Spotlight on Oats (Avena Sativa)
My lovely partner Emma posted a great recipe for Thanksgiving for Pumpkin Oat Bread. It got me thinking about oats and why I am thankful for them.
1. Healing Dryness: Oats contain polysaccharides, which become gooey in water and leave a fine protective film on the skin, preventing dull, flaky dryness.
2. Building Moisture: Oats contain healthy, lubricating fats.
3. Providing Defense: Proteins in oats help maintain the skin’s natural barrier function which is critical for skin and overall health.
4. Pore Cleansing: Oats are filled with natural cleansers (called saponins) that gently remove dirt and oil from the pores.
5. Graceful Aging: Oats can relieve the symptoms of aging like fine lines, dark spots and sun damage.
Lots of studies back up these claims:
A 2008 study published in the “Archives of Dermatological Research” examined oats to discover if oats do help the skin. Researchers found that the phytochemicals and avenanthramides in oats reduced inflammation and scratching in a murine itch model. Researchers concluded that oats contain active ingredients that soothe the skin by reducing irritants. A 2010 review in the “Journal of Drugs in Dermatology” stated that oats are effective in treating psoriasis, dermatitis and rashes. Incredible that a natural and readily available ingredient can do these things! How come our dermatologists don’t mention oats more often?
But why do we need oats?
90 percent (or close to it) of branded face washes contain the chemical Sodium Laurate Sulphate (Not bueno – see our Toxins Primer). And many, many skin products such as creams, lotions and body washes contain preservatives like parabens and concentrated form of alcohol. The chemicals may be listed on the bottle. What’s not stated is that over a period of time, these chemicals react when exposed to UV rays and lead to pigmentation, rashes and heightened sensitivity to the sun. They also change the natural PH (acidity or alkalinity) of the skin. Oats can reverse the damage we’ve been doing until now and keep us clean and beautiful from now on!
As if they aren’t great enough, seeing they are fabulous source of health-protective soluble fiber, oats are actually considered to be one of nature’s most fabulous aphrodisiacs. Sowing our wild oats ensures that we enjoy our youth as much as possible. Get your Sow Your Wild Oats here.
And take an Oat Bath after your Thanksgiving meal. You deserve it.
Put about 1/2 cup of rolled oats in some cheese cloth and tie it up to make a small bag. Put this in your bath tub along with hot water. Press the bag a bit until the oatmeal “milk” comes out. You can also use this bag instead of soap on your body or face. It will give a light scrubbing and cleanse your skin and pores. Enjoy!