Avena Sativa | Milky Oats: A Nourishing Herbal Infusion
WHAT IS AN HERBAL INFUSION
There are so many different ways to consume herbs. One of my favorites is a daily herbal infusion. Herbal infusions are perfect for nourishing and vitamin rich herbs such as nettle, oatstraw, red clover, and raspberry leaf, just to name a few.
An infusion is a strong tea that is steeped for an extended period of time. Typically, I will place about an ounce of dried herb in a quart ball jar in the evening, cover it with the lid, and strain it in the morning. This extra-long steeping allows for plenty of time for all of the minerals to be pulled into the water. I will then drink this throughout the day just as I would plain water.
AVENA SATIVA/ OAT STRAW AND MILKY OATS
Avena Sativa has been consumed by humans as a cereal grain for thousands of years. I really like to use this herb as a daily herbal infusion because it has calming and nutritive properties. That means it is vitamin and mineral rich AND it is good for calming stress and anxiety. A cup of oatstraw (about what you would use in your infusion) contains over 300 mg of calcium, and its high levels of saponins nourish the liver which means it will help improve digestion and stabilize the mood. This herb also reduces inflammation and nourishes the heart and circulatory system, leading to better and more restful sleep. In aruvedic medicine, it is often used as a longevity tonic.
When I lived in California, I would harvest milky oats growing wild every year, but here in Washington, I haven't seen it growing much (though that doesn't mean it isn't around!!). You can by dried and prepared Avena sativa at Mountain Rose Herbs. They sell both Oat Straw and Milky Oat Tops. I personally like to use both and mix them together 50/50.