Oatstraw (Avena sativa)
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ALSO KNOWN AS: common oat, oat, red oat, side oat, tree oat
PLANT FAMILY: Poaceae
PART(S) USED: Dried Leaves
OVERVIEW: The whole plant is referred to as 'Oatstraw' and descends from a cross between wheat and barley. Thought to be domesticated around 3,000 years ago, it eventually spread to wet and cool climates in Europe and became a popular cereal grain, claiming its place as a major food staple in the Poaceae family, alongside wheat, barley, and rice.
Today, most cultivated oats are primarily bailed and sold as feed, however much is grown for food as well and will continue to be cultivated in larger and larger quantities as its health benefits become more widely known.
TRADITIONAL USES: Oatstraw is said to be highly beneficial nervine (calms the nerves) and nutritive. Oatstraw may reduce the risk of heart disease when included as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
It is prized among herbalists for its gentle and supportive nature. It is believed to contain minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, as well as vitamins and other constituents which may help to nourish the entire body.
PRECAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS: Consult a healthcare practitioner before use, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, are on any medications, or have any allergies, especially to those in the poaceae family (such as foxtail).
WARNING: This information is for educational purposes only, has not been evaluated by Health Canada, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.