Herb of the Week #8 :: Oats

This weeks’ herb is another must-have in anyone’s daily routine: Oats


Botanical Latin Name: Avena Sativa

Botanical Family: Gramineace (grass) family

Parts used: milky oat seeds and aerial parts

Method: Tea, Tincture

Actions: Nervine, alterative, antiseptic, sedative, nutritive, stimulant, antidepressant, demulcent, vulnerary, restorative, antisposmadic

Energetics: moistening and neutral

Taste: mildly sweet and salty, nutritious tasting

Dosage: Tea – infuse 1 tbsp of herb to 8 oz of water, steep for 10-15 minutes, drink 1-4 cups daily. Tincture use up to 2 droppers full (60 drops) 1-3 times daily.

Contraindications: Those with a gluten sensitivity might want to avoid it. This is a touchy subject; some herbalists say to avoid it with any gluten issues while others say it’s not a problem. If you have celiac you would probably want to avoid it. If you are just gluten sensitive or simply avoiding it, I don’t think it needs to be avoided. But that is a personal choice and will vary. Caution possible blocking of the pain relieving effect of those on morphine and may increase blood pressure for those using nicotine.

Oats are packed with nutrients, they are high in silica, calcium, chromium, magnesium, zinc, manganese and vitamin B. They are great for cardio support and due to its high silica content, it is great for connective tissue, skin and nerves. Oats provide overall health and vitality and can provide energy. For those that are stressed, overworked, suffer from depression, anxiety, low sex drive or irritability, oats can provide relief sue to its soothing actions on the nervous system. Additionally, it’s great to support calm in children.

From Herbalist David Hoffman in his book Medical Herbalism, he says “Oats is one of the best remedies for ‘feeding’ the nervous system, especially when the patient is under stress.”

Oats can support any long-term illness. They are also known to support and sooth irritation from nicotine withdraw and many other addictive behavior recoveries. It is also wonderful for soothing skin irritation and inflammation, relieving itching and symptoms from dermatitis, psoriasis and fungal and viral rashes.

Oats are generally labeled as one of three types: milky oat tops, oat straw or wilds oats. From the blog Way of the Wild Heart, “Oats are the seeds, milky oat tops refer to the unripe seeds and the whole plant harvested and dried is referred to as oatstraw. Oatstraw refers to both the flowering milky tops and the stem of the plant combined, (as in whole plant medicine) and is used to make wonderfully nourishing and delicious herbal infusions.  Oatstraw infusions are a great way to get the benefits of oats.  Drinking 2-4 cups daily imparts all the benefits of eating oats and is especially hormonal balancing, grounding and vitality building. All the wild-hearted among us, pregnant women, nursing mothers, babies and growing children, women with busy lives and tight schedules, overworked and stressed-out-men, all benefit from integrating oats and oatstraw into their daily diets.” The milky oat tops are a great uterine tonic, toning and strengthening the female reproductive system.

Uses for Nettles:

  • Daily multi-vitamin and multi-mineral
  • Promotes vitality and energy
  • Nervous states with exhaustion
  • Irritability to concentrate
  • Exhaustion, fatigue, melancholy or depression
  • Weakness and/or numbness of limbs
  • Occipital headache extending down the spine
  • Lack of control over urination
  • Balancing sexual drive, excessive or low libido
  • Healing addictive habits
  • Balancing hormones
  • Nervous system irritation from exhaustion or stress
  • Premenstrual anxiety and depression
  • Fear of pain or death
  • Inability to relax
  • Anemia
  • Nervous palpitations
  • General debility
  • Bone health

Here is my recipe for a lovely nutritive and nerve supportive tea that is soothing and nourishing to the nerves and rejuvenating the whole body. This should not be sedative, but can also be used as wonderful a night time tea. And if you missed it, last week I posted about Nettles and included a high-calcium tea recipe.

4 parts lemon balm

3 parts oats

2 part chamomile

2 part calendula

2 parts skullcap

1 part rose

1 part lavender

Combine all herbs. Infuse 1 tablespoon dried herb mixture per 8 oz cup of hot water for 15-60 minutes. Drink 3-4 cups daily. For optimal outcome use daily for approximately 2-3 months or longer.

I also have a fantastic white clay miracle mask that includes oats in it. Comment below if you’d like it.


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