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    Oats

    Oats

    Uses

    Common names:
    Oat, Wild Oats
    Botanical names:
    Avena sativa

    Parts Used & Where Grown

    The common oat used in herbal supplements and foods is derived from cultivated sources. For some herbal supplements, the green or rapidly dried aerial parts of the plant are harvested just before reaching full flower. Many herbal texts refer to using the fruits (seeds) or green tops. Although some herb texts discuss oat straw, there is little medicinal action in this part of the plant.

    What Are Star Ratings?

    Our proprietary ?Star-Rating? system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

    For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

    3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

    2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

    1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement,little scientific support.

    This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

    Used for Why
    1 Star
    Anxiety
    Refer to label instructions
    Oats are part a group of ?nerve tonic? (nervine)herbs used in traditional herbal medicine for people with anxiety, with few reports of toxicity.
    1 Star
    Eczema
    Refer to label instructions
    Wild oats have been used historically to treat people with eczema.

    Burdock , sarsaparilla , red clover , and wild oats have been used historically to treat people with eczema, but without scientific investigation.

    1 Star
    Nicotine Withdrawal
    Refer to label instructions
    Herbs used to treat anxiety are sometimes recommended as part of a smoking cessation program, including oat straw.
    Herbs used to treat anxiety are sometimes recommended as part of a smoking cessation program, including oat straw (Avena sativa), scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), valerian (Valeriana officinalis), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), and vervain (Verbena officinalis). Of these herbs, only oat straw has been investigated in human research for smoking cessation. At least three trials have reported no effect of oat straw on smoking cessation, but one controlled study in India found that taking 1 ml of an alcohol extract of oat straw four times per day significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked per day.2
    1 Star
    Smoking Cessation (Oat Straw)
    Refer to label instructions
    Taking oat straw, which is commonly used to treat anxiety, has been shown to significantly reduce the number of cigarettes smoked per day.
    Herbs used to treat anxiety are sometimes recommended as part of a smoking cessation program, including oat straw (Avena sativa), scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), valerian (Valeriana officinalis), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), and vervain (Verbena officinalis). Of these herbs, only oat straw has been investigated in human research for smoking cessation. At least three trials have reported no effect of oat straw on smoking cessation, but one controlled study in India found that taking 1 ml of an alcohol extract of oat straw four times per day significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked per day.3

    Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

    In folk medicine, oats are used by herbalists to treat nervous exhaustion, insomnia , and ?weakness of the nerves.? A tea made from oats was thought by herbalists to be useful in rheumatic conditions and to treat water retention . A tincture of the green tops of oats was also used to help with withdrawal from tobacco addiction.1 Oats were often used in baths to treat insomnia and anxiety as well as a variety of skin conditions, including burns and eczema .

    How It Works

    Common names:
    Oat, Wild Oats
    Botanical names:
    Avena sativa

    How It Works

    The fruits (seeds) contain alkaloids, such as gramine and avenine, and saponins, such as avenacosides A and B.4 The seeds are also rich in iron , manganese , and zinc . The straw is high in silica. Oat alkaloids are believed to account for the relaxing action of oats, but it should be noted this continues to be debated in Europe. The German Commission E does not approve this herb as a sedative.5 However, an alcohol-based tincture of the fresh plant has reportedly shown some promise in countering nicotine withdrawal and helping with smoking cessation.6

    How to Use It

    A tea can be made from a heaping tablespoonful (approximately 15 grams) of oats brewed with 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water. After cooling and straining, the tea can be taken several times a day and shortly before going to bed.7 As a tincture, oats are often taken at 1/2?1 teaspoon (3?5 ml) three times per day. Capsules or tablets, 1?4 grams per day, can be taken. A soothing bath to ease irritated skin can be made by running the bath water through a sock containing several tablespoons of oats, then bathing in the water for several minutes.

    Interactions

    Common names:
    Oat, Wild Oats
    Botanical names:
    Avena sativa

    Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

    At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

    Interactions with Medicines

    As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
    The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers? package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

    Side Effects

    Common names:
    Oat, Wild Oats
    Botanical names:
    Avena sativa

    Side Effects

    At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.

    References

    1. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum, 1988, 287?8.

    2. Bye C, Fowle AS, Letley E, Wilkinson S. Lack of effect of Avena sativa on cigarette smoking. Nature 1974;252:580?1.

    3. Bye C, Fowle AS, Letley E, Wilkinson S. Lack of effect of Avena sativa on cigarette smoking. Nature 1974;252:580?1.

    4. Mills SY. Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. Middlesex, UK: Viking Arcana, 1991, 510?2.

    5. Wichtl M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1994, 96?8.

    6. Anand CL. Effect of Avena sativa on cigarette smoking. Nature 1974;233:496.

    7. Wichtl M. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1994, 96?8.

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