Avena sativa


(Avena) Latin; oat plant, while (sativa) Latin; cultivated.

Common name: Oat

Family: Poaceae

Parts used: Aerial parts of the plant harvested just before it is in full flower (Milky oat seed).

Constituents: Starch (60%), triterpenoid saponins (avenocosides), Protein (avenins, gluten, protein that causes sensitivity in most) Silicic acid esters, polyphenols, mono & oligosaccharides, nutrients (Vitamin E & B, iron, manganese, zinc, calcium), glycosyl flavones

Actions: Antidepressant, anxiolytic, nervine, nervous system tonic & trophorestorative, nutritional, hypolipidemic (as food), cardiotonic, demulcent, emollient, vulnerary, antispasmodic





Avena sativa hasnt always been used medicinally. Onced considered a pesky weed by the Romans, although, Eclectic Doctors changed that. A Gentle, yet effective nervous system trophorestorative. Often used in preparations for small children.

Avena sativa, extremely nourishing in mild to moderate cases of anxiety and fatigue.  Avena sativa is able to perform this action as it  “feeds” the nervous system especially when under stress. It is specific in cases of nervous debility and exhaustion, especially when associated with depression. It may be used with most of the other nervines, both relaxant and stimulatory, to strengthen the whole of the nervous system.

Antiquity herbalist, Saint Hildegard of Bingen, born in 1098 in what is now modern-day Germany, considered oats to be one of her favorite ‘happiness’ herbs, and with modern day science at our finger tips, Hildegard of Bingen was correct all those years ago.


scientific literature 


Analgesic effects –  study shows siatiac nerve pain relief.

adaptogen – study shows a group taking specific doses of oat, while being monitored. At the end of the study, cognitive and cardiovascular improvments.

cardiovascular trophorestroative – study show benefits to cardio and cerebral health benefits.


other uses


  • Oat Straw is high in silica & minerals & has connective tissue restorative qualities for bones, muscles, tendons & nerves. The high levels of silicic acid in the straw explain its use as a remedy for skin condition, especially in external applications.


  • Oat Tops (aka. milky green oats or seed of unripe plants) has saponins & alkaloids and is neurotonic & an adaptogenic nervine useful in anxiety & lassitude.



  • High starch content acts as a demulcent
  • Triterpenoid saponins (avenocosides) are anti-fungal
  • High nutrient content is partly responsible for sedative action on the nervous system. It has the highets content of iron, zinc and manganese of all grain species.
  • Silicic acid esters are healing to the skin.
  • Oat bran (protein) reduces cholesterol, increases stamina and is anti-thrombotic.





Dosage is in ranges; for safety please work with a qualified herbalist who is trained in proper phytotherapy dosing and possible allopathic or OTC contraindications, so they can help you navigate a dosage that is personal for you based on weight, age, and if the cause of concern is chronic or acute.


Adult Dose Ranges:

Infusion: 1 heaped Tbsp (approx. 3 g) to 1 cup water; steep until at room temperature. Drink throughout the day, best divided into 2-3 doses throughout the day.

Tincture: (1:5, 25%), 1-5 ml divided into 3-4 doses throughout the day.

Contraindications: None known. Avoid use in those with known gluten sensitivity.

Toxicity: None known.

Interactions: None known.


















































Medical Herbalism (David Hoffman)

The Essential Guide to Herbal Safey (Mills and Bone)

The Home Physician Dr. Christian Fanger (1918 edition)

Clinical Herbalist Training (Herbal Academy)

Science and Art of Herbalism (Rosemary Gladstar)

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