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Information about the herb Oats

Avena sativa, also known as Groats is part of the Graminaceae plant family. Oats are an annual grass.

General Information

There are about 25 varieties of Oats cultivated

Botanical Name:  Avena sativa, A. fatua

Plant Family: Graminaceae

Common Names: Groats, Haber, Hafer, Oatmeal

History: It is unknown when Oats were first introduced into Britain

Tradition: Oats were used in:

  • harvest rituals 
  • prosperity and money spells

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Plant Constituents of Oats


  • albumen
  • gluten
  • gum oil
  • other protein compounds
  • salts
  • starch
  • sugar

The pericarp of Oats contains

  • an amorphous alkaloid


  • antidepressant [agent to help depression]
  • antispasmodic [an agent which relieves or eases muscular spasms, cramps or convulsions]
  • demulcent [a substance that soothes inflamed mucous membranes and protects them from irritation]
  • emollient [an agent used externally to soften and soothe]
  • nervine [an agent that has a calming or soothing effect on the nerves, any agent that acts on the nervous system to restore the nerves to their natural state]
  • nutritive [gives nourishment]
  • prostatelium [agent to eliminate prostate disorders]
  • stimulant [an agent that excites or quickens the functional activity of the tissues giving more energy]
  • tonic [an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being]
  • vulnerary [a healing application for wounds]

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Usage of Oats

Medicinal Parts Used: Grain, straw

Oats are used either as a porridge made from the fruit or Oat Straw dried or in extract form for:

Brain and Nervous System Conditions

  • acts as a stimulant of the motor ganglia, increasing the excitability of the muscles
  • insomnia
  • nerve tonic
  • nervous prostration and exhaustion after febrile diseases
  • restores and strengthens the brain
  • restores the nervous system

Cardiovascular Conditions

  • beneficial action on the heart muscle
  • restores and strengthens the heart

Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • dyspepsia
  • easy digestion in inflammatory conditions and fevers
  • gastroenteritis
  • gastrointestinal inflammation

Genitourinary System Conditions

Oat Straw works very effectively on the Urinary Tract and is beneficial for adverse conditions of the:

  • bladder
  • kidneys 
  • ureters


  • spasmodic conditions of the bladder and ureters
  • uterine tonic

Male Conditions

  • beneficial for the prostate gland
  • impotence
  • spermatorrhea (involuntary release of semen)

Reproductive System

  • produces a tonic effect on the nerve structure of the sexual organs
  • sexual debility due to overindulgence

Respiratory Conditions

  • chest problems

Viral Conditions

  • herpes
  • shingles


  • bone-building
  • exhaustion
  • fevers
  • recovering from an illness or debilitating condition (as a food)
  • supplying necessary fiber in the diet    

Externally: Oats are used in packs, pastes and poultices to clear

  • acne
  • skin disorders

Oat Straw is used in:

Full Bath for:

  • gout
  • gravel
  • kidney problems
  • liver ailments
  • lumbago
  • paralysis
  • rheumatic problems

Douche/Enema for:

  • abdominal problems
  • bladder disorders
  • intestinal colic

Sitz Bath for:

  • abdominal problems
  • bedwetting
  • bladder problems
  • intestinal colic 

Footbath for:

  • chronically cold feet
  • tired feet

Local Wash for:

  • chill blains
  • eye problems
  • flaky skin
  • frostbite
  • skin diseases
  • wounds

Other Uses:  

Oatmeal flour is used as a

  • face mask
  • substitute for soap


Recommended dosage is as follows:

  • 20-40mL per week of 1:1 oats seed fluid extract

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Caution: Oats

  • causes excitement in horses
  • should be avoided in dyspepsia accompanied with acidity of the stomach


Global Herbal Supplies has Oats available in the following forms:

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