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Milky Oat: The Great Healer

Milky Oat: Avena sativa

Milky oat is a descriptive term for the tops of oat plants, before the oat grain fully forms, when it is still green, just after pollination. At this particular point in the oats growth cycle, the oat seeds go through a stage called the “milky stage.” This milky stage is very short-lived and only lasts about a week in the entire growth cycle of the oat plant. At this “milky” stage, the oat seeds excrete a white milky solution when squeezed. This milky solution is comprised of many components, but the one we are the most focused on is the naturally occurring latex that is incredibly healing for the nervous system. This milky latex is only beneficial if harvested fresh, and infused into a menstruum such as alcohol, or glycerine. If the oat is dried at this stage, the naturally occurring latex is destroyed and no longer viable for absorption in the body. Dried milky oat tops are still very high in magnesium and other minerals, and can be useful in a soothing tea for the nervous system as well, but the powerful properties I am specifically talking about in this article relate to the natural latexes found in milky oat tops that are fresh or have been prepared fresh into a tincture or toddy. Milky oat preparations of any kind made with the dried tops of milky oat will not have the same healing effects on the nervous system. On this note, when purchasing milky oat products from any supplier for the purpose of rebuilding the nervous system, or easing the symptoms of overstimulation, agitation, and nervous system overwhelm, it is absolutely imperative that the manufacturer specifically states that the tincture has been made from FRESH milky oat tops, not dried. Many herbalists make tinctures and toddies with dried milky oat tops, and while dried milky oat has great benefits, once again, at the risk of beating a dead horse; dried milky oat renders the healing latex ineffective.

Milky oat is a cooling, soothing herb that supports the body's healthy response to stress, by soothing and nourishing the nervous system. It helps the body and nervous system have proper responses to stress and supports healthy hormone function. Milky oat has one of the highest concentrations of magnesium of any plant we know, and it has been argued to be the plant with the highest magnesium content on earth. Because of its high magnesium content, it can be extremely beneficial for almost any human at any stage of life. Magnesium is a mineral that the body uses in every action/interaction on a cellular level, and because our diets are chronically low in magnesium levels because of our farming practices which cause severe depletion, almost everyone in America today, as well as much of the world.

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps and spasms, sore muscles, achy joints, depression, anxiety, irritability, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, asthma, irregular heartbeat, etc.

In addition to it’s high magnesium content which supports the body as a whole as well as the nervous system in specific ways, the latex that is found only in fresh milky oat (not dried milky oat tops) is an excellent tonic for chronic stress, and burnout. This milky latex acts on the Myelin sheath of the nerves and helps repair damage, which can be extremely helpful for chronic pain conditions, as well as chronic nervous system disruption which presents as anxiety, dis-autonomia, or chronic overstimulation that displays as irritability and overwhelm. Milky oat is one of the best herbs I’ve ever found for myself or my clients and friends, for healing a damaged nervous system. It is not a quick fix for nervous system healing and needs to be taken daily for a minimum of 8-12 weeks to notice a significant benefit to the nervous system, but when used off and on or for shorter periods of time Milky oat still offers a host of nutrients such as B-complex, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Because of these amazing nutrients, they help rejuvenate and support overworked people, new parents, people with stressful jobs, people going through transitions, and people dealing with long-term insomnia.

Milky oat has also been studied and found to be very helpful for getting off of nicotine and easing nicotine withdrawals.

Most people who have even severe gluten allergies do not have a negative reaction to milky oat tonics, but if you have an actual gluten allergy ask your doctor before taking Milky Oat. No one that I’ve ever worked with that has a gluten sensitivity (not an allergy) has any problem with milky oat, as oats are very low in gluten anyway, and the milky oat is harvested before the seed/gluten fully forms. Grown commercially, oats are often grown with wheat and harvested with the same equipment, which can be problematic. But our milky oat is grown on our farm, and harvested by hand, to prevent any cross-contamination.

Dose For Milky Oat Tonic For Injuries Or Nervous System Healing:


For Adults: Take 2 tsp, two to three times daily, or up to five times as needed for pain or anxiety


For Children age 2 and up: Give 1/2-1 tsp two to four times daily for 3-6 weeks to help with overstimulation, emotional processing, sleep disturbances, etc.

This herbal preparation is almost impossible to overdose on, as it is made from oats which can be eaten in large quantities without any issues, so if you find yourself craving an extra dose, listen to your body and “indulge” it! So these doses are not the limit, they are more like the minimum needed to be effective. So, if you find yourself needing more than the recommended doses a day, please feel free to adjust or let me know and I can help you adjust your doses to best serve you.




While many of the uses mentioned here have been

verified by modern science; the statements above are

primarily based on oral and historical writings,

observation personal experience and tradition, and have

not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.

This product or information is not intended to

diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Above And Below Apothecary

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