Each year, about 600,000 women in the U.S. undergo a hysterectomy to remove the uterus. And roughly one-third of all women have a hysterectomy by age 60—making it the second-most common procedure performed on women in the U.S. As a major surgery, it usually takes women eight full weeks to return to normal activity.
Thankfully, researchers recently found that natural oak tree extract can help women recover from this major, but common surgery. And it seems to work by reducing oxidative stress in the body.
I’ll tell you all about that interesting study in a moment. But first, let’s back up to discuss the historical uses of the mighty oak…
From little acorns, mighty oaks grow
Hardy oak trees are commonly found through the woodlands and the residential neighborhoods of North America and Europe.
In temperate areas, they’re deciduous trees that shed their leaves in fall—contributing to the colors of the season. In semi-tropical areas, like California, Florida, and Texas, the abundant, hardy oaks remain green and keep their leaves year-round. Of course, both types of oaks produce acorns, which support wildlife and used to serve as an important food source for many groups of Native Americans.
In more modern times, people have used the hard wood from oak trees to make ships, railroad ties, furniture, flooring, barrels, and fence posts. In terms of housing, oak wood is typically used to make beams or structural frames.
Of course, the leaves of the mighty oak are also an abundant source of tannins and tannic acids, which were used during historic times to “tan” leather. Likewise, people used the tannin-rich oak galls (or apples) to make ink. In fact, George Washington used “disappearing” or “invisible” gall ink to send secret dispatches during the Revolutionary War.
Native Americans also used oak tree extract to treat various ailments—including asthma, diarrhea, eczema, hemorrhoids, and infections. And modern scientists have also looked specifically at white oak (Quercus alba) extract’s ability to thwart modern, hard-to-treat, antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Now—let’s get back to the study I mentioned at the beginning of this Dispatch, which looked at oak tree extract’s ability to help women recover from a hysterectomy…
Oak tree extract helps women recover faster
For this study, researchers wanted to see if taking a French oak wood extract could help shorten and improve the recovery process for women following hysterectomy.
So, they divided 66 women who had just undergone hysterectomy into two groups. The first group took 300 mg of oak extract daily for eight weeks. The second group took a placebo.
Both groups of women also completed a survey about their energy and well-being at the study’s outset and again after four and eight weeks. They also submitted blood samples so the researchers could measure their markers of oxidative stress.
(Remember, performing surgery is a lot like inflicting an injury on the patient. And the body reacts as it would to any injury…with an inflammatory response that can lead to oxidative stress.)
So, how did the two groups fare?
Well, after four weeks, the women who took the oak tree supplement experienced an 18 percent improvement in their general ability to perform physical tasks and to take part in social activities. They also experienced a 13 percent improvement in energy and mood levels.
Plus, after eight weeks, their blood samples showed fewer signs of oxidative stress. In fact, they only had a 6 percent increase in oxidative stress, on average, compared to baseline levels.
By comparison, at four weeks following surgery, the placebo group experienced a 7 percent decline in social functioning and a 3 percent decline in physical abilities, energy, and mood. Plus, after eight weeks, their blood samples showed far more oxidative stress—a 57 percent increase compared to baseline!
My colleague Dr. Fred Pescatore said the study shows that this “natural antioxidant can support [surgical] recovery, including the mental health aspects, and represents a step forward for post-operative recovery.” He added, “I’m particularly encouraged by the improvement of oxidative stress levels for participants who supplemented…this antioxidant helps the body recover more efficiently and supports mood.”
I was also pleased that researchers decided to take blood samples to measure oxidative stress, rather than rely solely on surveys of well-being. For one, it bolstered the study’s scientific strength. Second, it gave some good insight into how the supplement works.
Of course, any type of surgery—even something as “routine” as hysterectomy—is very stressful on the body. But, clearly, oak tree extract helps to reduce this stress—specifically by taming inflammation…and therefore oxidative stress.
And remember—inflammation doesn’t just happen following surgery. It’s at the root of many chronic diseases. So it will be interesting to see if oak tree extract one day proves helpful against conditions like heart disease and dementia, too.
More ways to control inflammation
To keep tabs on your inflammation, make sure to ask your doctor to measure your key markers of it—including your c-reactive protein (CRP), homocysteine, and vitamin B and D levels.
Plus, there are many natural approaches for controlling inflammation in addition supplementing with oak tree—including exercise routines, medical screenings, nutritional supplementation, and lifestyle interventions. You can learn all about the remarkably fast and easy ways to reverse this No. 1 cause of disease and aging in my comprehensive online learning protocol, Inflammation Fighting Protocol. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
“The Oak-wood Extract Robuvit® Improves Recovery and Oxidative Stress after Hysterectomy: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Pilot Study.” Nutrients, 2020;12(4):913. doi.org/10.3390/nu12040913