Oats – Avena sativa
- Created: 31 July 2014
amily - Graminaceae
Other Names: Groats, Oatmeal
The name of oats is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word ate, of an unknown origin.
Oats were originally used as a food source in Northern Europe.
Oats were used to fill mattresses to help symptoms from rheumatism. It was used to treat conditions like leprosy, ‘the itch’ and fistulas. It was prepared with vinegar as a means of getting rid of freckles and spots, believed to aid from withdrawal of addictive substances.
Seeds and straw
Oats are native to Northern Europe, though they are now grown all around the world. It is commonly grown in temperate regions worldwide as a cereal crop. They are harvested in late summer. Oats can be harvested green or when the grain is ripe. The entire plant can be used.
Saponins, alkaloids, sterols, flavonoids, silicic acid, silica, starch, proteins including gluten and albumin, sugar, gum oil, salts, vitamins especially Bs, A, C, E, vitamins and minerals, carotene, especially calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus.
• Hypocholesterolemia (oat bran)
• Nervine Tonic
• Cardiac Tonic
Oats is a great tonic for the whole bodily systems. It is great for nervous conditions and all cases of debility, whether physical or nervous debility. The grains and the straw are mildly antidepressant, gently raising energy levels and supporting an overstressed nervous system. Oat straw can be used for thyroid and oestrogen deficiency, for degenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis and also for recurrent or persistent colds.
It is great for depression, nervous debility and insomnia in those suffering from nervous exhaustion. This is due to its restorative activity.
Oats are one of the best herbs that can be used for convalescence.
The alkaloids in oats have a slightly stimulating action. The high silica content is an aid to local tissue healing.
Oats is a great tonic for the heart, especially in states of debility where cardiovascular support is needed.
Externally it is an emollient and cleansing. A decoction strained into a bath can help soothe itchiness and eczema. Decoctions are used for rheumatic pains and sciatica, as well as being a good skin tonic.
Oat tea stimulates the appetite, soothes the throat and chest pains and is a nerve tonic in cases of mental fatigue, anxiety and insomnia.
Recent research has shown that oatbran and to a lesser extent oatmeal, can help reduce abnormally high blood cholesterol levels.
Oatmeal or straw 1 – 4g
0.6ml – 2ml of a 1:1 three times a day
1 – 5ml of a 1:5 three times a day
Beware of Gluten sensitivities.
In cases of insensitivities allow the decoction or tincture to settle and then decant only the clear liquid for use.