Ever smelled a fresh pot of oats simmering on the stove and instantly get transported into a place of calm & comfort? This same comforting quality that a warm bowl of oatmeal provides us on a cold wintery day is exactly what Milky Oats is doing for our nervous system on a deeper level. In fact, there is something inherently comforting about the Oats plant as a whole: from its smell to the way it grows and sways in the wind to its many internal and external uses.
For those who are new to Oats as a plant, you might be wondering “what exactly are milky oats?” The Milky Oat “tops” are the immature seed pods at the very top of the Oats plant that contain a distinctly milky juice when squeezed open. We love growing and harvesting Oats in our Biodynamic Herb Garden.
Deeply nourishing, nutritive, and tonifying for the nervous system, Milky Oat tops are rich with many different uses and applications. In this article, we share 3 ways we love using Milky Oats every day and all year round.
Read on to discover a bit more about this incredible herb and an easy-to-make recipe.
1. As a Nervous System Tonic
One of the most well-known uses for Milky Oats is as a nourishing and tonifying herb for the nervous system. This herb acts directly on the nervous system as a “trophorestorative,” meaning that it helps restore the overall function of the nervous system when taken long-term. While enjoying Milky Oats as a tea or liquid extract can certainly help provide a sense of calm and comfort in moments of acute tension or distress, its most powerful benefits shine when used over longer periods of time.
After experiencing a tumultuous year, to say the least, we are sure that almost all of us could benefit from incorporating some milky oats into our daily herbal routines! If you’re feeling a sense of deep exhaustion, especially from chronic overstimulation or overworking, Milky Oats can be a valuable herbal ally to use. We love preparing Milky Oats as a simple infusion on its own (or combined with other herbs like in the recipe written below!) and as a liquid extract (we have both alcohol-based and alcohol-free versions available in the shop).
2. In A Skin-Soothing Herbal Bath
Ever prepared a relaxing Oatmeal bath for yourself or your kiddo? Milky Oat tops can be used in a similar way to help soothe irritated skin, relieve occasional itchiness, and calm the mind. Nothing is more relaxing than preparing a nourishing herbal-infused bath to relax the mind, body, and spirit after a long day, week, or year...Milky Oat tops is one of our go-to herbs to add into our herbal bath mixes that is gentle and well-indicated for sensitive skin types too (including kids!)
You can simply add Milky Oat tops to a compostable or reusable tea bag and toss into the tub to steep while you soak. We love to lightly grind our Milky Oat tops in a clean coffee grinder before stuffing into a bath-size tea bag to help draw out more of its moistening and emollient properties.
3. In a Nutritive Brew
In addition to being a premier herb for supporting the nervous system, Milky Oats is considered a deeply nutritive herb and is rich in vitamins A, C, and E in addition to zinc, manganese, and an array of amino acids, among others. Both Milky Oats and Oastraw (the “strawlike” leaf and stem of the Oat plant), are commonly used in nutritive herbal tea blends to provide an added boost of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients in addition to a nutritious diet.
The recipe below is a simple, tasty, and easy-to-drink daily nutritive herbal brew incorporating Milky Oats alongside other classic nutrient-dense herbs. One of my personal favorite formulas to enjoy every day all year round!
Nutritive Herbal Brew Recipe
½ part Milky Oat Tops
½ part Alfalfa
½ part Red Clover
¼ - ½ part Nettles (if you live in a dry climate or tend to run dry constitutionally, opt for less Nettles in this blend)
¼ part Chocolate Mint
1 part Marshmallow Root
- Combine all dried herbs into a bowl and mix well to combine. Parts can be easily measured at home without a scale by using tablespoons or cups. Proportion your blend up or down depending on how large of a quantity you want to have on hand.
- Pour the tea blend into a glass jar for storage.
- When you’re ready to brew your tea: use approximately one heaping tablespoon of your dried tea blend per cup of water used. I like to prepare this recipe as an overnight infusion using room temperature or cool water in 2-4 cup batches. Just pour water over the herbs in a jar, cover, shake gently to combine, and place on the counter or in the refrigerator to steep overnight (or approximately 8 hours). Strain in the morning and sip throughout the day.
- Enjoy this blend daily for an added nutritional boost! Add honey or lemon to taste if desired.
Milky Oats is one of those special herbs that remains a staple in our herbal routine year-round. To share our love of Milky Oats, we are offering a special herb sale right now! For a limited time only, take 20% off our Biodynamically-grown Milky Oat Tops, Red Clover, and Chocolate Mint.
Just use the code HERBSALE20 at checkout to apply the discount.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Heather Saba is a Certified Clinical Herbalist and Nutritionist, Medical Anthropologist, Writer, Whole-Body Wellness Coach, and Holistic Educator. She sees clients virtually for one-on-one herbal + nutritional wellness sessions, including custom herbal formulations. Connect with her on her personal website (www.heathersaba.com) and Instagram (@heathersaba).