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Oats

Avena sativa

Herbs gallery - Oats



Common names

  • Avena Sativa
  • Common Oats
  • Groats
  • Oats
  • Wild Oats

The plant based cereals called the oats - botanical name: Avena sativa - is a very nutritious food and remedy. The oat is rich in protein, has lots of beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium, trace elements like silicon and potassium as well as iron - while also being very high in vitamin content. The presence of these bodybuilding nutrients in the oats makes for strong bones and teeth, most of these vital minerals found in the oats are also necessary for the maintenance of a healthy nervous system in a human being. Remedies made from the oats were traditionally used as an herbal nerve tonic; this tonic was given to patients to treat problems like depression, and mental debility as well as nervous exhaustion. Eating oats is very good remedy when withdrawing from the effects of tranquilizers and antidepressant medications. The oats not only stimulates the body but also boosts energy levels up. At the same time, eating oats can be very relaxing and can greatly aid sleep in people affected by insomnia. The oats is ideal as a food for the chronically sick patients, for other convalescents and for mothers recovering from the labors of childbirth as it is very easily digested by the body. The estrogen levels in the body are also regulated by the oats. The oats also lower blood cholesterol mainly because of the fiber present in the oats, the fiber aids the body in combating various cardiovascular diseases that can affect the body of a person. At the same time, the eating of oats can help lower high blood pressure; it can help combat obesity, and is also useful in cases of varicose veins and problems like hemorrhoids. Irritations along the digestive tract can be soothed using the oats; eating oats is also an excellent remedy for problems like diverticulitis, long term irritable bowel syndrome, conditions such as gastritis and persistent constipation. The fiber in the oat results in bulkier stools being produced and the bulk is sped faster along the gut, this reduces the exposure time of the sensitive gut lining tissues to various irritants and carcinogens present in the waste. The chances of cancer in the bowel is said to be reduced by eating oats on a regular basis for this reason. The consumption of oats is also believed to protect the body against all general cancer types that can potentially affect the body of a person. Oats also lowers the blood sugar levels in the body and this exciting discovery suggests that the oats will be helpful to diabetics. Oats also prevents retention of excessive fluids and aids digestion in general.

Parts used

Grain, straw (dried stems).

Uses

Human health is benefited in numerous ways by the consumption of oats, and the plant itself is best known as a nutritious breakfast cereal - it is also used as an animal feed. The ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood is a major positive point of oats. Research also suggests that consumption of an oat based diet can result in improved stamina in the person. When they are taken medically for different disorders the oats and especially the oat straw work as a tonic. Medical herbalist often suggests the consumption of the oats straw for the treatment of general debility and as a tonic for a different variety of nervous conditions affecting patients. A mildly anti-depressant action is also evident in the grains and the straw of the oats; they can raising the energy levels in the body very gently and help in supporting a weakened nervous system in the body. Nervous exhaustion as well as depression is treated using the oats. Eating oats is also useful in combating the profound lethargy which comes as a direct result of multiple sclerosis, and oats is also useful as a food in case of chronic neurological pain, and to help insomnia affected patients. Eating oats is supposed to help with insomnia, as the oats seem to be able to stimulate enough nervous energy to enable a person to sleep. As a food, the oats are considered to be one of the principal herbal treatments during convalescence following a long illness - they are easily digested and provide a lot of energy quickly. An emollient and cleansing action is also performed by the oats on the external body. The oats is turned into a decoction and when this is strained into bath water, it will aid in soothing down itchiness and problems linked to skin disorders such as eczema in patients.

Other medical uses

Habitat and cultivation

The oats plant is a native species of northern Europe. However, nowadays, the oats is grown around the world in almost all temperate regions as cereal crop and for animal feed production. Late summer is the usual time for harvesting the oats crop.

Research

Oats may induce greater stamina in athletes, according to the results of a research conducted in Australia, there those athletes given an oat based diet for three weeks displayed a four per cent increase in the stamina and were healthier than others. Muscle function is believed to be aided by eating oats, and researchers suggest oats should be eaten in the meals during training and exercise regimen lasting days to boost stamina and performance.

Constituents

Oats contain saponins, flavonoids, many minerals, alkaloids, steroidal compounds, vitamins B1, B2, D, E, carotene, wheat protein (gluten), starch, fat.

Usual dosage

The best way to take the oats is as a morning breakfast cereal or in the form of porridge. Oats herbal tea can be prepared by brewing about a heaped tablespoonful of the oats in 250 ml or a cup of boiling water, letting the oats steep into the water slowly and cooling and straining the drink. This oats herbal tea can be drunk as a treatment for various disorders many times a day or once shortly before sleeping at night. Oats tincture can be used at doses of 3 - 5 ml thrice every day for various disorders. The oats is also available in encapsulated and tablet forms; these can be taken at 1-4 grams daily for different disorders. Topical soothing oats soaked bath can help bring soothing relief and ease from irritated skin. The bath water can be prepared by running hot water through a sock having several tablespoons of oats and allowing the oats to steep into the water.

Side effects and cautions

No side effects of any adverse kind have been reported with the use of oats in any form. However, those individuals suffering from gluten sensitivity - celiac disease must consume the oats with some care as it might trigger the same reactions like wheat flour.

Applications

Oat straw:
FLUID EXTRACT The fluid extract of the oats can be used at doses of 2-3 ml for treating problems like insomnia, nervous anxiety, as well as depression affecting patients. Oats based tincture is taken in similarly doses. The oats based fluid extract is very effective in a combination herbal formula with the vervain herb. The fluid extract made from the oats is also very effective as a nutritive addition to some herbal remedies for the treatment of colds and chills and encourages sweating in the body.
DECOCTION The herbal oats based decoction can be prepared using the whole dried oats plant, it can be taken for the same disorders treated using the oats fluid extract remedy.
WASH The herbal oats decoction is also excellent as a herbal healing wash for various skin conditions affecting a person.
Grain:
POULTICE An oatmeal poultice can be gently rubbed into the skin to treat different skin conditions like eczema, various cold sores, and problems such as shingles in affected people.

Oat straw tea

"He feels his oats" is an expression that is sometimes applied to a lively, energetic young person. Oats are considered an energy food and, as such, prime fare for children and the ailing. The grain contains biologically valuable forms of protein and fat. Oat starch is so easy to digest that it begins breaking down while it is still being chewed. Green oats, harvested just before they bloom, deliver the most important active ingredients in their juice. The tea made of the "still green" grain was an ancient folk remedy in Hildegard's time and is still used today. Nowadays it is employed to free the body of harmful waste products. It is particularly useful in cases of arthritic joint inflammation and when the uric acid level in the urine is high, as in cases of gout. Green straw tea will release harmful metabolic by-products and simultaneously remove unnecessary water held in the tissues. Naturally, you may be able to obtain the ingredients for this tea fresh, but if not, your health food store offers dried oat straw and ready-made teas. In these, the role of the other herbs is to support the action of the oat straw.

First mix all of these dry ingredients well; this is your tea blend. Now add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mixture to 2 or 3 cups (500- 750 ml) of boiling water. Simmer the herbs for about 20 minutes. An alternative method is to start the tea cold, letting the herbs steep for several hours. The tea only needs 10 minutes of simmering and 10 minutes of steeping before it is ready to strain. The dosage: 3 cups daily, if possible, unsweetened.

Comments

From James Lees - Jun-21-2011
A very good treatment for insomnia is made by steeping the green flowers just covered with brandy for ten days, filtering through a coffee filter, and using the ensuing tincture, 30 drops at night. We have often doubled and trebled this quantity with no ill effects. Sleep comes within 30 minutes without side effects or after effects.
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