Quercus infectoria G.Olivier

Last updated: 10 November 2016

Scientific Name

Quercus infectoria G.Olivier 


Quercus carpinea Kotschy ex A.DC., Quercus grosseserrata Kotschy ex Wenz., Quercus infectoria subsp. infectoria, Quercus infectoria subsp. peberula O.Schwarz, Quercus lusitanica var. infectoria (G.Oliver) A.DC., Quercus lusitanica subsp. infectoria (G.Oliver) Mouill., Quercus lusitanica subsp. orientalis A.DC., Quercus puberula O.Schwarz, Quercus thirkeana K.Koch. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Manja-kani [2], majakani, manjakani [3]
English Oak gall, magic nut [2], Asian holly oak [4], magin gall, dyer’s gall [5]
China Mu-shih, musi [3]
India Mazu, muphal (Hindi); majuphul (Sanskrit) [2], mazuphal, majuphal [3]; macike (Kananada); masikka, mayakku (Malayalam); kaisikka, mayaphala (Sanskrit); masikkai, macakkai (Tamil); masikaya (Telegu) [5]
Myanmar Pinza-kanj si, pyinthagar-ne-thi (Burma) [2]
Persia Mazu [2]
Arabia Uffes [2]

Geographical Distributions

Quercus infectoria is a tree bearing the oak galls of commerce, a native of Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, and Persia. The galls are imported into India. [2]

Botanical Description

Q. infectoria is a member of Cupuliferae family. The most important part of this plant that usually used for pharmacological purposes is the gall. It is spherical where a few blunt projections appear towards the apex, bluish-green or olive-green in colour, and yellowish or brown within. [2]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

Q. infectoria has been reported to contain rannic acid, gallic acid, gallo-tannic acid, syringic, and ellagic acids. [6]

Plant Part Used

Gall, bark [2]

Traditional Use

The galls of Q. infectoria are considered as an astringent, acrid, cooling, haemostatic, constipating, vulnerary, expectorant, digestive, febrifuge, trichogenous and tonic. It is much revered for its strong astringent properties and is used mainly to treat conditions where this property is advantageous. [5]

The powdered gall mixed with alum and tied in a muslin gauze used to be inserted into the vagina to help regression of prolapsed uterus. It is also used in the form of a vaginal douche to treat leucorrhoea, atonic menorrhagia and prolapsed of the uterus. An ointment applied in the vaginal canal was used to treat vaginal laxity. [7][8][9]

As a strong astringent the decoction is used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery per oral. It is also used to treat all degrees of haemorrhoids, anal fissures and prolapsed rectum whence the decoction is applied locally as washings or incorporated in sitz’s bath. There are also ointments prepared with powders of Oak galls incorporated into it as a local application for these anal diseases. 

Oak gall has been incorporated into dental powders. This helps in strengthening gums and teeth. For throat infection like tonsillitis and stomatitis effectively a gargle was prescribe made from decocting oak galls. [9]

Decoction of Q. infectoria gall is used as an antidote to various plants poisons especially those due to alkaloids eg. opium, nux-vomica, aconite. It is also used in cases of poisoning by emetine or tartar emetic. [8]

As a strong astringent the Oak Gall has many applications in skin problems. It has been used to promote healing of wounds from cuts, skin infections. It also treats impetigo, eczema, hyperhidrosis and chapped nipples. Ringworm and alopecia was treated by Unani physicians by making use of oak gall soaked in vinegar. [9]

Preclinical Data


Antimicrobial activity 

Aqueous and acetone extracts of Q. infectoria gall has been demonstrated antibacterial properties against Streptococcus aureus, Baccilus subtilis, Staphylococcus epidermidi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They have attributed the antibacterial activity of these extracts to the high contents of tannin in the extracts. Tannic being a precipitator of proteins probably cause the surface protein of the bacteria to denature and cause its destruction. [10]

In a study to test if some natural dyes have inherent antimicrobial activity the investigators found that Q. infectoria dye was most effective and showed maximum zone of inhibition against common pathogens Escherichia coliBacillus subtilisKlebsiella pneumoniaeProteus vulgaris and Pseudomonas aeruginosa[11]

Extracts of Q. infectoria galls at a concentration of 500mg and 250mg/kg per day were given to mice pre-infected with Entamoeba histoytica. It was found that 20% and 13% of mice were cured respectively. [12]

A number of studies on effects of extracts of Oak galls on different stain of E. coli had been carried out. Amongst 38 medicinal plants used to treat gastrointestinal infections in Thailand, extracts from Q. infectoria proved to be the most superior against E. coli. Both the aqueous and the ethanolic extracts were found to be equally effective [13]. The same investigator subsequently determined the mode of action as being due to its bacteristatic and bactericidal activity and no relationship to anti cell aggregative properties [14]. In their most recent studies on the exact mechanism of action of Q. infectoria extracts against E. coli, they found that it was the disruption in the outer wall and cytoplasmic membranes, especially at the polar regions of the cells occurred and some vacuolization that had caused the death of the microorganism [15].

Two extracts of Q. infectoria which are aqueous and methanol, were exposed to Hepatitis C virus and it was found that they successfully inhibit this virus. [16]

The ethanolic extract of Q. infectoria was one of the most effective among ten Thai medicinal plant extracts tested against Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). [17] The same investigator recently determined the active principle in this action to be gallic acid and tannic acid found in the ethyl-acetate fraction of the ethanol extract. Their tests indicated that the extract may interfere with staphylococcal enzymes including autolysin and beta-lactamase. [18]

Antisnake venom activity 

The polyphenols isolated from Q. infectoria inhibited phospholipase A(2), proteases, hyaluronidase and L-amino acid oxidase of Naja naja kaouthia Lesson (NK) and Calloselasma rhodostoma Kuhl (CR) venoms by in vitro tests. It was also shown to inhibit the haemorrhagic activity of Calloselasma rhodostoma Kuhl and the dermonecrotic activity of Naja naja kaouthia Lesson. The investigators believe these effects are primarily due to the anti-inflammatory, anti-haemorrhagic and anti-necrotic activity of these polyphenols. [19]

Another study done by the same investigators demonstrated the antivenom effects of Q. infectoria gall’s and other plant extracts showed that the possibility of the effects to be selectively blocking the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and non-selectively by precipitation of the venom proteins. [20]

Alpha glycosidase inhibitory activity 

The investigators found that the compound Hexagalloyglucose isolated from the methanol extract of Q. infectoria showed inhibitory activities against a-glycosidases like sucrose, maltase and isomaltase in a similar manner as arcabose. It was also found that it’s a-amylase inhibition was very much lower than arcabose thus hexagalloyglucose might be able to reduce the side effects seen in arcabose. [21]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Quercus infectoria G.Oliver. 2013 ver1.1 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 June 2]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-173331.
  2. Panda H. Herbs cultivation and medicinal uses. Delhi: National Institute of Industrial Research, 2000; p. 493.
  3. Burkill IH. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Volume 2. London: Published on behalf of the governments of the Straits settlements and Federated Malay states by the Crown agents for the colonies, 1935; p. 1850-1851.
  4. U.S. National Plant Germplasm System. Quercus infectoria Olivier. No date [cited 2016 June 2]. Available from: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=30697.
  5. Warrier PK, Nambiar VPK, Ramankutty C, Vasudevan Nair R. Indian medicinal plants: A compendium of 500 species. Volume 4. Chennai: Orient Longmans, 2002; p. 403.
  6. Nevins JB. A translation of the New London pharmacopoeia. London: Brown Greens and Longmans, 1854; p. 753.
  7. Frazer W. Elements of materia medica. London: John Churchill and Son, 1864; p.343.
  8. Waring EJ. Pharmacopœia of India. London: W.H. Allen, 1868; p. 210.
  9. Khare CP. Indian herbal remedies. Verlag Berlin: Springer, 2004; p. 395.
  10. Basri DF, Fan SH. The potential of aqueous and acetone extracts of galls of Quercus infectoria as antibacterial agents. Indian J Pharmacol. 2005;37(1):26-29.
  11. Singh R, Jain A, Panwar S, Gupta D, Khare SK. Antimicrobial activity of some natural dyes. Dyes Pigm. 2005;66(2):99-102.
  12. Sawangjaroen N, Sawangjaroen K, Poonpanang P. effects of Piper longum fruit, Piper sarmentosum root and Quercus infectoria nut gall on caecal amoebiasis in mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;91(2-3):357-360.
  13. Voravuthikunchai S, Lortheeranuwat A, Jeeju W, Sririrak T, Phongpaichit S, Supawita T. Effective medicinal plants aganist enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli o157:H7. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;94(1):49-54.
  14. Voravuthikunchai SP, Limsuwan S. Medicinal plant extracts as anti-Escherichia coli o157:H7 agents and their effects on bacterial cell aggregation. J Food Prot. 2006;69(10):2336-2341.
  15. Suwalak S, Voravuthikunchai SP. Morphology and ultrastructural changes in the cell structure of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli o157:H7 following treatment with Quercus infectoria nut galls. J Electron Microsc (Tokyo). 2009;58(5):315-320.
  16. Hussein G, Miyashiro H, Nakamura N, Hattori M, Kakiuchi N, Shimotohno K. Inhibitory effects of sudanese medicinal plant extracts on hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease. Phytother Res. 2000;14(7):510-516.
  17. Voravuthikunchai SP, Kitpipit L. Activity of medicinal plant extracts against hospital isolates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2005;11(6):510-512.
  18. Chusri S, Voravuthikunchai SP. Quercus infectoria: A candidate for the control of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections. Phytother Res. 2008;22(4):560-562.
  19. Leanpolchareanchai J, Pithayanukul P, Bavovada R. Anti-necrosis potential of polyphenols against snake venoms. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2009;31(4):556-562.
  20. Pithayanukul P, Ruenraroengsak P, Bavovada R, Pakmanee N, Suttisri R, Saen-oon S. Inhibition of Naja kaouthia venom activities by plant polyphenols. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005;97(3):527-533.
  21. Hwang JK, Kong TW, Baek NI, Pyun YR. Alpha-glycosidase inhibitory activity of hexagalloylglucose from the galls of Quercus infectoria. Planta Med. 2000;66(3):273-274.