Milky oats, oat straw, and your beloved oatmeal, all come from that same plant, Avena sativa in the Poaceae, grass family. Right before the seed becomes fully mature it goes through a 2-3 day stage when the spikelets are milky. This is when they are harvested for medicine. Oats has a sweet taste and neutral energy. When you eat as a food, it is slightly warm and moistening to the body.
Oat straw, is what is remaining of the plant after removing the spikelets. This is also used as medicine but is very different. Oat straw has very few active compounds but it can still be used for a great source of minerals with your nettles and alfalfa. Oatmeal falls under the same category of being nutritious but not necessarily medicinal. This common breakfast food can be helpful for individuals who are experiencing too much vata, dryness, and as a good vehicle for many powdered herbs to get into the body.
Oat spikelets are used as a nerve tonic, nervine, and neurotrophorestorative. Basically, if you are stressed, have low adrenal function, or needs some support in restoring damaged nerves. It is moderately stimulating to the nerves, similar to skullcap and St. John’s wort and these three mix well together.
These actions make milky oats great for exhaustion and fatigue. Think about using milky oats when you are working on transitioning off of caffeine, or other addictive substances, and are experiencing a nervous irritability and getting more sleep is not enough. In these cases, milky oats can also help reduce heart palpitations.
Want to take this as a tincture, it is best to take 1ml of a 1:3 tincture 4 times a day. This is the best method if you are using milky oats for addictions, such as opiates and nicotine, but it will still take 4-6 weeks to know if it is working for you so don’t rush this.
Want to just eat oatmeal? Great! Just have a bowl a day and you are getting the nutritional benefits you want! Taking a tea or powder? 2-4g a day is plenty of your milky oats. Make sure you grind them down even if you are making a tea. This helps make sure you get the medicine out.
Want to learn more about nutritive herbs and healthy food choices? Check out our free class series on our website for more on milky oats.