I am always on the lookout for friendly, accessible, Vata-pacifying herbs, especially during the Fall season. For times when I’m feeling exhausted, run-down, or a little blue, fresh Milky Oat Seed is a true comfort and helps me feel warm, grounded and well again.
The oat plant, Avena sativa, gives us oatmeal, rolled oats, and oatstraw, all of which are excellent restoratives for the nerves, digestion, and cardiovascular system. But it’s the fresh milky seed that stands out above the rest of Avena’s offerings.
For about a week during the growing cycle of this plant, the young seeds fill with a white milky substance and can be harvested as fresh milky oat seed. To quote herbalist David Winston, this milky seed is “what I believe is the greatest nervous system trophorestorative. A trophorestorative is literally a food for a specific tissue or organ, one that nourishes the tissue, restoring normal function and vitality to the organ.”
For general use, milky oat seed is preferred for people who feel scattered, frazzled, and oversensitive (all symptoms of an over-taxed nervous system). If you’ve been running on empty and are feeling the effects, milky oat seed can help you recover. For people who feel shaky and overwhelmed, oat seed can help renew the capacity to deal with stress. Even if you’re not overly-stressed, adding milky oat seed to your regimen can improve concentration, energy, and emotional flexibility.
On the more acute side of things, milky oat seed can aid in healing from debilitating fatigue and PTSD. It is specific for nervous exhaustion, adrenal burnout, anxiety, emotional instability, and stress. For conditions such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, it can provide a gentle, steady, building of the exhausted or traumatized systems. It can also be a true friend in the addiction recovery process, easing the symptoms of withdrawal, encouraging emotional stability, and restoring disrupted body systems on a deep level.
The glycerite extract has a warm, pleasant taste and is my favorite way of taking this herb, straight from the dropper. Alcohol tincture is another easy way to take milky oat. You can also find fresh milky oat tops in our Nerve Soother tea, which combines this herb along with other neuro-restorative, anxiety-relieving, grounding herbs Holy Basil, Lemon Balm, Rose petals, Marshmallow, Fennel and Ginger. The nourishing mucilage from the oat tops should be squeezed from the teabag or strainer into the tea, as this is the valuable, moisturizing foodstuff for the nerves.