Benefits of Milky Oats {Avena Sativa}

avena sativa - milky oats benefits
As the tall oat plant which sways gracefully with the changing winds yet remains firmly rooted and grounded in the Earth, so too will those who take oat’s medicine.

Oatstraw -- Oat straw or milky oats are harvested oat tops when they are in their milky stage.   This stage lasts only one week and occurs after the oat begins flowering and before the seed hardens and becomes the grain we eat as oatmeal.  Commonly, milky oats are harvested, dried and used to make a nutritive tonic or added to teas. Milky oats are highly nutritious and rich in minerals and trace nutrients including silica, magnesium, phosphorus, chromium, iron, calcium, alkaloids, protein, the vitamin B complex, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. 1

Uses for oat straw include immune modulating properties, a grounding nervine for the brain and nervous system, concentration enhancer, endocrine stimulator and increases circulation throughout the body. 2,3  It is an excellent source of calcium and magnesium and can help ease the stress of challenging changes and dark moods.

Because of its anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and calming effects, milky oats are also a beautiful addition to a relaxing bath recipe.

Suggested dosage adapted from Medical Herbalism by David Hoffmann:

1-4 cups of oatstraw infusion per day (1 ounce oat straw in 1 quart boiling water; steep at least 4 hours)


  1. Edwards, G.F. (2000). Opening our wild hearts to the healing herbs. Woodstock, NY: Ash Tree Publishing.

  2. Berger, J. (1998). Herbal rituals. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

  3. Berry, N.M., Robinson, M.J., Bryan, J., Buckley, J.D., Murphy, K.J., Howe, P.R. Acute effects of an Avena sativa herb extract on responses to the Stroop Color-Word test. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 17(7):635-7.