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Avena sterilis


Avena sterilis

(Wild oat)


Botanical info: 

Wild oat is an annual grass, to 180 cm tall, that has been considered a valuable pasture plant but is now a serious weed of cultivated cereals. It grows in disturbed ground, arable areas and roadsides, originally in southern Europe and the Mediterranean region but now it is found in these habitats world-wide.  


Hippocratic legacy: 

    a. In Regimen 2: 

        a. Wild oat is described as a food promoting cold and wet, which can also be prepared as a decoction. 


Other uses: 

Nervine, stimulant, antispasmodic. Wild oat is made into gruel. Gruel thus is a mild nutritious aliment, of easy digestion in inflammatory cases and fevers; it is very useful after parturition and is sometimes employed in poisoning from acid substances. It is found useful also as a demulcent enema and boiled into a thick paste makes a good emollient poultice. Oatmeal is insoluble in alcohol, ether, and the oils, but the two first move an oleoresinous matter from it. It is to be avoided in dyspepsia accompanied with acidity of the stomach. The pericarp of Oats contains an amorphous alkaloid which acts as a stimulant of the motor ganglia, increasing the excitability of the muscles, and in horses causes excitement. The extract and tincture are useful as a nerve and uterine tonic.


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