Oats (Avena sativa) are one of the most popular anti-stress tonics in herbal medicine today.
Avena translates into “nourishing” in Latin, offering a clue on its use.
Oats are a health elixir that bridges the gap between food and herb. Ancient folklore says that Gaia, Mother Earth herself, was weaned on the milk of flowering oats.
While it’s clear that all parts of oats have therapeutic benefits, they each work slightly differently.
Oatmeal (made from the hulled kernel) is a healthy breakfast food that helps normalize cholesterol, support heart health, and decrease weight problems. Oatmeal is also often used in herbal baths for eczema or hives.
Oatstraw refers to the whole plant, both the tops and the stems. It’s a food that nourishes and calms the nervous system, combating stressand insomnia. As a gentle tonic, oatstraw is safe and even beneficial for long-term use.
Milky oats or milky green oats refer to the creamy oat tops, picked fresh at the height of the season. Milky oats can also be used regularly with good results for stress and energy.
Milky oats are revered as a nervine food. They’re a great choice to build resistance to daily stress and burnout.
Milky oats are unique because they both calm and energize. They build sustained long-term energy by supporting endocrine and nervous system with an impressive nutrient content.
Milky oats offer a wealth of nutrients like B-complex, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Because of this, they help rejuvenate overworked people, like new parents and people with stressful jobs.
Milky oats ease physical and mental exhaustion. Yet, they encourage a deep restful sleep for people with insomnia– an amazing benefit indeed!
We’ve all heard the term “sowing your oats.” It seems this old adage is based in fact. Research shows milky oats increase sexual energy and performance for men and women.
A study done by the Institute for Advanced Study of Human with milky oats showed a significant increase in orgasms for men and women along with more pleasure and sexual desire.
For women, milky oats calm and relax mental stress, a major libido blocker. For men, they encourage blood flow for healthy erectile function and sexual performance.
It’s believed that milky oats may also free up bound testosterone, a problem that increases with age that depresses libido.
Additionally, oatmeal is an excellent food for sexuality because it decreases blood fats that lead to arterial blockage or impotence.
Milky oats can reduce PMS symptoms, like insomnia and cramps. Some women report they ease menopausal problems like vaginal dryness or mild anxiety.
Herbalists often use milky oats to allay depression and grief. They work to support nervous system health for people recovering from addictions to drugs or alcohol.
Milky oats work amazing as a source of minerals for stronger, more lustrous skin, hair, and nails.
A simple oatstraw or milky oats infusion can help kids with insomnia or anxiety. A gentle milky oats infusion is even a safe, occasional stress reducer for pregnant or nursing moms.
When it comes to health, we may think the more exotic an herb is, the better it is. In doing this, we may forget about the simple food medicines in our cupboards or gardens.
All parts of nutritious oats offer benefits for health. Milky oats especially support strong nerves, more focused thinking, balanced hormones, and healthy sexuality.
I like to use milky oats with nervines like passionflower for stress and anxiety relief. Milky oats also combine well with adaptogenic herbs like American ginseng to strengthen the adrenal glands and reduce burnout.