Latest News

Western Herbalism

Milky Oats: The Best Herb for Self Care

Milky Oats: The Best Herb for Self Care

In our fast-paced world, self-care is essential for maintaining balance, resilience, and overall well-being. When talking about self care, a herb that deserves your attention is milky oats (Avena sativa). This herb is known for its remarkable ability to nourish and restore the nervous system. In this blog, we’ll explore the many benefits of milky oats and how to incorporate them into your self-care routine.

Not into blogs? We’ve got covered! Here’s a quick video from when we featured Milky Oats as the herb of the week – watch it here.

Milky Oats: The Best Herb for Self Care

Common Names: Oats, Milky Oats, Oatstraw

Family: Poaceae

Parts Used: Fresh milky seed, fresh crushed or steel-cut oat groats, oatstraw

Important Note: Milky oats have a much stronger affinity for the nervous system and the medicine must be prepared from the freshly harvested tops of the Avena sativa plant. Oatstraw is the stalk of the plant, it’s a tonic herb meaning it’s rich in nutrients and minerals which help support the whole body

Herbal Actions: Nervine trophorestorative, sexual trophorestorative, relaxing nervine, demulcent, nutritive

Preparations & Dosage: 

  • Fresh Plant Tincture: fresh milky seed, 1:2, 95% alcohol, 3-30 gtt
  • Dry Plant Tincture: fresh dried crushed or steel cut oats, 1:3, 3-60 gtt.
  • Hot Infusion: oatstraw, 1:20, ad lib

Cautions & Considerations: If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to prevent gluten cross-contamination, ensure the use of certified gluten-free oats to prevent gluten cross-contamination. Milky oats may interact with certain medications or medical conditions. Consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with a healthcare provider before using milky oats.


The Medicinal Superpowers of Milky Oats
A Trophorestorative for the Nervous System

Milky oats is an exceptionally important and useful remedy in nervous debility and exhaustion and is the best all-purpose restorative in the Western Materia Medica. Milky oats is a nervine trophorestorative, meaning they have a unique affinity for the nervous system. Whether you’re battling stress, anxiety, or nervous exhaustion, milky oats can help rejuvenate and nurture your frazzled and depleted nerves.

Milky Oats: The Best Herb for Self Care

Stress Reduction and Relaxation

If the demands of daily life leave you feeling constantly on edge, milky oats can offer a gentle reprieve. It’s great for that ‘tired-but-wired’ feeling that is unfortunately all too common today in the western world.They have a relaxing effect on the nervous system, helping to ease tension and promote a sense of calm.

Restful Sleep

Its activities upon the nervous system, while not profoundly sedative, are relaxing and restorative, promoting a good sleep, and is an effective treatment in chronic insomnia. For this purpose milky oats is often combined with herbs such as skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) and valerian (Valeriana officinalis).

Mental and Emotional Support

Milky oats are your go-to ally during emotional upheavals. They can provide stability and grounding, helping you navigate through difficult emotions and challenging situations. For those days when your mind feels scattered, Milky Oats can help sharpen your focus and improve concentration. This makes them a valuable tool for productivity and mental clarity.

Self-Care Tips and Recipes for Milky Oats
Comforting and Nourishing Tea

You can’t go wrong with starting your day with a cup of oatstraw tea. This nourishing blend not only provides a comforting and soothing start to your morning but also offers comprehensive support for your nervous system – it’s one of our favourite recipes:

 General Nourishing Nervous Support Blend

  • 2 parts Oatstraw (Avena sativa)
  • 2 parts Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
  • 1 part Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
  • 1⁄2-1 part (to taste) Spearmint (Mentha spicata)

Blend and store in an airtight & light proof container/packaging (or keep out of direct sunlight).

To Use: Prepare as a hot infusion using 1 tablespoon of blend per cup of H20. Let steep covered for 10+ minutes before drinking.

Stress-Busting Baths

Create a calming bath ritual by adding milky oat tops to your bathwater – if you only have dried oat, that works just as fine and is equally as lovely. Combine a handful of dried milky oats with Epsom salt for a relaxing soak that melts away stress. Other herbs you may want to add could be: Lavender (Lavandula spp.), Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Rose (Rosa spp.), Calendula (Calendula officinalis)


Evening Elixir

Milky oats could be the perfection addition to your bedtime routine. Wind down in the evening with a Milky oats elixir. Mix a few drops of Milky Oats tincture in warm water or herbal tea.


Mindful Meditation

Incorporate Milky oats into your mindfulness practices. Meditate with a Milky oats-infused eye pillow or enjoy a cup of oatstraw tea while practicing deep breathing exercises. While sipping on the tea you could journal about the herb. Draw the plant, make notes of the flavour, how the herb makes you feel or what you notive in your body along with any other thoughts that fall onto your page. 


Grow Milky Oats to Your Garden

Milky oats are easy to grow anywhere – even urban medicine gardens! One of the beauties of cultivating milky oats is it’s a generous crop. By harvesting tops early enough in the growing season and allowing them to regrow, you ensure another bountiful harvest. Through tending and caring for your milky oat plants from seed to harvest, you may notice a rewarding journey of self-discovery and even find yourself connecting deeper with the natural world around you.


Learn More About the Medicinal Applications of Milky Oats

Want to dive deeper into the medicinal applications of Milky Oats? Check out our online course, Western Materica Medica I. In this course you will learn 50+ herbs in-depth that support each body system, tying together all the pieces of learning herbs and their applications. Check it out, here.


Like this article?
Share on Facebook
Leave a comment