Oats Avena sativa L.
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Oats
How to Use: Oats
The humble oat epitomizes the concept of food as your best medicine. Oatmeal is very inexpensive, easy to prepare, and has equally important nutritional and health benefits.
Whole oats contain beta-glucans which help to lower cholesterol levels naturally. 1 The complex carbohydrates give your body a long lasting energy boost, and stimulate the immune system. Oats also contain a daily dose of B vitamins to fight stress. The old saying "Sowing your wild oats", refers to the long held view that oats help support a healthy libido. The presence of steroidal saponins, and beta sitosterol in raw oats could indeed have an effect on balancing hormonal levels, which is a rather fun reason to encourage your loved one to eat this rather unexciting, but extremely healthy food. 2
The dried milky tops, called oatstraw, make a soothing herbal tea used as a nervous system tonic. For cases of mild to moderate anxiety combine oatstraw with chamomile or lemon balm in tea and tincture formulas. Oatstraw is often used for children and those who are debilitated from exhaustion or mild depression. 4
Oatmeal extract, the liquid left from cooking whole oats, is one of the most soothing and effective treatments for dry skin and sunburns, and can help heal damage from more serious skin conditions such as serious eczema and psoriasis. 5 A simple poultice made from a muslin bag filled with oatmeal and chamomile flowers is one the most healing things you can use for damaged skin. There are many perfectly fine, natural skin products that contain oatmeal extracts but in this case homemade is fresher, works better and costs much less.
Preparation Methods & Dosage :Eat rolled oats in least processed forms to get the full cholesterol-lowering benefits. The dried milky tops make a soothing herbal tea. Oat extracts are often used as an additive in skin care products, you can easily make your own by using the liquid from cooking rolled oats. Avena glycerites and tinctures are best made from the fresh plant, and are available for purchase for us city folk.
Oats Side Effects: Eat whole grain oats as often as you can, however, be aware that the prepackaged, instant oatmeal mixes sold today have been stripped of the nutrient value and are filled with refined sugars. For oatstraw tea, it is best to ensure that it is organically grown. In selecting the dried herb for tea, choose seeds that are green to green-yellow, seeds are stronger medicinally than the stems.
Oats were introduced to North America from Europe and now often grows wild. If you have ever made the mistake of using unseasoned straw for garden mulch, you can attest to that.
Regional Traditions :Middle East *