October 14th, 2014Oats: Avena sativa
Jo Francks, M.H.
Oats; we often overlook this common food as an effective medicine. Oats are a good source of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and are also high in silica.
Different parts of the plant are used at different stages of growth. Oat straw is used for its high amounts of calcium and silica. This is used in Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Calcium formula.
The green tops can also be used as a tonic for the nervous system. A tincture or a tea of the green oats is recommended for nervous strain. They have been used for heart trouble and depression. It is also taken as an antidote for drug addiction and alcoholism.
Oats are exceptional for skin care. Used in the bath they help with itchy skin and help to soften and sooth the skin. Use 1 cup blended dry oatmeal in a tub of water. Another way to use it in the tub is to make a gallon of tea from the oat straw and add that to the tub. Blended oatmeal is also used as a scrub. Mix 1/2 cup blended oatmeal with 1/4 cup shavings of natural soap and 1/2 cup ground apricot pits or almonds. Put 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a reusable muslin tea bag. Get the bag wet and use as a facial scrub or a body scrub. Hang to dry and reuse 3 or 4 times.
In his book Back to Eden, Jethro Kloss referred to oatmeal as “one of the finest foods we have to prevent disease” and that it is “the ideal basic food for children during the winter months to prevent infection from all zymotic diseases.” Oats are also especially helpful when recovering from an illness.
Whether it is being used for food or medicinal purposes, oats provide many qualities worth looking in to. Try using oat straw tea to calm your nerves or have a nice warm bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning to get your day started. Or for a raw breakfast soak some oat groats in distilled water overnight, strain and blend with fresh berries and a sweetener of your choice and enjoy.
Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch practitioner.