body that are unfavourable for microbial growth and by eliminating the microbes that are already present in the body or on the wounds.
Demulcent: Demulcent means soothing. In other words, the Oak Moss Essential Oil can be soothing to any type of inflammation or irritation. It is soothing to skin and keeps it smooth and soft by maintaining the moisture and oil balance of the skin. Similarly, it has soothing effects on the digestive system and gives relief from scratches, wounds, inflammations and irritations in the esophagus, stomach, and the intestines that are often caused by acidity, highly spicy food, or the ingestion of some irritating or poisonous material. Furthermore, it also soothes irritations and inflammations in the brain and the nervous system. Last but not least, it has soothing effects on mucous membranes and the excretory tracts that might have suffered scratches, inflammations, and irritation due to constipation, acidity, spices, and wounds due to undigested substances and hard bowels.
Expectorant: The process of loosening the hard phlegm or catarrh accumulations in the various parts of the respiratory system, such as the bronchi, trachea, larynx, pharynx, and lungs and removing them from the body is called expectoration. It gives immense relief from congestion in the chest, breathing troubles, asthma attacks, and coughs. The agent that result in expectoration is called an expectorant. The essential oil of Oak Moss is a powerful expectorant. It pulls out phlegm and catarrh and gives relief from the associated symptoms. Again, this does not make you feel sleepy like most of the expectorants that are available on the market.
Restorative: A substance that restores something back to its initial or original condition is called a restorative. Oak Moss oil is one such restorative. It diminishes the effect of damage done by aging and other daily wear and tear taking place in the body by speeding up their healing and restoring them back to their healthy state. Therefore, it restores complete health, as well as the immune system.
Other Benefits: It is used in soaps, skin care products, sprays and many similar cosmetics mainly due to its antiseptic and demulcent properties. This oil is also known for its fixative value.
A Few Words of Caution: It may cause sensitization and irritation in the skin and the mucous membrane. It should be avoided by pregnant women and people suffering from nervous or neurotic disorders such as epilepsy and hysteria.
Blending: The essential oil of Oak Moss blends well with the essential oils of cypress, geranium, lavender, neroli, and patchouli.