Oats are highly nourishing, revitalizing, restorative, and rejuvenating. Ancient legend says that Gaia herself was weaned on the milk of this flowering plant. Oats are the seeds, milky oats the flowering herb in the milky stage, and wise women frequently consume both parts.
Pregnant women, nursing mothers, babies and growing children, women with busy lives and tight schedules, overworked and stressed-out-men, all benefit from integrating oats, milky oat tops and oatstraw into their daily diets.
All parts of this common plant nourish and tone the nervous system and are excellent allies when dealing with depression. Milky oats is an energizer, but it does this cumulatively, building energy slowly and consistently by deeply nourishing the entire body. It alleviates both physical and nervous fatigue, Taken before bed, milky oats infusion or tincture supports deep refreshing sleep.
Offering the most magnesium of just about any any plant, oats also contain abundant chromium, sodium, silicon, calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, and selenium. Oats are a source of vitamin B complex, including folic acid, plus vitamins E, K, A and C, potassium and protein.
Daily consumption of 2-4 cups of milky oats infusion as a wash, or apply the warmed, moistened herb as a poultice. Over varicose veins, I always wash with an upward motion, so I follow the direction of blood flow to the heart. A warm oatstraw sitz bath is a comforting way to treat hemorrhoids.
Oats are well known as a love potion, probably due to their ability to nourish and strengthen the endocrine system and regulate hormones. Regular use of oats or oatstraw infusion helps prevent prostate problems and "erectile dysfunction." Both help stabilize blood sugar levels, and have been used to nourish people with thyroid and estrogen deficiencies, and degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Oats are fabulous for supporting anyone with general debility.
Oats are beneficial to the skin. I place dried oats into a small muslin cloth, wet it in warm water, and rub over my body to slough away dead skin and leave my skin glowing. This also helps relieve irritated skin conditions such as eczema. Oatstraw is a relaxing addition to any bath.
Oat is also quite the beauty herb! I grind dried milky oat tops with almonds and clay, perhaps add some honey, slippery elm powder, and my current favorite essential oil, enough water to make a paste, and treat myself to a luxurious facial scrub.
Oats' benefits extend quite naturally to children. They taste delicious, are calming, and promote healthy growth of bones and muscles. A bowl of oat cereal or a cup of milky oats infusion is a great way for kids to start or end the day.
In Scandinavian countries, a bundle of oats is hung by the door for prosperity. Old wives suggest keeping a few oats in a magical bag for a prosperous life full of deep satisfaction.
Oat flower essence brings a feeling of stability during times of uncertainty and dissatisfaction.
Oats are very easy to grow in ordinary garden soil. Sowing and raking oats into the ground is one of our annual spring rituals; we make it a family affair. I relish working up that first patch of soil, the rhythm of throwing seeds from bucket to earth, the sway of our bodies, the sparks of life force flowing from our hands, and the kids playing, In no time, the oat seeds have sprouted, grown green and thick, and then become tall and graceful. Next, we hear the gentle rattle of oat flowers in the breeze as they sing us to the harvest.
Oats are true magic and I'm certain you'll want to plant some. We use ordinary oat seeds, the same that we feed our ponies, and sow them very thick so there's no room for weeds. Oats like to grow this way. A handful of seed thrown into a pot makes a magical, nourishing, soothing container garden for a city dweller. Do open your wild heart to gentle, powerful, restorative oats.
We gather our oats while the seeds are in the milky stage. At some point between the time the flowers emerge and the seeds harden, squeeze a plump bud and out will ooze a thick, sweet, white sap that tastes a bit like mothers' milk. This is the optimum time for harvest.
If you want the whole plant, the milky oat tops and the stalks, cut oat stalks as far down as they are green, then lay them out on screens, hang them in bunches, or make them into sheaves like the old-timers did. For just the milky oat tops, strip the oat flowers by hand and then dry them on screens or tincture immediately. We tincture freshly gathered milky oat tops immediately in alcohol or vinegar, sometimes right out in the field.
Milky oats can be found in our Comfort & Joy, Lavender Love and Balance & Well Being Herb Teas, in our Nerve Tonic, 13 Sisters Restorative Elixir, Studly Brothers Manly Elixir and in the Stress Free Adaptogen Blend.