Oats

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 22.06.2021

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Synonym(s)

Avena sativa L.

Definition
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Annual, light green, up to 1.20 m tall plant from the sweet grass family (Poaceae). At the stalk end with the 15 to 30 cm long, loose panicles with mostly horizontally protruding branches hang 2 to 3 cm long spikes.

In medicine, dried oat fruits (Avenae fructus), which also serve as food, as well as "oatstraw"(Avenae stramentum) or oat herb(Avenae herba) are used.

General information
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Oats are cultivated worldwide as a food and feed crop. Oats are mainly used as food in the form of oat flakes.

The grains do not stand in ears like other cereals, but hang in panicles.

Allergologically, oat pollen (see pollen below) plays only a minor role, as the plant is a self-pollinator and no significant pollen flight occurs. Cross-reaction against grass pollen.

Oatmeal has only a small amount ofgluten. The flour is therefore only of limited use in the production of bread. Oatmeal can, however, be important in small quantities for a gluten-free diet.

Regarding the cosmetic and allergological significance of oat proteins, see below. oat extracts.

Naturopathy
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Various extracts from seed oats are used, for example, for gastrointestinal, biliary and kidney diseases as well as rheumatic and circulatory problems.