Thursday, February 12, 2009

Herb of the Month - Oats

According to Judith Berger in Herbal Rituals, the Herb of the Month for February is Oat Avena sativa. Originating in the near east and Mediterranean, they quickly adapted to the cold and wet sea climates of Northern Europe. They were brought to America by the Puritans.

According to Berger, Oats provide most of the required vitamins and minerals. Although they have seven times the fat as rice, they contain chemical substances that protect the heart, balance cholesterol, and assist circulation. Oats have a direct effect on the nervous and endocrine systems and have a transformative effect on the immune system. Oats build strong bones and teeth, stabilize sugar levels in the blood and improve blood flow by elasticizing veins and arteries. They also act as a powerful nerve tonic. They give us inner fortitude and thus can provide support for those trying to withdraw from caffeine, alcohol or tobacco. Oats are good for the skin and hair and can help with chronic itching.

When I was a teenager, I used to make a paste of oatmeal and use it as a facial mask. I never had acne. I don't know if it was due to my masks or other factors in my genetics or diet. But, it is certainly worth trying. There are many commercial soaps and lotions available based on oats for people with sensitive skin, so... trying an oatmeal mask will not hurt.

I just mixed old-fashioned oats and water. You can get fancy. The following recipe is an elaborate facial mask recipe.

Demeter's Beautifying Oat Grain Scrub

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 ounce to 1 ounce lavender buds or rose petals
2 tsp. of ground almonds
2 tsp. of white or red clay (optional)
a dash of seaweed (optional)
blender or mortal and pestle

The almonds supply natural oils, the oats gently rub away dead skin. If your skin is oily use more clay and fewer almonds. The lavender is astringent and pungent and balances the oil-giving almonds.

Place all ingredients in blender or mortar and blend until ground up. When ready to use, place some in the palm of your hand and add water. Make a paste and put on face. Allow it to dry before gently washing it off.

1 comment:

KarenSloan-WallFlowerStudio said...

This sounds wonderful. I'm going to try the recipe. Thanks for posting it : )