Synonym ► A. barbata Baker Family ► Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.
Family ► Gramineae; Poaceae.
Habitat ► A cereal and fodder crop of Europe and America; also cultivated in India.
Ayurvedic ► Yavikaa. (Indian sp. is equated with A. byzantina C. Koch.)
Averrhoa bilimbi Linn.
Action ► Nervine tonic (used in spermatorrhoea, palpitation, sleeplessness), cardiac tonic (used in debility), stimulant, antispasmodic, thymoleptic, antidepressant (used in menopausal phase). Also used in diarrhoea, dysentery, colitis. Externally, emollient.
Key application ► Oat straw— externally in baths for inflammatory and seborrhoeic skin diseases. (German Commission E.) The effect on blood sugar is less than that from most of the fiber-containing herbs and foods. (Sharon M. Herr.)
The seeds contain proteins and prolamines (avenins); C-glycosyl flavones; avenacosides (spirostanol glycosides); fixed oil, vitamin E, starch.
Silicon dioxide (2%) occurs in the leaves and in the straw in soluble form as esters of silicic acid with polyphenols and monosaccharides and oligosaccha-rides.
Oat straw contains a high content of iron (39 mg/kg dry weight), manganese (8.5 mg) and zinc (19.2 mg).
In an experimental study, oat straw stimulated the release of luteinizing hormone from the adenohypophysis of rats. (Expanded Commission E Monographs.)
An alcoholic extract of green oats was tried on opium addicts. Six chronic opium addicts gave up opium completely, two reduced their intake and two showed no change following regular use of 2 ml three times daily (human clinical study). A significant diminish-ment of the number of cigarettes used by habitual tobacco smokers resulted from using 1 ml (four times daily) of fresh Avena alcoholic extract of mature plants; however, a few studies gave disappointing results. (Francis Brinker.)
Oat polyphenol composition prevented the increase of cholesterol and beta-lipoprotein of blood serum of fasting rabbits. Antioxidant property of the oat flour remains unaffected by heat. Homoeopathic tincture of seeds is used as a nervine tonic. Beta-glucan from the oats stimulated immune functions.
Avenacosides exhibit strong anti-fungal activity in vitro.
Was this article helpful?
Learn what you can do with herbs! How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs. Have you always wanted an herb garden but didn't know how to get started? Do you want to know more about growing your own herbs in the privacy of your home and using them in a variety of cooking?