Oat Straw Guide
Oat Straw comes from green oats and has been used as a traditional cognitive enhancement supplement since medieval times. Today, oat straw has been back in the news lately after recently being featured on The Dr. Oz Show.
What is Oat Straw?
Oat straw comes from the Avena sativa plant, also known as green oats. Since the Middle Ages, oat straw has been used to create tinctures that support cognitive health.
Over the years, it’s also been used for a wide variety of other “wellness” purposes, including reducing the risk of heart disease, increasing physical and mental energy, reducing anxiety, and improving physical performance.
Some people even take oat straw extract to improve sexual performance. You can find oat straw in certain testosterone boosting supplements.
How Does Oat Straw Work?
Modern science hasn’t been as kind to oat straw as traditional medicine. It’s a bit unclear how oat straw works – or even if it works as promised.
Some studies have suggested that oat straw works by increasing alpha-2 waves in your brain. These are the same brain waves that are highly active during periods of wakefulness.
At the same time, oat straw raises nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide, or NO, is a vasodilator that widens your blood vessels, helping oxygen and nutrients get throughout your body more easily.
Finally, there’s some evidence that oat straw can suppress inflammatory cytokines in artery walls. This increases blood flow to the brain even further, which is why oat straw is purported to help you feel more alert: it physically delivers more oxygen and nutrients to and from your brain.
In one study on oat straw, human volunteers who took oat straw actually performed better on tests than a group that took a placebo.
How to Buy Oat Straw
Oat straw is available at a surprisingly cheap price at online retailers and brick-and-mortar outlets. You can buy it in the form of a hay-like straw, or as a powder, or as an extract in a capsule supplement.
Expect to pay between $5 and $15 for a monthly supply of good oat straw extract.
How to Use Oat Straw
Typically, those who use oat straw will sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of the powder onto a meal – like say, into a protein shake or onto their morning oatmeal.
Some people also make their own oat straw energy drink. Dr. Oz, for example, recommends mixing two teaspoons of powdered oat straw with lemon, water, and ginger to make a healthy, natural energy drink.
If you’re taking oat straw as a nutritional supplement, aim to get about 1500mg per day.
Health Benefits of Oat Straw
Oat straw has been linked to a number of health benefits. We’ve covered most of the major health benefits above. However, there are some people who really love oat straw and believe it has been linked with all of the benefits listed below and more:
— Better Bone, Skin, Hair, And Nail Health: Oat straw is high in calcium (300mg per one cup serving) and contains other valuable minerals and proteins like B vitamins and silica, all of which play a critical role in bone, skin, and hair health.
— Reduced Stress And Anxiety: Oat straw was traditionally used to soothe the central nervous system. Some even say it acts as a nervine, which means it nourishes the central nervous system. During times of stress, some people take oat straw to help “rebalance”.
— Topical Treatment: Consuming oat straw may help your skin from the inside out, but some people actually apply oat straw as a topical treatment. They might make a bath or compress for dry, itchy, irritated skin conditions like sunburn, rashes, and eczema, for example.
Ultimately, oat straw is a natural substance that requires more modern scientific testing before it can definitively be linked with any of the benefits listed above. Nevertheless, it’s popular throughout the naturopathic community for acting as a powerful natural nutritional supplement.