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Oat to Joy - The Content of the Oat in Our Daily Diet

Updated on September 17, 2013

Avena sativa

A breakfast favorite - especially in the winter, is oatmeal. Oats have long been a staple food in northwest Europe, and is still commonly part of our diet  at the start of a day, especially if we know we have a long, strenuous day ahead. 

Oats come from Oatstraw, which is gathered when the grain is ripe. The whole plant is generally used coarsely chopped, as an anti-depressant, can promote sweating which is a helpful tool when detoxing and ridding the body of illness, can act as a nerve tonic, can be used in cases of thyroid and estrogen deficiency as well as reoccurring colds and for degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis. 

The oat itself can be used as an antidepressant, can act as a restorative nerve tonic and is of course packed with nutrients such as vitamin B and E, and protein. In fact, the protein in oats is found to be close to equal to that meat, soy, egg and milk protein, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Oat bran (the coarse husks from the grain) is antithrombotic, which means it prevents the formation of blood clots, and has been also shown to reduce the levels of cholesterol in the blood, as does the actual grain though to a lesser degree. Oat bran also is a good source of soluble fiber, which is slower to digest, and thus prolonging the feeling of being full.

Oatmeal, which is the result of ground grains has a high silica content which aids skin problems such as eczema, shingles and cold sores, when applied externally.

In a tincture, oats are good in cases of insomnia, anxiety and depression, especially in combination of vervain. It is a restorative to the nervous system and a qi replenisher. It is a vulnerary (helps to heal wounds) and a demulcent (calmer). It will support the nervous system in times of stress and during states of exhaustion, especially when due to depression. Oats can aid sleep quality and quantity as well as help withdrawal symptoms from tobacco and drugs. 

Tinctures should be used three to five ml three times a day. If making an oatstraw infusion, pour a cup of boiling water over one to three teaspoons dried straw and infuse for ten to fifteen minutes and strain. Drink this three times throughout the day.

To make an effective therapeutic bath for neuralgia and general irritated skin and skin conditions, create an infusion by steeping one pound of oatstraw in two quarts of water for half an hour, and then add to the bath. Alternatively, a muslin bag of cooked rolled oats soaked in the bathwater works just as well.

Oats are also used for most skin conditions in a poultice, especially eczema and singles. 

As always, check with your general practitioner before putting these tips to use, especially if you happen to be using any other medications.


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      Brian 7 years ago

      No wonder horses like oats...I do too!