Avena sativa, smooth by name and smooth by nature, is the common name for the much-loved staple found in most households. The oat plant is native to Europe, Asia and Africa but is now cultivated worldwide. The whole herb has been used for both food and medicine around the world, including the leaves, stems and seeds.
Oats make a great addition to our diets as they are rich in nutrients such as calcium, potassium and B Vitamins. They are also a rich source of beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that helps to aid digestive, immune and heart health.
The parts used include the immature seed pod which yields a milky sap when pressed (this unripe seed is commonly used to make medicinal tinctures), the dried stem & leaf which is often used as a nourishing infusion and the mature seeds which is what is used to make the oats that we eat for breakfast.
In herbal medicine, oats are considered a nervous system trophorestorative. Yes, it's a mouthful, but in basic terms it acts as a tonic and works to restore and rejuvenate the nervous system.