Oats (Avena Sativa) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Oats (Avena Sativa) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Oats (Avena Sativa) Overview

Oats (Avena Sativa) other names: Avena, Avena Fructus, Avena byzantina, Avena orientalis, Avena sativa, Avena volgensis, Avenae Herba, Avenae Stramentum, Avoine, Avoine Entière, Avoine Sauvage, Cereal Fiber, Dietary Fiber, Farine d’Avoine, Fibre Alimentaire, Fibre Céréalière, Fibre d’Avoine, Folle Avoine, Grain d’Avoine, Green Oat, Green Oat Grass, Groats, Gruau, Oat, Oat Bran, Oat Fiber, Oat Flour, Oat Fruit, Oat Grain, Oat Grass, Oat Herb, Oat Straw, Oat Tops, Oatstraw, Oatmeal, Oats, Paille, Paille d’Avoine, Porridge, Rolled Oats, Son d’Avoine, Straw, Whole Oat, Whole Oats, Wild Oat, Wild Oat Herb, Wild Oats Milky Seed.

Oats (Avena sativa) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Oats (Avena Sativa) image

The plant based cereals called the oats - botanical name: Avena sativa - is a very nutritious food and remedy. The oat is rich in protein, has lots of beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium, trace elements like silicon and potassium as well as iron - while also being very high in vitamin content. 

The presence of these bodybuilding nutrients in the oats makes for strong bones and teeth, most of these vital minerals found in the oats are also necessary for the maintenance of a healthy nervous system in a human being. Remedies made from the oats were traditionally used as an herbal nerve tonic; this tonic was given to patients to treat problems like depression, and mental debility as well as nervous exhaustion. 

Eating oats is very good remedy when withdrawing from the effects of tranquilizers and antidepressant medications. The oats not only stimulates the body but also boosts energy levels up. At the same time, eating oats can be very relaxing and can greatly aid sleep in people affected by insomnia. The oats is ideal as a food for the chronically sick patients, for other convalescents and for mothers recovering from the labors of childbirth as it is very easily digested by the body. The estrogen levels in the body are also regulated by the oats. 

The oats also lower blood cholesterol mainly because of the fiber present in the oats, the fiber aids the body in combating various cardiovascular diseases that can affect the body of a person. At the same time, the eating of oats can help lower high blood pressure; it can help combat obesity, and is also useful in cases of varicose veins and problems like hemorrhoids. Irritations along the digestive tract can be soothed using the oats; eating oats is also an excellent remedy for problems like diverticulitis, long term irritable bowel syndrome, conditions such as gastritis and persistent constipation

The fiber in the oat results in bulkier stools being produced and the bulk is sped faster along the gut, this reduces the exposure time of the sensitive gut lining tissues to various irritants and carcinogens present in the waste. The chances of cancer in the bowel is said to be reduced by eating oats on a regular basis for this reason. The consumption of oats is also believed to protect the body against all general cancer types that can potentially affect the body of a person. Oats also lowers the blood sugar levels in the body and this exciting discovery suggests that the oats will be helpful to diabetics. Oats also prevents retention of excessive fluids and aids digestion in general.

People use the seed (oat), leaves and stem (oat straw), and bran (the outer layer of whole oats) to make medicine.

The oats plant is a native species of northern Europe. However, nowadays, the oats is grown around the world in almost all temperate regions as cereal crop and for animal feed production. Late summer is the usual time for harvesting the oats crop.

Oats (Avena Sativa) Health Benefits

Human health is benefited in numerous ways by the consumption of oats, and the plant itself is best known as a nutritious breakfast cereal - oats is also used as an animal feed. The ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood is a major positive point of oats. 

Reducing blood sugar levels in people with diabetes when oat bran is used in the diet. Eating oats and oat bran for 6 weeks significantly decreases before-meal blood sugar, 24-hour blood sugar, and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes. There is some evidence that consuming 50 grams of oat bran daily, containing 25 grams of soluble fiber, might be more effective than the moderate fiber diet of 24 grams daily recommended by the American Diabetes Association.

Oats (Avena sativa) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Oats (Avena Sativa) plant

Research also suggests that consumption of an oat based diet can result in improved stamina in the person. When they are taken medically for different disorders the oats and especially the oat straw work as a tonic. Medical herbalist often suggests the consumption of the oats straw for the treatment of general debility and as a tonic for a different variety of nervous conditions affecting patients. A mildly anti-depressant action is also evident in the grains and the straw of the oats; they can raising the energy levels in the body very gently and help in supporting a weakened nervous system in the body. Nervous exhaustion as well as depression is treated using the oats. 

Eating oats is also useful in combating the profound lethargy which comes as a direct result of multiple sclerosis, and oats is also useful as a food in case of chronic neurological pain, and to help insomnia affected patients. Eating oats is supposed to help with insomnia, as the oats seem to be able to stimulate enough nervous energy to enable a person to sleep. As a food, the oats are considered to be one of the principal herbal treatments during convalescence following a long illness - they are easily digested and provide a lot of energy quickly.

An emollient and cleansing action is also performed by the oats on the external body. The oats is turned into a decoction and when this is strained into bath water, oats will aid in soothing down itchiness and problems linked to skin disorders such as eczema in patients.

People use oats for joint pain (rheumatism), fatigue, a fatigue-related condition called neurasthenia syndrome, withdrawal from nicotine and narcotics, and lowering high uric acid levels that can cause gout. Oats are also used for anxiety, excitation and stress; as well as for weak bladder and kidney ailments. Other uses include connective tissue disorders, skin diseases, fat redistribution syndrome associated with HIV treatment, and as a tonic.

Oat straw is used for the flu, swine (H1N1) flu, coughs, bladder disorders, joint pain, eye ailments, frostbite, gout, and a skin infection called impetigo.

Oats are used for skin conditions including itchiness, dryness, oiliness, weeping eczema, and contact dermatitis. Oats are also applied to the skin for chicken pox, osteoarthritis, liver disorders, and added to foot baths for chronically cold or tired feet.

In foods, oats are used as a grain or cereal. In manufacturing, oats are included in some bath products and soaps.

Oats (Avena Sativa) Side effects

Oat bran is likely safe for most people, including pregnant and breast-feeding women. Oat bran can cause intestinal gas and bloating. To minimize side effects, start with a low dose and increase slowly to the desired amount. Your body will get used to oat bran and the side effects will likely go away.

No side effects of any adverse kind have been reported with the use of oats in any form. However, those individuals suffering from gluten sensitivity - celiac disease must consume the oats with some care as it might trigger the same reactions like wheat flour.

Putting oat-containing products on the skin can cause some people to break out.

Oats (Avena sativa) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Oats (Avena Sativa) picture

Difficulty swallowing food or chewing problems: If you have swallowing problems (from a stroke, for example) or if you have trouble chewing because of missing teeth or poorly fitting dentures, it’s best to avoid eating oats. Poorly chewed oats can cause blockage of the intestine.

Disorders of the digestive tract including the esophagus, stomach, and intestines: Avoid eating oat products. Digestive problems that could extend the length of time it takes for your food to be digested could allow oats to block your intestine.