Avena Sativa Info

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What is Avena Sativa Extract?

Note: I added this page because Avena Sativa is an ingredient Andro-Shock and I was interested in 'what' it was. It is commonly taken with products designed to increase testosterone such as tribulus terrestris.

Quick Info: "Avena sativa is an extract from wild oats straw, and a rather recent entry to the field of aphrodisiacs. While oats have a long reputation of being the most energizing grain, the alleged sexual effects have not commonly been recognized in previous centuries. Avena sativa is said to free up bound testosterone in both men an women. If this were indeed the case, a prosexual effect would be obvious. Most positive effects of testosterone, including sex drive, are attributed to free testosterone, while bound testosterone is mainly a subject of study when enlarged prostates are the primary concern.

The oat plant is not very glamorous, but when it comes to health and nutrition, it is a powerful workhorse. Oats come to us by way of Scotland, but it is not known when they were first introduced there. There are about 25 varieties, but the one used in herbal medicine is Avena sativa. (1) Most people know the mature seed of the plant is used as a cereal grain, but the whole plant, with exception of the roots, has an important place in herbal medicine.

Before they mature, for about 2 weeks in late August, the seeds are actually in a liquid or “milky” stage. This is the best time to collect oats for tincturing to be used as a nervine or nerve tonic because they have the highest amounts of nutrients and active principles. Once the oat seeds are mature, in late summer or early fall, they can be harvested and rolled or ground into oatmeal. If they are left unprocessed, they are called groats. (1) After harvesting the seeds, the straw from the plant can be cut up and used also in teas. The ground husks surrounding the seeds becomes oat bran. (2)

Oats are warming, moist and sweet. They have saponins, flavonoids, minerals, alkaloids, steroidal compounds, vitamins B1, B2, D, E, carotene, gluten, starch and fat. All of these make oats an excellent nerve tonic to recover from nervous exhaustion due to stress, depression, lethargy, or as a preventative in difficult times to cope better. (2,3,4) Oatmeal is also useful externally to relieve itching from rashes such as chicken pox, eczema, cold sores, and shingles. (2,5) Oat bran is used to reduce blood cholesterol levels and is a source of fiber. (2) Oat straw is used both as a nerve tonic and because of its mineral content, it is often used in teas to promote bone health.

Eating oats and oat bran often is a positive direction to take in improving the diet. Oats can be used in baking, as a hot cereal, and as a soup thickener. (5) Oat bran can be sprinkled in salads, soups, and other foods to add fiber. Colloidal oatmeal baths may be purchased at most pharmacies or can be made by grinding oatmeal in a food processor or coffee grinder. Cooked, warm or lukewarm oatmeal can be used in a poultice over rashes, eczema, shingles and cold sores. Two to three ml (about 1/2 teaspoonful) of milky oats tincture can be mixed in hot water or tea and drunk up to 3 times a day for the nerves. (2) For people with celiac’s disease, let the tincture settle and pour off only the clear liquid to avoid any gluten. (2) Oat straw decoction (simmered tea) may be used instead.

Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she gave oats to us. They are full of what we need to make it through our stressful lives and the cold, wet weather of winter. They have vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, protein and fiber, and are available in abundance. Almost everyone can benefit by adding oats to their diet.


1. Grieve, M., A Modern Herbal, Dover Publications, New York, 1971, Vol. II, p. 597
2. Ody, P., The Complete Medicinal Herbal, Dorling Kindersley, New York, 1993, p.40
3. McIntyre, A., The Complete Woman's Herbal, Henry Holt Co., New York, 1995, p.52
4. Naturopathic Handbook of Herbal Formulas, Herbal Research Publications, Ayer, 4th ed., 1996, p. 114
5. Berk, S. A., The Naturalist's Herb Guide, Black Dog & Leventhal, New York, 1996, p. 170

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