Herbalists prescribe the flowering
tops to sustain the nervous system. Treatments for eczema and dry skin often
include oat extract. Ayurvedic doctors give oats to ease opium withdrawal.
Samuel Johnson defined oats as "a grain, which in England is generally given to
horses, but in Scotland supports the people". Their origin is unknown but oats
have probably been eaten, if not cultivated, since neolithic times. Widely used in
medicine, oats' traditional uses as a general nutritive and nerve restorative have been
confirmed by recent experiments. The plant is an annual grass easily distinguished from
wheat or barley by the loose head of grain and its papery covering.
Flowering tops, grain.
Alkaloids; flavonoids; protein;
minerals, including silica and calcium.
Restores the nerves; stimulant; supports the nutrition and tone of the nervous system.
Used for depression, melancholia, and for general debility involving the nervous system,
such as occurs in shingles and multiple sclerosis. Prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for opium withdrawal. Skin preparations containing
oat extracts are still used in orthodox medicine for eczema and dry skin. If eaten in large amounts, oats may lower blood cholesterol levels.
Groats, oatmeal, whole plant juice, tincture, over-the-counter skin preparations.