More than likely, you are probably familiar with oats and may also be slightly aware of their many health benefits. Something you may not have heard of, however, is oat straw, or the green stem of the oat plant. Deriving itself from the Avena sativa plant, oat straw has been passed down from generation to generation as a natural herbal supporter for women’s health. The available literature hints to its health benefits, including female reproductive health, lifting mood, and supporting skeletal health.
Benefits of Avena Sativa
1. Sexual Health
Tradition holds oat straw as a powerful aphrodisiac, and recent research is confirming that these claims are not too far off.  It is said that oat straw can support circulation, a key element when it comes to increasing sexual desire.
2. Menstrual Issues
Some traditions claim that oat straw may provide relief for menstrual cramps and bloating. The herb has also been widely used as a natural diuretic, a gentle tool that may help decrease bloating. Diuretics are also said to be important tools that aid the cleansing process by helping to support the kidneys and urinary tract.
3. Mood Lifter
Avena sativa is an excellent source of B vitamins, nutrients essential for energy production and mood stabilization.   Natural saponins contained within the entire plant may help support blood sugar health by decreasing blood sugar spikes following consumption of a high-carbohydrate meal.  Traditionally, oat straw has been used as a stimulant and a remedy for stress, anxiety, depression, and overall tension.
4. Supports Bone Health
Oats are naturally rich in calcium, a nutrient that plays an important role in bone density. One study also reported that oat straw increases luteinizing hormone in rats, an important hormone that stimulates cell growth. This may be helpful for initiating bone cell production, possibly supporting bone strength. 
Using Avena Sativa
Oat straw is available in a number of forms, ranging from capsuled extracts, pure powder, and whole stems. It can be made into a tea or blended into smoothies, and some people even incorporate oat straw powder into baked goods. While oats are naturally gluten free, it may be important for Celiac disease patients to find gluten-free sources of oat straw.
- Malviya N, Jain S, Gupta VB, Vyas S. Recent studies on aphrodisiac herbs for the management of male sexual dysfunction--a review. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica. 2011 January-February;68(1):3-8.
- Woolf K, Manore MM. B-vitamins and exercise: does exercise alter requirements. The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2006 October;16(5):453-84.
- Hvas AM, Juul S, Bech P, Nexo E. Vitamin B6 level is associated with symptoms of depression. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. 2004 November-December;73(6):340-3.
- Singh R1, De S, Belkheir A. Avena sativa (Oat), a potential neutraceutical and therapeutic agent: an overview. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(2):126-44. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.526725.
- Fukushima M, Watanabe S, Kushima K. Extraction and purification of a substance with luteinizing hormone releasing activity from the leaves of Avena sativa. The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine. 1976 June;119(2):115-22.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.