Did You Know…that the stems, flowers, and milky seeds of the oat plant, commonly called oat straw, can help heal everything from broken bones to sexual dysfunction to anxiety and more?
You probably know that oatmeal may help keep cholesterol in check. What you may not have heard is that the stems, flowers, and seeds of the oat plant—known collectively as oat straw—offer major health benefits far beyond those of oatmeal.
Harvested from green oats, oat straw is also known as Avena sativa. And since the Middle Ages, it has been used to support brain health. Now, natural health experts suggest oat straw can also…
Reduce the risk of heart disease
Improve physical performance
Improve sexual function
Respected herbalist Susun Weed says oat straw nourishes the entire body at the deepest level while boosting energy naturally without the peaks and crashes of caffeine.
How Does Oat Straw Confer Its Benefits?
Scientists aren’t sure exactly how oat straw confers benefits, but they believe it works in several unique ways. First, studies suggest oat straw increases alpha-2 waves, which are more prominent during our waking hours. Second, oat straw may increase nitric oxide and suppress inflammatory cytokines in artery walls. That, in turn, increases blood flow to the brain and enhances your alertness. Preliminary research has brought in some exciting results:
In one study, participants who consumed oat straw scored significantly better on cognitive tests
At least two studies suggest that oat straw increases libido and enhances sexual experience for men and perhaps also for women
Bone Health and More
Oat straw tea has been used traditionally to speed the healing of broken bones—often in combination with other herbs such as horsetail and comfrey. A single cup of oat straw infusion contains 300 milligrams of calcium! Oatstraw also offers a plentiful supply of silica, a mineral that supports healthy skin, hair, nails, and bones.
Keeping Stress and Anxiety in Check
Oat straw is known to be a nervine—meaning it can calm and nourish the central nervous system. For this reason, Finnish herbalist Henriette Kress says it may be useful in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness.
As an external skin soother, oat straw can be infused and used in a bath or a compress to treat skin conditions including…
Preparation and Cautions
Oat straw is available at health food stores and online as a whole herb in a hay-like form, as a powder, as an extract, or as a capsule or pill.
If using the whole herb, experts suggest making an infusion by steeping 1 tablespoon of herbs with 1 cup of boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes and strain just before drinking (you might use a teapot with built-in strainer or a tea ball or muslin bag in a jar).
You can also sprinkle a tablespoon or 2 of powdered oat straw on your meals, or stir up an energy drink with 2 teaspoons of powdered oat straw, water, lemon, and ginger. If you opt for a supplement, many experts suggest a dose of about 1,500 mg per day.
Caution: If you are gluten intolerant, you should know that oats are often cross-contaminated with gluten in the field or during processing, and therefore the same could be true of oat straw herb.