Also known as wild oats or oat straw, Avena sativa has been used as a food and an herbal medicine for centuries. You can use Avena sativa as an herbal remedy to treat a variety of conditions. Avena sativa is used in topical applications and oral preparations. However, you should always discuss any herbal remedies with your doctor before taking them to understand any potential side effects or negative interactions with other medications.
If you’re trying to quit smoking, taking Avena sativa may help counter nicotine withdrawal symptoms, says the University of Michigan Health System. Although wild oats is one of several herbal remedies for treating cigarette smoking addiction, scientific evidence of the herb’s effectiveness for this purpose is lacking, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre. Take one-half to one tsp of an alcohol-based oat tincture three times daily to reduce nicotine withdrawal.
One of the most common uses of Avena sativa is to boost sexual function, especially in men, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre. When you combine oat straw with the herb saw palmetto, it may be effective in treating sexual dysfunction in women. Few studies have been conducted on the use of oat straw for treating sexual problems. However, one double-blind clinical trial involving 75 people found that taking Avena sativa helped boost sexual function in the male test subjects but not the females, the University of Pittsburgh says.
In traditional medicine, Avena sativa is used as a “nervine” to calm the nervous system, explains the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Due to oat straw’s sedative-like effects, you can use it to relieve anxiety and stress. Oats may also help treat insomnia, notes the University of Michigan Health System. The alkaloids in Avena sativa may be responsible for its calming effects. You can take Avena sativa as a tea by steeping one heaped tbsp of oats in one cup of boiling water and drinking the tea three times daily.
You can also use Avena sativa to soothe skin irritation due to eczema and burns, says the University of Michigan Health System. In traditional medicine, oat straw has been used in baths to relieve eczema symptoms and other skin ailments. To soothe the skin and treat eczema-related irritation, run the bath water through a sock or cloth sack filled with two or three tbsp of Avena sativa.
You can lower your triglyceride levels in your blood by eating a high-fibre diet. Avena sativa contains beta-glucan, a water-soluble fibre that may help reduce triglycerides, says the University of Michigan Health System.
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