Avena sativa

Common names: Oat straw, Wild Oats

Family name: Graminaceae

Part used: mature seed as oatmeal, green plant as nerve tonic, anxiolytic, chaff to improve blood lipid profile and reduced formation of atherosclerotic plaques

Constituents: proteins, C-glycosyl flavones, avenins, saponins (avenacosides A and B), flavinoid glycosides (quercetin), fixed oil, starch, plant sterols, fatty acids, vitamin B1, B2, D, and E, iron, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, silica, chromium, indole alkaloids gramine, rigonelline, and avenine are believed to have an effect upon the nervous system (Caldecot)

Pharmacology: Has a selective action on the brain and nerve cells,

Therapeutic actions: thymoleptic, cardiac tonic, nutrient, nerve restorative, external emollient, anxiolytic

Therapeutic uses: Internally: debility, convalescence, improves stamina, anxiety, stress, depression, hyperactivity, nervous exhaustion, support in drug and alcohol withdrawal, adolescence, menopause, PMS type A, Externally: eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, poultice, Oatmeal is a mucilaginous bulking fiber suitable for constipation, bowel inflammation, haemorrhoids, reducing cholesterol.

Combinations: works well with other nerviness, Valerian and Skullcap for drug withdrawal, alcoholism, nerve and physical weakness with depression and anxiety, recovery from illness and surgery.

Toxicity/side effects: none

Contraindications: potentially exposed to gluten during harvesting and processing, celiac alert

Dosage: max 5ml of a 1:5 fresh plant extract three times per day, as a tea as needed, as a food.

Duration of treatment: as required

Studies: Animal studies showed antagonism of analgesic effect in co-administered morphine; physical dependence on morphine was reduced; nicotine response was antagonized.

A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical study showed a significant reduction in tobacco use. The extract added to apple juice reduced cigarette consumption by 66% compared to the placebo group. In a 1968 study, 6 of 10 opium addict quit the drug after 27 to 45 days of oat treatment, and 2 other reduced their intake. 3 to 9 months later their use status remained the same. (Bone-350)

In animal studies, Avena extract was found to antagonize the effects of morphine. The extract was also found to antagonize the effects of intravenous nicotine administration in rats. Fresh plant extracts have been shown to be clinically effective in reducing cigarette addiction. Oat leaf extract had a LH-releasing activity upon the adenohypophysis in a rat’s brain. (Caldecot)