Part Used: Fresh "milky" seed (no leaf or stem)
Oat Seed (Avena sativa) is an annual cereal grass with a fibrous root producing a smooth, hollow, jointed stem, growing up to 120cm tall, with more or less rough pale green, narrow flat leaves. The flowers are arranged in a loose terminal panicle from 15-30cm long consisting of two-flowered spikelets up to 2.5cm long. In folk medicine, Oats were used to treat nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and “weakness of the nerves.” A tea made from Oats was thought to be useful in rheumatic conditions and to treat water retention. Oats were often used in baths to treat insomnia and anxiety as well as a variety of skin conditions, including burns and eczema. The active constituents of Oat Seed include saponins (including avenacosides A and B), alkaloids (including indole alkaloid, gramine, trigonelline, avenine), sterol (avenasterol), flavonoids, silica (particularly in the straw), starch (50% in the seeds), protein (including gluten), minerals (calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, zinc), vitamins B1, B2, D and E, carotene, fat, and fixed oil. It has antidepressive; thymoleptic;, anticholesterolemic; antispasmodic; cardiac; diuretic; emollient; nervine; nutritive; and stimulant actions.
Oat Seed is a nutritious food that gently restores vigour after debilitating illnesses, helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood and also increases stamina. The seed is a mealy nutritive herb that is antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, emollient, nervine and stimulant. It contains the antitumor compound b-sitosterol and has been used as a folk remedy for tumours. A gruel made from the ground seed is used as a mild nutritious aliment in inflammatory cases, fevers and after parturition. It should be avoided in cases of dyspepsia accompanied with acidity of the stomach. A tincture of the ground seed in alcohol is useful as a nervine and uterine tonic. A decoction strained into a bath will help to soothe itchiness and eczema. It is a nourishing herb applicable to any state of debility and exhaustion and during convalescence. It is particularly suited as a long-term treatment in nervous debility, making gradual but sustained progress in fighting off shingles and other forms of herpes, neuralgia, neuritis and even chronic depression. It is also of benefit as part of a regime for people attempting to withdraw from an addiction to alcohol, smoking, tranquillizers or other drugs.
Holistic Online. http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h272.htm
Plants for a Future. http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Avena+sativa&CAN=COMIND
Purple Sage Botanicals. http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/oats.htm