One of the best herbs for nourishing the nervous system, Oatstraw (avena sativa), fortifies us during times of stress and trauma. It is particularly useful for experiences of depression, anxiety, and nervous exhaustion. This type of herb is called a nervine.
Because it is naturally relaxing, it helps to quell the worries and gives our nervous system’s downtime during the day, so we can have downtime during the night. If you burn the candle and both ends all day long, there is no way you’ll have good sleep at night. If you’re type A or constantly under too many demands, whether emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual, you need to calm the nervous system ALL DAY LONG.
According to Mountain Rose Herbs,
“Oatstraw is a highly beneficial nervine, nutritive, and sedative. It is prized amongst herbalists for its gentle and supportive nature […] Oatstraw is highly nutritive, containing minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamins, and a variety of other constituents which deeply nourish the entire body and are especially soothing to the nervous system. This gentle restorative herb is for those that are cold, depleted, tired, and have ‘frayed nerves’ or for the type of person who drinks too much coffee and is chronically burnt out. It is also helpful for soothing and nourishing inflammatory skin conditions, building up strength in degenerative wasting conditions, and for enhancing the mood.”
It is safe to use with children, to boost fertility, during pregnancy and postpartum (breastfeeding), and during the wise years (especially for healthy bone, teeth, hair, nervous system, and nail growth and development).
In famed herbalist Susun Weed’s book Wise Woman Herbal: Childbearing Year, she also writes that oatstraw is used to strengthen varicose veins and capillaries. She also notes that a single cup of oatstraw infusion contains approximately 300mg of calcium! Along with magnesium, calcium is one of the most calming minerals.
And it’s as easy as an herbal infusion, which is basically a very long steeped tea. Quite simply, put 3-4 tbps of oatstraw in a pint jar, add pure (not city water or unpurified well water) boiling water atop, cover, and let steep for 30mins-1 hour or for best results, overnight.
Oatstraw is mild and sweet tasting. I never need to add anything to it.
Note: Because oats are often cross contaminated during processing, if you are gluten-sensitive, I highly recommend getting your Oatstraw from a gluten-free source (Mountain Rose Herbs).
Have questions about using Oatstraw or need help restoring mind, body, and spirit from stress, contact me: