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Milky Oats : Virtues and Benefits

Updated: Mar 15

Wonderful milky oats! A medicinal plant accessible to all, without any contraindications. Both young and old can thus benefit from its virtues, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women. A food that should be in everyone’s pantry!

Milky oats medicinal plant

A Bit of History

Scientifically known as Avena sativa, oats are native to Central Europe and were likely domesticated in Central and Northern Europe around 2500 BC. They were introduced to North America in the early 17th century by the first settlers. Initially, it was used to feed livestock, but gradually, it made its way into the basic diet of humans.

Tableau avoine fleurie

Description and Properties

It is among the so-called mineralizing plants because it is rich in minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, silica, iron, zinc, selenium, manganese, and potassium. It also contains a good dose of B-complex vitamins.

In herbalism (and on our farm, of course!), we harvest the top of the plant at flowering, just before the grain forms. It is at this time that there is a presence of a milky sap inside the “flower” (future seed), which is sublime for nerve health, its greatest benefit!

A small agricultural anecdote: more often than not, we manage to have enough for our needs, thanks to the oats that germinate and grow from our straw-lined rows of oat straw. Nature being well made, it ensures its own perpetuity!

We mainly cultivate it as green manure for field rotations. We decide either to put sheep on it to graze in a different way than we would with green manure (that is, to cut it in the state of turf and bury it ourselves). We always keep a strip that will not be offered to the sheep in order to have our beautiful flowering oat flowers because the sheep graze everything before in their sections.

So, in terms of its therapeutic properties, it is mainly indicated to tone and deeply regenerate the nervous system (what is called a trophorestorative product), especially in people who are physically and/or emotionally exhausted. It is a plant that, gently, will allow one to recover and show resilience when necessary.


Insomnia, fatigue, depression, anxiety, night sweats, incontinence, dry mucous membranes, lack of concentration or focus, hyperemotionality, headaches starting from the back of the neck, hypersensitivity, decreased libido, are all conditions that can benefit from milky oats. It is even indicated in cases of addiction to anything that impacts the nervous system, which excites it, such as caffeine, certain drugs, etc.

It will have an action on hair, skin, and nails, thanks to the presence of silica and its emollient action. It is, in fact, one of the rare plants, one might say, that has the ability to deeply hydrate. The majority of plants are of a drying nature, but a few, such as milky oats, will be hydrating and emollient. These plants tend to promote water retention in the body and improve cell hydration. Milky oats contain polysaccharides, recognized precisely for their emollient properties. And knowing that dehydration of the human body, internally as well as externally, can lead to many undesirable effects, even certain health problems, being well hydrated is essential for an overall well-being.

Uses and Dosage

Milky oats are available and can be used in various ways :

  • As a herbal tea, you can steep 1 tablespoon per cup of simmering water, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes;

  • As a mother tincture, you can consume 1 to 5 ml per day;

  • For a bath, you can prepare an infusion using 1/4 or 1/2 cup of flowering oats in 4 cups of simmering water. Let it steep covered for 30 minutes, then strain and pour into your bath, ready to welcome you!

Additionally, the infusion of flowering oats is perfect in cooking, to enhance various dishes with its numerous minerals and benefits. Moreover, since it has a neutral taste (it doesn’t taste much!), you will enjoy it more as an infusion combined with other more flavorful plants or herbs, such as peppermint or spearmint, rose petals, anise hyssop, or even spices like star anise or fennel seeds.

Its advantage of going unnoticed wherever it is added is quite appropriate in cooking! The procedure is quite simple: prepare an infusion of flowering oats, and once strained, add it to a smoothie, chia pudding, cold soup, lemonade, add liquid to a soup, etc. The idea is not to “cook” or heat your infusion with other foods for too long, as this would somewhat destroy its properties. So wherever you are asked for a certain amount of water, in a dish that does not require cooking (or just needs to be warmed), it will be perfect!


It’s certainly something to think about, but it’s a habit to develop like any other, and it allows you to add a lot of benefits to what you eat!


Our herbal products using milky oats

At La Fée des Bois Apothecary, we offer several products made from this plant :

Our products based on oats, the cereal

The action is different; it mainly has soothing and calming properties for the skin.

Since it is the same plant, we present them to you here :


In any case, if you purchase a product containing oats (in cereal form or as milky oats) other than at our herbalist shop, it is important to ensure the quality and freshness of the product. This is a guarantee of assured benefits!

Mariane's Advice



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