Also known as Avena sativa, oat straw has been used for centuries to detoxify and energize the body as well as to boost libido, tonify the nervous system, and improve mental clarity. Oat straw is composed of the entire oat plant, including the leaves and stems, which are ground into powder or made into a tincture for easy ingestion. Oat straw generally thrives in moderate temperatures and is hardy enough to grow in not only cultivated land and meadows, but also in dry wastelands.
Oat straw is a pale green grass-like plant that has a long, flat leaf that is rough in texture. The seeds are spindle-shaped and ripen from August to October, with the flowers of the plant blooming in June and July. The seeds can be dried and then stored for years. When they are ground they have a texture that is similar to flour. Oat straw is one of the most versatile herbs with a bounty of vitamins and minerals that help to treat a myriad of physical problems. Oat straw has been used to naturally lower cholesterol, to reduce stress, to treat exhaustion, and to rebuild strength after an illness. It is often used to treat symptoms of nervousness, insomnia, and for easing withdrawal symptoms from nicotine and other drugs.
Oat straw helps with obesity and works to reduce fluid retention due to its diuretic properties. Additionally it is used to sooth and treat both varicose veins and hemorrhoids. With its very high silica content, oat straw is ideal for helping fortify the nails and hair. Because it is related to colloidal oatmeal, it is also efficacious when dealing with skin problems such as rashes, sunburn, shingles, and other types of irritation. Regular doses of oat straw are said to contribute to mental clarity by sharpening focus and stimulating the brain. For centuries it has been used to enhance sexual performance, due to its aphrodisiac effect on the body. Oat straw contains steroidal saponins and beta sitosterol, a plant-based sterol that resembles estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, helping to regulate hormone levels. It may not be for nothing that the expressions "sowing one's wild oats" and "feeling his oats" came about as a way to express sexual prowess!
The beta sitosterol contained in oat straw is also an anti-tumor compound, which may help in the treatment of various types of cancers. If you are going to make a tea out of oat straw, make sure you boil the leaves and stems over a low heat for about 20 minutes in order to get the most out of them. If you are making a tea from an extract, use 2 to 3 teaspoonfuls to one cup of boiled water and leave for about 10 minutes before drinking. If you are taking oat straw tincture, take 3 to 5 ml three times a day. Oat straw can also be placed in a bath to soothe the skin and calm the nerves. Make an infusion with one pound of oat straw to two quarts of boiling water. Steep in boiling water, cool a bit, and then add the brew to your bath. Oat straw can also be given as a supplement to pets due to containing so many vitamins and minerals important for their health. Make a tea of the herb using one teaspoon of oat straw to 8 ounces of water and pour it over your cat or dog's food to care of their skin, fur, and nervous systems. As such, it is an ideal tonic for sick or aging animals. Oat straw is not to be ingested if you are allergic to oats or if you have celiac disease as it contains gluten. If you have any doubts about oat straw, be sure to consult with your health practitioner.
Michele Kadison has been a dance teacher and choreographer for over 20 years, with her career spanning the globe. As a seasoned writer, she has published numerous articles on a wide variety of subjects, including dance, fitness, health, beauty, and fashion. mkadison.blogspot.com