Oats: Herbal Remedies

Oats Preparations and Warnings

Like all herbs, there are some precautions you should take before using oats medicinally.

Oats Preparations and Dosage

Oatmeal is the most common oat preparation. Whole oats, rolled oats, and oat flour are available. Oat straw and whole dried oat groats may be tinctured and used as a medicine, but oats are more commonly dried for teas. Tinctures are also available, made from the milky white secretion of the fresh oat plant. Tea: Infuse 1 tablespoon of oats or green oats per cup of hot water. Drink several cups a day. Tincture: Take 1 to 2 droppers (1/2 to 1 teaspoon), three to four times a day.

Oats Precautions and Warnings

As with all high-fiber foods, oats should be eaten with plenty of liquid to ensure dispersal in the digestive tract. Other than allergy or intolerance to oats, no toxicity has been noted.

Side Effects of Oats

Although fiber helps to cleanse bowels, some people experience discomfort after suddenly increasing fiber consumption. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, your symptoms may be aggravated by abrupt addition of oat bran to your diet. But most people can tolerate gradual increases in oat bran consumption. Some people with a food intolerance of (or allergy to) oats may experience an eczemalike rash when handling oatmeal or oat flour. If you cannot tolerate eating oatmeal, avoid using oat-based medications.

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Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.