Ever wonder why oats are so common in breakfast cereals? Well, oats are jam-packed with useful nutrients. The oat is one of the world’s most popular grains, and considering the numerous benefits it provides, it’s not hard to see why we incorporate it into our diet so regularly.
What is Oat Straw?
Oat straw is a dietary supplement that provides a bevy of both physical and mental health benefits. Not only can oat help maintain a healthy heart by reducing cholesterol, but it can also help the body maintain healthy blood sugar levels while reducing levels of stress.
The seeds, leaves, stem and bran of the oat plant have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Aside from regulating healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels, whole oats and oat bran can also relieve digestion problems, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel disease and diarrhea. Oats may even prevent heart disease, cancer and gallstones.
Benefits of Oat Straw
Reduces Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
Have high cholesterol? Adding oat straw to your diet could make all the difference in the world. To lower cholesterol, it is best to consume 5-10 grams of soluble fiber on a daily basis (x). Luckily, oat straw is chock-full of fiber, which is also a good sign for diabetics. By eating 25 grams of soluble fiber daily, blood sugar may see a considerable reduction (x).
If you want to up your performance in the gym, using oat straw may be able to help you out. Oat straw (along with other herbs such as ginseng and rhodiola) has been a long-time energy booster. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence suggesting this truly is the case. Researchers continue to study oat straw and its potential benefits, including its ability to boost physical performance (x).
There is evidence, however, that oat straw, also known as Avena sativa, can have a beneficial effect on mental health. Some of the mental health benefits of oat straw extract include its ability to treat depression and anxiety. Oat straw has been in use for years to treat mood disorders, though more research is necessary to determine its full potential as a legitimate remedy for such conditions (x).
How does oat help with anxiety and depression and other mental health disorders, though? One reason is due to its known characteristic of boosting electric brain activity, which enhances cognitive ability (x).
Have you ever heard of someone taking an oatmeal bath? Well, there’s a method behind the madness. Believe it or not, oat straw is a useful supplement for skin health. Oats are known to relieve itchy skin and may serve as an effective treatment for various conditions that cause skin irritation (x). Oat straw may even be able to accelerate the healing of wounds (x).
There are very few things worse than a bad case of diarrhea. Thankfully, there are a variety of treatments for diarrhea — and oat straw may be one of them. According to a study done on 45 female Holstein calves, oats helped increase protein digestibility and reduced diarrhea’s duration (x).
Treats Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Diarrhea isn’t the only digestive issue that oats can help solve. Those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease can also use oat straw as a simple remedy. The higher the fiber content, the fewer issues that develop in the digestive tract (x).
Could Improve Blood Flow
In one study, 37 adults over the age of 60 took 1,500 mg of oat straw extract over 24 weeks. Results showed that supplementation with oat straw extract helped to substantially improve blood flow in comparison to the placebo (x).
May Fight Cancer
Cancer has no known cure, but it is preventable. Oats, for example, are a beta-glucan. Beta-glucans are immunomodulators and have shown anticancer properties (x). Much research still needs to be conducted to further legitimize the oat’s potential as a cancer combatant, but early indications are positive.
Oat Straw Side Effects
Sensitivity to oats is rare. However, some people may have a skin allergy to oat straw. A study involving children with atopic dermatitis showed that a considerable amount of the participants developed signs of a skin allergy when using products containing oats (x). Because of this, it may be best to avoid using oat-based products on young children — particularly infants.
Thanks to its high content in calcium and magnesium, oat straw is considered safe to consume if you are pregnant or nursing (x). However, it is still essential that you consult your doctor before adding it to your regimen.
For optimal results, it is best to take 700 mg of oat straw extract 1 to 3 times per day. It should always be taken with a meal and at least 8 oz of water. Of course, while oat straw extract offers a plethora of benefits, it is still important to follow alternative dosage instructions from your doctor.
The Bottom Line
Oat straw extract’s benefits are bountiful. Not only can it reduce cholesterol and blood sugar, but it can also improve your mental and physical health while serving as a quality treatment for digestive issues such as diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease. Dealing with skin irritation? No problem. Oat straw can help with that as well (though it can also cause skin allergies in young children).
Perhaps one of the oat’s biggest benefits, however, is its potential to fight off cancer. Studies are still ongoing to determine the full extend of its cancer-fighting abilities, but early signs are encouraging.
There’s a reason why oats are such a common ingredient in breakfast cereals. The most important meal of the day would only be complete with one of history’s best herbal supplements.