Clayton's Health Facts: Avena Sativa.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.
Avena Sativa (oat or wild oat) is an annual grass which is cultivated for its edible grain. It grows 2 to 4 feet tall with pale green, narrow, flat leaves. The grooved grain is somewhat hairy and narrow with almost parallel sides. The parts that are typically used are the seeds and stems.

Avena sativa has been used in the past as an antispasmodic, nervine, and stimulant. It is used mainly for its nutritional value and is particularly beneficial in special diets for convalescents or for those with certain illnesses. Such illnesses include gastroenteritis and dyspepsia. The extract and tincture are used as nerve and uterine tonics. A tea made from the straw part of the plant has been recommended in the past for chest problems.

In Europe, they use the straw part for various baths. If used regularly it can be helpful for supporting a number of ailments. A full bath can be used for rheumatic problems, lumbago, paralysis, liver ailments and gout, kidney, and gravel problems. It will also soften the skin and help eczema and neuralgia. A sitz bath is good for the bladder and abdominal problems, intestinal, colic, and bedwetting. A foot bath can help with tired and chronically cold feet. Last, but not least, a local bath is good for skin diseases, flaky skin, frostbite, chilblains, wounds, and eye problems.

In India, avena sativa is used to help opium, morphine and cigarette addicts kick their habits. It is reported that an alcohol-based tincture of the fresh plant has shown some promise in countering nicotine withdrawal and helping with smoking cessation.

Avena sativa is highly nutritive and supportive of the nervous system. It is great for building healthy bones, skin, hair and nails. It can also be helpful in relieving exhaustion, depression, spasms, lumbago and paralysis.

Some claim that it is an aphrodisiac. While it may have some qualities of an aphrodisiac, it is not actually a bona fide aphrodisiac. It does nourish the nerves though, which in turn makes tactile sensation more pleasurable.

There are different brand names that manufacture supplemental avena sativa.