Information on Wild Oats

Latin NameAvena fatua, A. sativa
Part UsedSpikelets
Herb FormsTincture, bulk herb for tea.
AffectsEndocrine system, Nervous system
CautionsNone noted.
Botanical InfoCommon grass throughout the northern hemisphere. The small fruiting parts, called spikelets, are collected when the starch of the grain is still white.
DescriptionWild oats is one of the first herbs herbalists think of for any kind of nerve trauma, nervous system weakness, or for addictions. It is a mild herb used to nurture the nervous system and counteract mild depression. Its restorative and nerve-strengthening effects are said to make it useful for withdrawal from addictions (i.e., nicotine and morphine), and it is found in a number of commercial formulas for kicking the smoking habit. Wild oats reportedly has been used for nervous exhaustion, general weakness, nervous heartbeat, and insomnia. This herb can also be beneficial for nerve weakness from too much mental work.
Herbalists generally consider a tincture of wild oak spikelets harvested at the "milky" stage, when the starch in the grain itself is still liquid, to be the strongest form of the remedy. Optimum results come after taking the herb for a few months, and it can be taken for at least a year.
Dried wild oat stalks are often recommended as a mineral tonic, but it is doubtful if it contains enough minerals to make it worthwhile.

Wild Oats has a taste of SWEET, BLAND and a temperature of COOL.


Infusion1 cup 3-4 x daily
Tincture3-6 droppersful 3-4 x daily

Ailments Treated by Wild Oats

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Addictionsanti-addictive, nerve tonifierfresh plant tincture, capsules
Delirium tremensnerve tonictincture, tea
Fatiguenerve tonictincture
Impotencetonifying nervinetincture, tea
Nicotine withdrawalanti-addictivetincture, tea
Sterilitynerve tonicfresh plant tincture
Stressnerve tonicfresh plant tincture
Vitality, lownerve tonicfresh plant tincture
Nervous exhaustionnerve tonictincture of fresh spikelets


McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Ellingwood, F. 1983. American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Harper-Shove, F. 1952. Prescriber and Clinical Repertory of Medicinal Herbs. Rustington, England: Health Science Press.