This Fuller Life

Building health, sustainability and community.

Herbal Remedies with Milky Oats

DSCF4918

The first time I heard about using Oats (Avena sativa) as a health tonic was a podcast by Susan Weed talking about reproductive health. She referenced this plant as the best herb for “staying juicy, increasing libido, and amping up performance in bed”. Naturally, I was intrigued.

The next time I placed an herb order I included a pound of oatstraw to take as a nourishing herbal  infusion.  I drank it regularly as an infusion for a few months and noticed increased calm, it helped reduce my tendency to binge eat when stressed, and I did actually notice an increase in libido :).

DSCF4857

As I read more about it I learned why it can have that affect on people. It is high in minerals (especially calcium and magnesium) that nourish the nervous and endocrine systems. It is a tonic that builds over time and is especially helpful for people who are exhausted and overworked.

According to my research. Oatstraw infusion is indicated in people who have gone through a long period of overwork and can’t settle down. The symptoms can include irritability, chronic fatigue, anxiety and restlessness, inability to focus, mental fatigue and heart palpitations.

DSCF4915

Nourishing the nervous system and endocrine system can bring joy and fullness back to someone who is depleted and oat straw is wonderful at this. At the UGArden, they are growing oats as a cover crop to add nutrients and biomass back into the soil after a season of veggie crops. Thankfully for us, they said we could harvest as much as we wanted.

DSCF4930

First, we harvested oatstraw and oat tops to dry for tea and infusions.

DSCF4927

DSCF4933

For the oat tops, we spread them onto screens to dry.

DSCF4943

For the oatstraw, we bundled the cuttings and hung them on a wire rack to dry.

DSCF4945

DSCF4949

The whole plant can be used. We will wait until they are completely dry and run them through a blender to break them up before packaging.

DSCF4950

I also brought some oat tops and oatstraw home to dry for personal use. I set up my drying rack and screen in the office on a clean sheet under the fan to ensure good air circulation.

DSCF4925

Another remedy that can be made from the oat plant is Milky Oat Tincture. The milky oat stage lasts for only 1 week and is evidenced by a milky white fluid that can be squeezed out of a bulging seed pod before the oat grain forms.

Tincture made from fresh milky oats has a stronger action than dried oatstraw tea/infusion. It is indicated for people who suffer from nervous exhaustion from stressful lifestyles, recovering from a stressful event (such as childbirth, or loss of a loved one), depression due to loss of energy, and for people with mentally taxing professions (like college students). It has been called ‘nerve food’ and builds up the nervous and endocrine systems. As a tonic, the effect builds over time and it’s action is best seen after 4-6 weeks of consistent use.

DSCF4926

To harvest the milky oat tops, I raked my fingers up the stem to remove the pods.  Every couple of plants I would check a few seed pods to make sure I was only getting the milky ones.

DSCF4944

Then I made a 75% alcohol solution (menstrum) to make my tincture. The ratio is 1:2. 1 part plant matter to 2 parts menstrum. I measured out 16 oz of milky oat tops and added in 32 oz of menstrum. The main beneficial action comes from the milky substance inside the pods, so I put my oat tops in the blender to break them up.

DSCF4947

DSCF4948

It turned a bright lime green, however the milky pods were still intact. The blender was not strong enough.

DSCF4953

I don’t have a vitamix, so I pulled out my trusty immersion blender.

DSCF4954

It worked like a charm! You see the milky green color in the middle. That is what you want to see. It means the ‘milk’ has been released from the seed pods.

DSCF4956

I finished blending and labeled the jar. Now I need to let it sit for 4-6 weeks, and the last step will be to strain out the plant matter. Out of all the herbal remedies that I have made in the last year, this is one I am most excited about. I have read so many wonderful things about milky oats tincture, I look forward to experiencing it myself.

I usually feel very depleted at the end of a semester. I can definitely identify with the feelings of nervous exhaustion, mental fatigue, restlessness and heart palpitations. Especially now with starting grad school earlier than expected. I am going to have to be proactive about incorporating nourishing herbal remedies like milky oats and oatstraw infusion into my life as well as relaxing into the moment and keeping my perspective positive. I will update you in a few months when I get more personal experience with this herbal remedy!

5 Comments

  1. Hello! Just wondering if once you strained the blended mixture and it sat for a bit, did it separate into a dark liquid and green sediment? Mine did and this is my first time making this and wondered if I now mix it up before taking it or just use the top liquid part? Can’t find this info anywhere!! Hope you can help. Thanks!

    • Noelle Fuller

      September 25, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Yes! I think it is starch that makes it way through the straining process. If you don’t like the look of it you can strain in out, but it doesn’t harm anything at all and I usually just shake mine up before using!

  2. Ahhhh I forgot you were growing them there!!! I just got mine from Gentle Harmony in the mail yesterday and tincture the whole pound! My blender is not so great either so I may take the immersion blender out like you did. So I saw you are going to wait 4-6 weeks, do you think in the case of oats that is better than the 2 weeks? This is my first time with the oats too.

    Also I was just going to post my tutorial and will share yours as well. 🙂

  3. This DOES sound intriguing!! I am tired ALL the time (I’m only 34). I’ve had so many chronic health issues, it’s ridiculous! I would love to try this. Any advice/suggestions on where I could purchase this? Right now I’m on a daily regimen of probiotics, ALIVE brand women’s multivitamin, Krill oil, and Cranberry extract (for my kidneys). I frequently drink dandelion root tea, chamomile tea, and when needed, I make my own mullein tea. The herbs that I currently have are mullein, catnip, plantain, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill, cilantro, sweet mint, lavender, and bee balm. I use them frequently in my cooking, and hope to dry some this year for future reserve. This will be my first time drying anything, lol. I really love your blog, and I have learned so much from you!! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

    • Noelle Fuller

      May 18, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      Thank you for the sweet comment Kelley! It is hard to find the fresh milky oat tops, but the oatstraw is just as wonderful and you can easily purchase it from an herb company. I really like https://www.mountainroseherbs.com and http://www.herbco.com as good places to buy dried oatstraw. If you clicked on the link talking about nourishing herbal infusions, I really like oatstraw and stinging nettle as restorative plants that can be taken as a tea or infusion to build up and nourish the body. When I remember to drink them regularly I definitely notice an improvement in my health. All the herbs you have are wonderful!

Don't be shy, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

© 2017 This Fuller Life

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑