Avena sativa


Avena sativa


Habitat: Widely distributed as a cereal crop.

Collection: The fruit and straw are gathered at harvest time, inAugust. The stalks are cut and bound together. Leave them upright to dry andthen thresh out the fruit. The straw is just the crushed dry stalks.

Part Used: Seeds and whole plant.

Constituents: * Proteins; prolamines known as avenins

* C-glycosyl flavones

* Avenacosides, which are spirostanol glycosides

* Fixed oil, Vitamin E, starch.

Actions: Nervine tonic, anti-depressant, nutritive, demulcent,vulnerary.

Indications: Oats is one of the best remedies for “feeding’ the nervoussystem, especially when under stress. It is considered a specific incases of nervous debility and exhaustion when associated withdepression. It may be used with most of the other nervines, bothrelaxant and stimulatory, to strengthen the whole of the nervous system. It isalso used in general debility. The high levels of silicic acid in the strawwill explain its use as a remedy for skin conditions, especially in externalapplications.

Ellingwood quoting from King’s considered it specific for”spasmodic and nervous disorders, with exhaustion; the nervous debility ofconvalescence, cardiac weakness from nervous exhaustion. In generalneurasthenia it promptly relieves the most unbearable occipital headache.” Inaddition he recommends it for the following patholgies: nerve tremors,chorea, paralysis agitans, epilepsy, convalescencefollowing prostrating disease, palpitations of the heart, nervousheadaches, overworked conditions of brain workers(!), generalprostration from anxiety and worry, nervous dyspepsia,sexual neurasthenia, nervous breakdown and exhaustion.

Combinations: For depression it may be used with Skullcap andMugwort.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water ontol-3 teaspoonfuls of the dried straw and leave to infuse l0-l5 minutes. Thisshould be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take 3-5ml three times a day.Bath: a soothing bath for use in neuralgia and irritated skin conditions can bemade: l pound of shredded straw is boiled in 2 quarts of water for half anhour. The liquid is strained and added to the bath, or the cooked rolled oatsmay be put into a muslin bag and used to bath with.

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Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

Explore Wellness in 2021