Avena sativa

wheat-sativum-oats

Martin, A. (1858). Wheat & Oats. Retrieved from: http://www.reusableart.com/v/food/wheat-sativum-oats.jpg.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=1

Botanical Name: Avena sativa
Common name: Oats
Family: Poaceae (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 704)
Parts used: The whole flowering plant including straw and seed (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 704)

Constituents:

  • Beta-glucan
  • Triterpenoid saponins: incl. avenacosides A and B
  • Phenolic compounds: incl. avenanthramides A, B and C
  • Alkaloids: indol alkaloid, gramine, trigonelline, avenine
  • Sterol (avenasterol)
  • Flavonoids
  • Starch
  • Phytates
  • Protein (including gluten)
  • Coumarins
  • Nutrients: silicic acid, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, zinc
  • Vitamins: a, B-complex, C, E and K

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 704)

 

Actions:

  • Lipid lowering
  • Anti-atherogenic
  • Anti-hypertensive
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Laxative (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 705)
  • Sedative
  • Emollient (Heinrich, Barnes, Gibbons & Williamson, 2012, p. 285)
  • Nervine tonic
  • Anti-depressant
  • Nutritive
  • Demulcent
  • Vulnerary (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 219)

 

History: Avena sativa is a widely distributes cereal crop.

 

Indications

  • Hyperlipidaemia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 705- 706)
  • Hypertension (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 706)
  • Blood sugar regulation (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 706)
  • Atopic dermatitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 707)
  • Ecezma, Pruritus and dry skin (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 707; Heinrich et al., 2012, p. 285)

In vitro studies of avenanthramides demonstrate significant inhibition of TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activity and sebseqent reduction of interlukin-8 release.

 

Hoffmann describes Avena sativa as a remedy for “feeding” the nervous system when under stress. Considered specific in nervous debility, exhaustion and general debility (1990, p. 219).

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • Bath preparations for eczema or itchy or dry skin: boill 500g of shredded straw in 2L water for 0.5hour. Strain the liquid before adding to the bath (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 219; Heinrich et al., 2012, p. 285)
  • Tinctures for sedative properties (Heinrich et al., 2012, p. 285)
  • Fluid extract: 3-5mL/tds (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 219).

 

Cautions & Contradictions: May cause irritation in individuals with coeliac disease (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 708)

 

Interactions: Theoretically may interefere with antihypertensives, lipid-lowering medications, insulin and diabetic medication (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 707).

 

Combinations: For depression may be combined with Skullcap and Lady’s Slipper (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 219).

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