Avena Sativa Monograph
Latin Name: Avena sativa
Common name(s): Oats, Wild Oats
Botany: Oats are a species of cereal grain, commonly used as a food for humans and livestock animals.
Habitat: Oats are best grown in temperate regions.
History/Folklore: The wild ancestors of Oats grew in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East. Domesticated Oats first appeared in Bronze Age Europe.
Parts used: Seeds, fresh plant
Constituents: starch, sugar, gum, oil, albumen, gluten, alkaline salts
Actions: Nervine, tonic, stimulant, antispasmodic, emollient, anti-depressant, tropho-restorative
Medicinal use: Oats are commonly known as a nutritive and nervine restorative. They can help rebuild body systems depleted by anxiety, poor nutrition, and nervous exhaustion. While Oats rebuild the body, they help balance the mood, reducing stress and providing an uplift for the depressed. Oats have been used as an aid for withdrawal from tobacco and drug addiction. The dried seeds can be used in a decoction to relieve the symptoms of eczema. The emollient properties of Oats ease itching and nourish the skin. Oats are also useful for restoring libido, insomnia, diarrhea, and dysentery.
Common preparation: cooked as a cereal, tincture, decoction
Contraindications: May be contraindicated for gluten intolerant individuals (Celiac disease).
Food notes: Oats as food come in a wide variety of forms, including the following: oatmeal, ground flour, baked good ingredient in bread and cookies, cold cereals like granola, and as a soup thickener.
Nutrition notes: Oats are considered rich in several B vitamins (B1, B2, B6, B9), Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, and Zinc.They are also high in protein and soluble fiber, particularly cholesterol lower beta glucans.
Harvesting: Best when harvested at milky stage, and used immediately for teas and tinctures.
Chevallier, Andrew. Herbal Remedies. 2007, Metro Books, New York.