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When the oat plant matures, it produces a fruit that becomes the grain “oats,” a heart-healthy, high-fiber food. This article does not address this form of oat. Rather, it describes products made from the green, unripe oat straw, sold under the names Avena sativa, green oats, and wild oat extract.
Traditionally, oat straw was considered a mild “nervine,” an herb thought to calm and heal nervous symptoms. On this basis, it was used to treat insomnia, stress, anxiety, and nervousness. In addition, oat straw tea was used for arthritis, and an alcohol extract of oat straw for the treatment of narcotic and cigarette addiction. However, there is no evidence that it is effective when used for any of these purposes.
Oat straw is widely marketed for enhancing male sexual function , and a combination of oat straw and saw palmetto is said to help sexual dysfunction in women. The same combination is supposedly helpful for enlargement of the prostate . However, the only evidence for these claims comes from unpublished studies conducted by the manufacturer of oat straw products. Because these studies are not available in full, it is not possible to judge their validity.
For example, one double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 75 men and women reportedly found that use of an oat straw product enhanced sexual experience for men, but not for women. 1 Unfortunately, it is not clear whether the results were statistically significant or exactly how the researchers arrived at their conclusions. ...
There are no known or suspected health risks with oat straw. However, comprehensive safety studies have not been reported.