Avena Sativa – A Tonic for Nerves
Avena Sativa, also known as oats, have been used for medical purposes since the Middle Ages, and are vital to a healthy nervous system. It also acts as a mild sedative during nervous exhaustion and calms down those with performance anxiety. Avena Sativa has been traditionally used to treat depression and is also helpful when withdrawing from an addiction to alcohol, smoking, tranquilizers or other drugs and antidepressants.
Ayurvedic medicine prescribes oats for opium withdrawal. Dr.Bach recommends his Wild Oats flower remedy for times of uncertainty and dissatisfaction. Skin preparations containing oat extracts are used in orthodox medicine for eczema and dry skin.
Oat Bran has received considerable attention from the medical community for its role in reducing blood cholesterol. Nutrition experts believe that Beta glucans, the water-soluble fibres present in oat bran, inhibit cholesterol, which helps prevent heart disease. Nutritionists recommend increased daily intake of fibre, such as that in oat bran, because it assists in regulating gastro-intestinal function. Oats are occasionally used for brewing beer.
In Samuel Johnson’s directory, oats were defined as “eaten by people in Scotland, but fit only for houses in England”. The Scotsman’s retort to this is “That’s why England has such good horses, and Scotland has such fine men”.
As a homeopathic treatment, Avena Sativa extract and tincture are used as nerve tonics. It directly influenes brain and nutritive function of the organism, increasing nerve force and improving the nutrition of the entire system. It is great for building healthy bones, skin, hair, and nails due to its rich nutrients of silicon, manganese, zine, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A, B1, B2 and E. It is also found to be a good detoxifier, reduces nicotine cravings, increases energy levels and helps to maintain uterine health.
Avena Sativa is nourishing herb applicable to any state of debility and exhaustion and during convalescence. It is particularly suited as a long-term treatment in nervous debility, making gradual but sustained progress in fighting off shingles and other form of herpes, neuralgia, neuritis and even chronic depression.
Oat bran and, to a lesser extent, oatmeal, are rich sources of inositol, important for the proper metabolism of fats and for reducing blood cholesterol levels, while the silica content has local healing effects which can help skin problem when applied locally. It may be applied as a poiltice for wounds, burns and neuralgia. Oat straw can be used for thyroid and estrogen deficiency, for degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and for colds, especially if recurrent or persistent. Regular use of oats as a food will help to correct constipation.
King gives the following indications for the use of this remedy:
Spasmodic and nervous disorders, with exhaustion, the nervous debility of convalescence, cardiac weakness, from nervous exhaustion, spermatorrhea, with the nervous erythrism of debility. In general neurasthenia it promptly relieves the almost unbearable occipital headache, so constant, and evidenced by an enormous waste of the phosphates in the urine, common with nervous exhaustion.
It is a remedy of great utility in loss of nerve power and in muscular feebleness from lack of nerve force.
In sexual neurasthenia, it is the remedy per excellence, as it has a selective influence upon the nerve structure of the genito-urinary apparatus. Because of its selective action upon the nervous structure, which supplies the reproductive organs, it will be found to allay nervous excitement, nervous palpitation of the heart, insomnia and mental weakness, or failure and general debility caused by masturbation, over sexual indulgence, or onanism.
It is a sovereign remedy in impotency, especially temporary impotence of young newly married men. In cases depending wholly or partially upon prostatic irritation, it is of less value, but aids Staphysagria, Sabal serrulata, Salix nigra, and other indicated remedies. Spasmodic conditions of the neck of the bladder are said to be relieved by it.
In uterine or ovarian disorders with hysterical manifestations it is of much service. The nervous headaches of the menstrual epoch, especially those accompanied with burning on the top of the head, and sick headaches apparently from disordered stomach at this time, or in fact sick headache at any time if accompanied with nervous weakness, are all promptly benefited by Avena Sativa, provided gastric acidity is neutralized.
Dr. French says ” I also give Avena Sativa for the symptoms of nervous breakdown and exhaustion, regardless of the name of the special disease from which they may be suffering. Some patients claim to realize almost instantaneous effects on taking it while others are less easily affected. In all well kmown cases selected for the indications of paralysis and deficiency of nerve power, it seems to me to be good”
Avena Sativa exercises an influence similar to quinine after prostrating fevers and is similar to coca and phosphorus in its restorative powers. Zanthoxylum will enhance its general stimulant influence, and it may be combined with Cimicifuga, Scutellaria and Gelsemium in chorea.
Avena Sativa should always be given in appreciable dose. Indicated dose 10 – 20 drops, three times daily, well diluted will usually meet the case. It may be given in doses of from 5 -6 drops in rare instances in hot water. When given in hot water, its action at times is almost instantaneous. The last dose in night should be taken in cold water instead of hot, or it may induce sleeplessness. Large quantities may induce physiological effect of the remedy, which is announced by pain at the base of the brain. When this symptom makes its appearance the remedy should be discontinued for a day or two, and then given in reduced dosed.