Oak trees see use primarily in decorating and manufacturing; oak wood forms tables, chairs and other furniture, and commonly creates walls and floors in homes. The family of oak trees includes a range of species, whose wood varies in color and texture, determining its best use. In addition to serving industrial purposes, oak offers medicinal benefits, relieving symptoms such as diarrhea, coughing and bronchitis, among other medical ailments.
Oak trees grow around the world, with species native to all continents varying in physical composition. The global family of oaks includes over 600 species, which break down into smaller groups of hardwoods. Oak wood contains high volumes of tannin, which resists fungal infections in wood furniture and improves digestion in humans. The bark contains properties suitable for use in human medicines, including anti-inflammatory agents. Oak bark, from all species, proves safe for topical and oral use. As an internal medicine, it stimulates appetite and alleviates digestive ailments. Topically, it soothes dry, red skin in the form of creams and reduces swelling for minor injuries. Oak wood ranges in color from yellow and green to rich, dark brown. Darker woods create furniture and make popular choices for flooring materials, seeing use in commercial and residential settings.