Avena sativa, otherwise known as oatstraw or milky oats, is one of those lesser known, yet powerfully potent herbs. This herb can be a great support to the body through a variety of issues, but no matter how great an herb may be, if it’s lacking in taste, it can be difficult for people to take it.
Many people often say that the flavor of oatstraw is somewhat like grass. Now, I don’t know about you, but the taste of grass doesn’t sound too appealing to me. Today, I’m going to share a little bit about the power of oatstraw as well as give you 4 tasty Avena sativa recipes you can use to greatly improve the flavor of this nutritious herb.
The Wonders Of Avena Sativa
Oh, how delightful, calming and nourishing an herb can be. Used to stabilize mood swings, balance hormones and increase libido, oatstraw remedies are also considered to be helpful with depression. Chockfull of vitamins, calcium, and magnesium, Avena sativa is an incredible source of help when dealing with a bout of emotional or physical unease.
Milky oats are the oat tops that excrete a white sap during their milky stage, while oatstraw is the stem of the plant. Both are extremely beneficial, carry the same amount of vitamins and can more or less be extracted the same way. Avena sativa is also considered to be a tropho-restorative, which is an herb that focuses on a specific organ in the body. Honing in on the nervous system, oatstraw remedies can help strengthen and “feed” the nerves while restoring and nourishing them (Hoffmann, 2003).
Due to its richness in calcium and magnesium, oatstraw can also be useful when dealing with muscle spasms (Weed, 2011). Sip on an infusion when muscles go into spasm or try adding oats to your bathwater and soak till you begin to feel at ease. Always strain oats out of the tub properly as they can clog your drains!
An infusion may be the simplest and most effective way to get your daily oatstraw. An herbal infusion is helpful when you wish to extract more minerals and vitamins from an herb than you would get from your basic cup of tea. Infusions are steeped longer (typically overnight) and the ratio of herbs to water is a little bit stronger. One cup of oatstraw infusion is loaded with minerals and about 300 milligrams of calcium (Weed, 2011). Adults are advised to drink at least 1-4 cups daily and children 1-1 1⁄2 cups (Rose, 2010).
Keep in mind that your daily bowl of traditional oatmeal is also packed with beneficial nutrients such as magnesium, protein, vitamin B, and fiber. One bowl of oatmeal at breakfast is said to build stamina throughout your day, decrease cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Avoid prepackaged oats and opt for rolled oats or Irish steelcut oats as they are less likely to have any additives. Instead of sugar, try adding fruit, honey or yogurt and switch it up as often as you please!
There are no known contradictions for Avena sativa; however, some individuals with celiac disease may have a negative reaction. Oatstraw is safe to use during pregnancy and while nursing (Hoffmann, 2003). They are also safe for daily consumption. Always talk to your herbalist or another healthcare provider before beginning a new herbal routine.
4 Tasty Avena Sativa Recipes To Try At Home
Below you’ll find four tasty Avena sativa recipes to try in the comfort of your own home. Experiment with them as you please, substituting honey for agave, soy for almond milk, etc. You may also want to adjust recipes to suit your taste preference.
1 cup oatstraw
1-quart size jar with cover
- In a medium sized pot, bring water to a boil.
- Pour water into your chosen jar, completely covering the oatstraw, and fill to the top.
- Stir herbs into the water and let cool before covering.
- Let sit for 4-10 hours or overnight.
- Will keep up to 3 days when refrigerated.
3⁄4 cup oatstraw infusion
1 1⁄2 cups milk of your choice (almond, dairy, soy)
2 tablespoons local honey
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon maca powder
- Reserve the oatstraw infusion in a separate jar.
- In a medium sized pot, heat the milk and add the honey and powders.
- Stir constantly till milk is thoroughly warmed and runs smooth.
- Add milky mixture to your jar with the reserved infusion, cover and give a good shake.
- Pour into a desired cup or keep in jar and drink at your leisure.
Oat and Herb Power Balls
Adapted from The Great Kosmic Kitchen
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 1⁄2 cups local honey
1⁄4 cup cocoa powder
1-ounce preferred greens powder
1-ounce reishi mushroom powder
1⁄2 ounce ashwagandha powder
1⁄2 ounce cinnamon powder
1⁄2 cup shredded coconut flakes, lightly toasted
- In a large bowl, combine oats, honey, and nut butter.
- Next, add cocoa, herbs, green powder and mix until well combined, adding more or less nut butter, honey or powders to your liking. The mixture should be thick enough to make into balls.
- Form mixture into bite-sized balls (should be the size of silver dollars) then roll in coconut flakes.
- Store in Tupperware between layers of wax paper and keep in the fridge.
Oatstraw, Stinging Nettle and Reishi Syrup
1 cup oatstraw
1⁄2 cup stinging nettles
8-10 slices reishi mushroom
1⁄2 cup rosehips
1⁄4 cup honey
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
4 cups water
- In a large pot, bring water and herbs to a boil and let bubble for 23 minutes.
- Turn heat on low and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Strain into a clean bowl and add honey, stirring until melted.
- Pour into a clean jar and add brandy to preserve (if you don’t wish to add brandy, the honey will also help preserve the syrup).
- Keep in fridge or cool spot for 36 months.
Dosage: 23 tablespoons a day. Add to a natural ginger ale or seltzer for a refreshing herbal beverage.
Do you have any tasty Avena sativa recipes you can share with us? If so, share them on our Facebook page or on Instagram and be sure to tag them with #myherbalstudies too!
Hoffmann, David. (2003). Medical herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Painter, Jerry. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefitseatingoatmealmorning4112.html
Rose, Kiva. (2010). http://bearmedicineherbals.com/wildasthedayislongtherestorativemedicineofavena.html
The Great Kosmic Kitchen. (2012). http://www.thegreatkosmickitchen.com/adaptogenicspaceballs/
Tierra, Michael. (1980). The way of herbs. New York, NY : Washington Square Press.
Weed, Susun S. (2011). http://nourishingherbalinfusions.com/Oatstraw.html