Oatstraw is a by-product of the commercial cultivation of oats, the cereal grain most of us are familiar with cooked in water or milk and served for breakfast. The straw, or leafy stalk, of this ancient grain, is an important agricultural crop that serves as green fertilizer, fodder for grazing animals and as bedding for horses and cattle. At one time, oatstraw was a popular stuffing for mattresses and chairs.Also known as wild oats, oatstraw is very nutritious, providing significant amounts of soluble fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Reputedly, horses become energized and high spirited after grazing on the plant. In fact, this is where “sowing your oats” comes from, an expression that refers to wild behavior in people.
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As the name suggests, oatstraw is the upper stem portion of Avena sativa, the ancient cereal grain we enjoy for breakfast. Like the grain, oatstraw is very nutritious and an abundant source of silica, calcium, magnesium and B-complex vitamins.
The dried, cut and sifted herb is most often used in tea blends and to make infusions and tinctures, sometimes in combination with other herbs