Oatstraw (Avena sativa), also known as oat grass and avena, consists of the aerial parts of the oat plant, namely the leaves, stems and milky tops. This plant is best known as an ancient cereal grain, the seeds of which are probably familiar to you as oatmeal in your morning breakfast bowl. The “straw” portion of the plant is an old-fashioned remedy for dry, itchy skin when tossed into a warm bath. Most pharmacies still carry oat powders for this purpose.
Avena is known as the herb of longevity in Ayurveda, the traditional system of healing practiced in India. It is traditionally used to address anxiety, stress and insomnia, as well as to counter inflammation associated with gastrointestinal disorders, certain skin conditions, arthritis, bursitis and the urinary tract. Because the herb is rich in calcium, it is beneficial to menopausal women at greater risk for osteoporosis. Oatstraw also provides B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, silica, magnesium and various flavonoids and saponins.
6 Ways to Use Oatstraw
Combine with frozen berries to make smoothies or freeze into ice pops.
Mix with other herbs in tea blends. Pairs well with alfalfa, peppermint, holy basil, green tea, calendula, rose hips, chamomile and lemon balm.
Prepare as a tincture using a 1:2 ratio.
Stuff into muslin bags and toss into a tub of warm water as a skin softening treatment.
Make a strong infusion (tea) for use as a leave-in rinse after shampooing and conditioning hair.
Mix cooled oatstraw tea with a little witch hazel for use as a skin toner.