Oats: Uses, medicinal, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Oats Uses, medicinal, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Oats initially come from the Mediterranean regions, North Africa and Ethiopia. Once upon a time, the plant was an unwanted companion of other grains. Today, many varieties of oats are cultivated in many parts of the world.

Oats for medicinal use

The green, above-ground parts of the Oat (oat herb, Avenae herba), the oat straw (Avenae stramentum) and the ripe, dried oat fruits (Avenae fructus) harvested shortly before full bloom are used medicinally.


Oats: Characteristics

Oat is an upright, annual cultivated grass that can grow to a height of 1 m. The plant stems are hollow, and the leaves are narrow and pointed. The two- to three-flowered spikelets are arranged in loose panicles.

Properties of oatmeal

The dried oat herb consists of stalk pieces, curled pieces of the leaf sheaths and flat leaf fragments.

Oat weed spreads a somewhat peculiar smell reminiscent of straw. Regarding taste, oat herb is mild and cannot be assigned to any flavour.

Oats – application

Oat herb and oat fruit are only used in folk medicine; the two drugs were rated negatively by Commission E. Traditionally, oat herb is said to have a strengthening effect, so its use for a general improvement in well-being can be advocated.

The drug’s effectiveness has yet to be proven for all other application areas, and further studies must follow. Due to this situation, an approved finished medicinal product with a defined indication on the market is needed.

Oat straw: areas of application

Oat straw is anti-inflammatory and can be taken for inflammatory skin diseases with itching and to support neurodermatitis. This drug was evaluated positively by Commission E.

In folk medicine, oat straw is used not only as a sedative but also for gout, rheumatism, paralysis and liver diseases.


Application of oat herb

In folk medicine, the tea made from green oat herbs is a calming agent for nervous weakness, exhaustion, insomnia and acute anxiety and tension. Since oat herb is also said to lower the uric acid level in the blood, the drug is used to support rheumatism and gout therapy.

Furthermore, oat herb is used as a diuretic for flushing therapies for bladder weakness, as a therapeutic and strengthening agent, and for various skin diseases. Along with other herbal remedies, oat herb preparations are also used for cardiovascular and respiratory problems, metabolic diseases and signs of ageing.

However, the indications mentioned have yet to be assigned to any constituents of oats and are, therefore, not scientifically justified.

Oats in homeopathy

In homoeopathy, the whole, fresh plant is used in anthroposophically oriented therapy when the fruit is ripe for milk. Furthermore, the fresh, aerial parts of the plant collected during flowering are used to treat insomnia and exhaustion.


Ingredients of oat herb

Carbohydrates and flavonoids, flavonolignans, the steroid saponins A and B, and vitamins and minerals such as silicic acid, iron, manganese and zinc are found in oat herbs. The indole alkaloid Gramin is also believed to be necessary. Oat straw contains silica, flavonoids and triterpene saponins.

Indications for the use of oats

Applications of oat straw are:

  • inflammatory skin diseases
  • itching
  • neurodermatitis

Oat herbs and oat fruits are only used in folk medicine for the following indications:

  • nervous exhaustion
  • insomnia
  • rheumatism
  • gout
  • bladder weakness
  • skin diseases

Oats – dosage

Oat herbs can be used in tea or various other forms of preparation. Green oat tea is commercially available, for example, in a mixture of nettle herb, raspberry leaves and lady’s mantle herb.

In herbal medicines, oat preparations are offered as traditional medicines, for example, in the form of juices. Oat straw is mainly used in the form of bath additives.

The correct dose of oats

It is impossible to recommend an average daily dose of oat herbs and fruit. About 100 g of oat straw are placed in a full bath for the application of oat straw.


Oatweed: Preparation of tea

To prepare a tea from oat herb, pour 250 ml of boiling water over a heaped tablespoon (equivalent to about 3 g of the drug). After cooling to room temperature, the tea can be strained through a filter.

The oat tea can then be drunk lightly, sweetened, or unsweetened several times a day or just before bedtime.

special instructions

  • There are currently no known interactions with other agents or contraindications.
  • Oats should be stored dry and protected from light.

Oats – synonyms

German plant name: Oats

German synonyms of the plant: Seed oats, seed oats, natural oats, Mediterranean oats, common oats, panicle oats, Habern, Hauwe, Biwen

Latin plant name: Avena sativa L.

Latin synonyms of the plant: Avena cinerea, Avena dispermous, Avena fatua, Avena flava, Avena orientalis

German drug name: Oat herb Oat 


Oat fruits

German synonyms of the drug: Green Oats

Latin drug name: Oat grass 

Oat straw 

Oat fruit

English name: Oat, Common Oat, Cultivated Oat, Oats, Wild oats

Plant family Latin: Poaceae (= Grasses)

Plant family German: sweet grasses


Oats – effect

The positive effects of oat preparations could not be assigned to any specific ingredient, so the mode of action is largely unknown. It is assumed that oat herb’s calming effect is due to its grain. The anti-inflammatory effect of oat straw is probably due to the silicic acid and minerals.

Oats: side effects

No side effects are expected when taking oat herb and oat straw in therapeutic doses. Hypersensitivity reactions have been observed in individual cases with oat fruit.

There are currently no known interactions with other agents or contraindications.



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