Avena sativa, smooth by name and smooth by nature, is the common name for the much-loved staple found in most households. The oat plant is native to Europe, Asia and Africa but is now cultivated worldwide. The whole herb has been used for both food and medicine around the world, including the leaves, stems and seeds.
Oats make a great addition to our diets as they are rich in nutrients such as calcium, potassium and B Vitamins. They are also a rich source of beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that helps to aid digestive, immune and heart health.
The parts used include the immature seed pod which yields a milky sap when pressed (this unripe seed is commonly used to make medicinal tinctures), the dried stem & leaf which is often used as a nourishing infusion and the mature seeds which is what is used to make the oats that we eat for breakfast.
In herbal medicine, oats are considered a nervous system trophorestorative. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but in basic terms it acts as a tonic and works to restore and rejuvenate the nervous system.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Oats are used as a long-term nerve tonic, by herbalists, to help treat stressed people with overworked systems and nervous exhaustion.
- The beta-glucans found in oats may help to naturally lower cholesterol levels.
- The benefits of oats can be experienced both internally and externally.
OATS & ME
- Oats can be very soothing for dry, irritated or inflamed skin. Simply put some oatmeal into a sock or muslin cloth and throw it into a relaxing bath. The milky water that results will both soothe and soften your skin.
- Oats can be used to make a simple (yet effective) face mask. Mix some oatmeal with some honey to make a paste. Apply to face, leave for about 15 minutes, then exfoliate before washing off. The fine grains help remove dead skin and leave skin feeling fresh and smooth.
- If you feel you are particularly overworked, try having oats straw as a daily infusion to help feed and nourish your tired nervous system.
If you are pregnant/breastfeeding or on drug medication, be sure to consult with a professional before trying these remedies