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Oats are among the best herbs on the planet. Avena sativa is readily available, inexpensive and has a number of benefits, from curative to nutritional. Here are a few benefits you should acquaint yourself with:
- There are a number of ready-made, natural products which contain oats. Some of the more popular ones include conditioners, shampoos, topical skin creams, tinctures and capsules.
- Apart from their nutritional benefits, oaten poultices and teas can also be directly applied to the skin as they have demonstrated excellent healing powers.
- To utilize the benefits of oats, just cook some of it and add it the pet food. If you want a more concentrated dose, there are plenty of capsules and tinctures available.
- Oats are also great for disease and nervine treatment.Nutritive benefitsOats are rich in:
- Protein – According to a WHO report, oat proteins are as good as soy proteins. Wild oats have even more protein than the cultivated varieties.
- Soluble fiber – This helps in keeping the cholesterol levels in check.
- High levels of manganese, iron, zinc, pantothenic acid, folate, B5 and B9.
Oats are excellent nerve tonics (nervines), alternatively soothing and stimulating the nerves as required. They are clinically used to treat a number of nervous disorders.Herbal benefits
They benefit a number of systems and organs including the nervous system, skin, spleen, stomach, lungs as well as the reproductive and urinary systems. Their herbal qualities include:
Antitumor, digestive and hormonal benefits
Oats contain b-sitosterol which is an antitumor compound. They are also excellent digestives due to their high fiber content and are perfect for calming the intestinal tract. The have also been used for achieving hormonal balance, and as an effective uterine tonic.Topical use
- Shampoos – There are plenty of oatmeal shampoos on the market and a lot of them have additional healing herbs as well. They are calming, mild and have anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties. You can make it yourself if you want. Soak the oats in water till they form a colloidal suspension and add something in it to cleanse the hair and moisturize the skin.
- Soak – If you want a more direct anti-inflammatory or anti-itch action, go for a soak. You can buy a commercial soak or make your own. Grab a handful of oats and stuff them in a porous nylon sock. Hang the sock under the tap of the bathtub. Let the water get filtered through the sock. Have your dog soak in it for about 15 minutes. Make sure that the water is lukewarm.
- Oat poultice – If you dog has a localized irritation on his skin or a hot spot, mix water and ground oats into a slurry and wrap it in a tea bag or cheese cloth. Alternatively, you can apply the poultice to the affected area with a clean cloth. Leave it on for 20 minutes and repeat it a few times through the day. You can also add chamomile, lavender or calendula to enhance the healing properties of the mixture.