Oats (Yan Mai)

Botanical Name: Avena sativa

There are oats you drink and oats you eat and oats for medicinal purposes too! In Spring, you can gently squeeze the seed pods to discover a milky fluid that is delicious.

Below is an overview of oats, combining and interpreting the best of Western science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), shamanism, folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of oats.

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Western Name: Oats

Also Known As: Oat Straw, Sativa, Oats Milky Seed

Organs/Systems: Menstrual Cycle, Heart, Nerves, Skin

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Sedates, Antioxidant, rich source of carbohydrates, lowers cholesterol, lower blood sugar, prevent heart disease, stimulates estrogen, anti-depressant, skin care.


Pin Yin: Yan Mai

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Spleen, Kidney, Chong and Ren

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Warming and Moistening. Nourish Qi, Increase Blood, Essence, and Qi. Promote Bone Growth, Lift Spirit, Benefit Skin (both chronic conditions and relieve frostbite), Restore Heart. Ciruclate Qi, Relax Nerves, Free Spasms, Relieve Pain and Induce Rest.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Oats are an annual plant, planted in early Fall for late Summer harvest or Spring for early Autumn harvest.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Grass, Oats, Oat Bran

Flavors: Neutral, Sweet, Warm, Moist

Caution: Can trigger celiac disease like wheat, but nowhere near as strong or as toxic as wheat.

History/Folklore: The first oat factory for bread making was created in England in 1899. Oats are considered a mainstay in the Scottish diet. Some consider oats to be indigenous to the British Isles. The phrase, “sowing your oats” comes from oats used for horses to energize them  and encourage them to be sexually active. Sometimes used by women in baths to soften hard water.

Key Constituents:

Soluble fiber beta-glucans. Rich in protein and minerals, B-complex vitamins, saponins, flavonoids, minerals, alkaloids, steroidal compounds, Vitamin B1, B2, D, and E, and carotene, all of which support the immune system.

Did you know?


Only grain to contain a legume-like protein “avenalin,” which is equivalent in quality to soy protein (which is felt to be equal to egg, meat, and milk protein).


High in Iron

Highest level of iron, zinc and manganese of any grain.

Fun fact!


Used to make beer.


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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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