Fruit of the oak tree, oak nut
Deity: The Green Man
Acorns contain tannins which make them bitter, astringent and very irritating if eaten raw, as well as causing problems with the metabolisation of proteins. The acorns of white oaks contain less tannin than those of red oaks, and these tannins can be removed by soaking chopped acorns in several changes of water until it no longer turns brown.
Acorns are the nuts of oak trees. They are usually between 1 and 6cm in length, and <1cm and 3cm in width. An acorn is comprised of a single seed (or, rarely, two) in a tough shell which sits in a kind of cup. The acorn starts as a fresh green colour and with age the nut becomes browner.
There are no specific medicinal uses known.
Acorns are brilliant fertility charms, and those gathered at night are said to be the most potent. These nuts can also be used to increase sexual potency, or for longevity and youthfulness. They symbolise patience and the pay off that comes from hard labour.
Acorns can also be used to ward off illness and to attract luck. They will bring fertility and abundance to any endeavour, and planting one in the dark of the moon ensures that you will receive money in the near future. Place acorns on your windowsill to guard against lightning.
Native Americans relied heavily on acorns, which can be easily harvested and stored for a long time. In the 17th century, a juice extracted from acorns was given to drunkards to give them the strength to resist another bout of drinking. Young lovers used to place two acorns, representing themselves and their loved one, in a bowl of water in order to predict their future together – if the acorns drifted towards each other the lovers were certain to marry.