In today's modern, crazy world, chances are you've had those days, weeks, even months. Enter milky oats - Avena sativa - the 'Avena' means 'nourishing' in Latin!
In the Poaceae (grass) family, milky oats provides a host of essential vitamins and minerals that nourish the body as a whole: - calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, and silicon - in addition to Vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and K., starch and soluble fiber. The high silicon content alone feeds healthy skin, nails, hair, bones, and teeth.
But we herbalists rarely use an herb for a single constituent, and the power of oats with all its nutritive goodness strengthens connective tissue and blood vessels, mucosa, and nerves.
If you have been burning the candle at both ends, don't know which way is up, or are at your wit's end, then milky oats may just be the hug that you need. It's slightly sweet, slightly 'green', and the mildly milky consistency rolls off the tongue and smoothly down the throat. It just feels good!
There are several ways of getting therapeutic doses of milky oats. My favorite, as suggested above, is to steep it like a tea. Even inhaling the aroma of the slightly sweet, green, and moistening brew can break the tension of a long, frustrating day.
If you are buying dried oats, be sure to get 'milky oat SEED', as the oat STRAW has different properties (still useful, but less of a nerve tonic). The seeds should be harvested at the milky stage (see photo above), and lightly chopped in a blender to break open the seed pods for better steeping.
Here's a really simple, at-home-do-it-yourself oat bath recipe, courtesy of justapinch.com.
A note about overall efficacy...
Just be patient, though, because it may take a few weeks to notice the full effect. And if you are still not getting the relief you would like, increase the dose (and/or see a professional herbalist for addressing deeper imbalances).
Feel free to email me to share what YOU are thankful for, or if I may serve you in any way.
Braun, L. & Cohen, M. (2015). Herbs & Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Guide (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
Mars, B. (2016). The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine: The Ultimate Multidisciplinary Reference to the Amazing Realm of Healing Plants, in a Quick-Study, One-Stop Guide (2nd ed.). Basic Health Publications, Inc.
Wood, M. (2008). The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.