Botanical: Avena sativa (also known as Avena fatua)
Family: Poaceae (haygrass) - Gramineae (grass)
Other common names: Oat Straw, Oats, Wild (fatua) Oats, Cultivated (sativa) Oats, Groats, Rolled Oats, Steel Cut Oats, Common Oats
Nerves on edge? Avena Sativa is a good restorative nerve tonic, ideal for depression and energy deficiency and a general treatment for nervous conditions. The oat bran in Avena has been shown lately to help lower abnormally high blood cholesterol levels, and its high fiber content is a great help in maintaining daily "regularity." Avena Sativa also supplies the body with silicon, the substance needed to build healthy skin, fingernails and healthy, lustrous hair.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Although of uncertain origin, Avena Sativa (Oats) are thought to have come from Eastern Europe or Western Asia, and they are now cultivated in temperate regions throughout the old and new world. The common Oat is a fibrous annual with a smooth stem that grows to a height of four feet and bears lance-shaped, rough leaves, loose sheaves and spikelets. Both cultivated Avena sativa and wild Avena fatua have been known for their medicinal and almost legendary nutritional qualities since prehistoric times, and Oats' remedial uses were finally recorded in folk medicine in England by the thirteenth century. Oats are still considered an important, traditional staple of food in Northern Europe. Avena Sativa is a hardy grain that can grow almost up to the arctic region and has even been planted to prevent soil erosion; but, of course, it is mainly used as an important cereal crop. July and August are considered optimal harvest time, and ripeness is judged by the yellow color of the straw. The stalks are then cut and bound together and left upright to dry before use. The entire plant is used for medicinal remedies, and some of its main constituents include saponins, flavonoids, gluten, albumen, silicon, starch, protein compounds, arginine, lysine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, sulfur, chlorophyll, melatonin, pectin, gum, fiber, linolenic acid, lignin, calcium, folate, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, salicylic acid, methionine, steroids, alkaloids (trigonelline, avenine), glycosides, fiber and vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6 and vitamins C, D and E. The seeds contain alkaloids, such as gramine, as well as saponins, such as avenacosides A and B, plus iron, manganese and zinc, and the straw is a significant source of silica.
Avena Sativa has been extensively used to supply the body with the element, silicon, in an easily assimilated form. Silicon is the substance necessary to build the outer layer of the skin, the hair and fingernails; and silicon deficiency often causes dull, unhealthy-looking hair, deformed and splitting nails and skin diseases.
Avena's high calcium content also helps to build strong bones and nails and assists in fighting osteoporosis and bone loss. It may be taken daily by menopausal women to counteract bone loss and other symptoms of menopause.
The Oat grain in Avena Sativa is high in protein and has an almost legendary reputation as a food of great value, frequently helping to increase stamina and energy. Moreover, Avena bran, with its high fiber, has been shown in recent studies to significantly reduce high cholesterol levels in the blood, which is thus helpful in reducing the incidence of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), heart attacks and stroke. The fiber in the bran is also an important factor in maintaining the body's daily "regularity."
Avena Sativa is a nerve tonic with a calming effect that nourishes and strengthens the nervous system. It is considered a "nervine" that has been used as a treatment for nervous conditions of all kinds,
including exhaustion, insomnia, attention deficit disorder and mild temporary depression.
Some herbalists claim that Avena Sativa helps to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal from opium and morphine addiction; others say it will also help smokers break their habit.
Avena Sativa has been called a sexual stimulant in both men and women and, as such, is believed to be the source of the phrase, "Sowing one's wild oats."
When used externally in baths, Avena Sativa soothes inflamed skin, particularly eczema and psoriasis. It is known as a vulnerary, or healing substance, that treats fresh cuts and wounds.
Avena was widely used in folk and alternative medicines as an anti-spasmodic and as a treatment for digestive disorders, such as gastroenteritis and dyspepsia.
Currently, there are no known warnings or contraindications with the use of Avena Sativa Herbal Supplement.