Blue skies, warm nights, and even warmer days. The busy-ness of summer is in full swing and you may find yourself having difficulty sleeping and feeling a bit on edge. This is the perfect time to be introduced to Green Flowering Oats (Avena sativa) . Talking to oat farmers, the green oats will be ready in the next couple weeks to harvest and make the best nervine tincture for the rest of the year.
Both the grass and the seed have this amazing rejuvenating ability to soothe the frayed nerves, improve sleep and provide you a profound sense of calm. Ellingwood (1919) remarks the usefulness of the oats for convalescence from prostration due to mental overwork or great anxiety and worry, and even nervous exhaustion. Seems like just what is needed in the current times. It is one of the few herbs which ‘feeds’ the nervous system, acting as both stimulant for the exhausted and relaxant for the overwrought (Hoffman, 2003).
The nervine quality of this herb also makes this herb valuable for the management of difficult menses both for challenging emotions and far too often headaches that accompany the monthly bleed. Oats are even useful for the challenges of menopause, allowing women to navigate the changing waters of their hormonal evolution (Ross, 2010).
And want to hear a funny fact, you know cat grass that you see in the store, that is often oats. So as you are making your tincture or tea, your cat can happily munch on the herb as well.
Green Flowering Oat Tincture
1 cup of Green Flowering Oat tops
750 mL Everclear or (95% alcohol)
Fill a 1L jar with the Green Flowering Oat tops and then cover with the alcohol until the oats are totally covered. Place in a cool dark place. Check on it every day. Typical tinctures take 6 to 8 weeks to prepare, but I find that you’ll know this ready when all the green is leached out of the oats and the tincture is the pretty emerald green you ever did see.
Ellingwood, F. (1994). American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy 11th Edition (1919). Sandy: Reprinted Eclectic Medical Publications.
Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism - The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.
Ross, J. (2010). A Clinical Materia Medica. Wald, Germany: Greenfields Press.