Scientific name: Avena sativa, A. fatua

Oats are obviously very common for most households. Eaten as a breakfast cereal and soothing for skin irritation and dryness in a nice hot bath, amongst other benefits.

One thing some of you may be thinking about is the gluten. I think there are benefits to being gluten free, or more realistically being aware of how much you’re eating, and eating less of it. It’s all about balance right?

In the case of oats, they are technically gluten free. However, they usually become contaminated if grown near things like wheat, rye, etc or if processed in a plant that also processes those gluten containing plants. So if you have a gluten allergy, it’s better to stay away, or try at your own risk…

Nutrients

  • Silicon
  • Sterols
  • Flavonoids
  • Starch
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Silica
  • B Vitamins

Health Benefits

  • The “milk” stage: the best part of the plant is the green tops while they’re releasing an “oat milk”, which when made into a tonic can:
    • Decrease nervous stress, anxiety
    • Improve exhaustion and irritation
    • Calm hyperactive children and adults: especially when mixed with lemon balm
  • The “dough” stage
    • Improves irritated or dry skin
    • Helps heal sunburn

Cooking Tips

Oatmeal is pretty well known but again if you’re trying to stay away from gluten, finding a non-contaminated batch of oats probably won’t be easy, so it might be better to stay away.

Otherwise, besides cereal, oats can be used as a flour, or baked whole straight into cookies!

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

Stress, anxiety: the milky oats are best for reducing stress and anxiety

Multiple sclerosis: This won’t be a quick remedy for an extreme situation like this, however the milky part of the oats can help reduce fatigue, strengthen muscles, and improve nerve function.

Hyperactive children & adults: combine milky oats with lemon balm

Irritated & dry skin, sunburn: 

  • Oatmeal bath: cook a mixture of a ratio 1:5 oatmeal:water on the stove for 15 min. Strain, and keep both the oats and water. Pour water into a bath filled with warm water and put cooked oats into a nylon or cotton cloth of some sort and tie shut. Enjoy the bath and use the oats as a gentle scrub.
  • Oatmeal-based lotion

How to Grow

Planting

Where do you live?

These are pretty hardy plants, best grown in Zones 4-9. To start the seeds, soak them overnight and then put right into the soil.

Put em in the ground
  • Moderate watering
  • Full sun
  • Open ground

Care

There aren’t many pests to worry about, besides larger animals eating the goods themselves.

Harvest

Medicinal purposes: oats are ready when they’re still green and when gently pressed with your fingers, release a little oat milk.

Cooking purposes: such as for oatmeal, wait until the grains are golden/fully ripe – no milky fluid left and you should be able to dent the grain with your fingernail (don’t wait until they’re too hard). Using your fingers as a rake, pull upward and let the grains fall into your basket or whatever you have to collect them.