Avena sativa

Avena sativa                   Common name: Oat

Parts used:  Aerial parts of the plant harvested just before it is in full flower (Milky oat seed).

Constituents: Starch (60%), triterpenoid saponins (avenocosides), Protein (avenins, gluten) Silicic acid esters, polyphenols, mono & oligosaccharides, nutrients (Vitamin E & B, iron, manganese, zinc, calcium), glycosyl flavones

Medicinal actions: Antidepressant, anxiolytic, nervine, nervous system tonic & trophorestorative, nutritional, hypolipidemic (as food), cardiotonic, demulcent, emollient, vulnerary, antispasmodic

Medicinal use: One of the loveliest nervous system trophorestoratives. Is nutritive in cases of debility from anxiety & fatigue. Avena “feeds” the nervous system especially when under stress. It is specific in cases of nervous debility and exhaustion, especially when associated with depression. It may be used with most of the other nervines, both relaxant and stimulatory, to strengthen the whole of the nervous system.

Oat Straw is high in silica & minerals & has connective tissue restorative qualities for bones, muscles, tendons & nerves. The high levels of silicic acid in the straw explain its use as a remedy for skin condition, especially in external applications.

Oat Tops (aka. milky green oats or seed of unripe plants) has saponins & alkaloids and is neurotonic & an adaptogenic nervine useful in anxiety & lassitude.


  • High starch content acts as a demulcent
  • Triterpenoid saponins (avenocosides) are anti-fungal
  • High nutrient content is partly responsible for sedative action on the nervous system. It has the highets content of iron, zinc and manganese of all grain species.
  • Silicic acid esters are healing to the skin.
  • Oat bran (protein) reduces cholesterol, increases stamina and is anti-thrombotic.

Pharmacy: Infusion: 1 heaped Tbsp (approx. 3 g) to 1 cup Water; steep until at room temperature.  Drink throughout the day. Tincture: (1:5, 25%), 1-5 ml TID. Bath: Add 1 heaping cup to bath water, enjoy!

Contraindications: None known. Avoid use in those with known gluten sensitivity.

Toxicity: None known.

Interactions: None known.

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