Avena Sativa. Poacea
Found in cornfields and on bank sides and under cultivation in pastures. Leaves are typical grass-form, darkish, brittle, spikelets are drooping and frail, the grains are awned and turn dark gold when ripe. Oats are a strength-giving cereal. Low in starch, high in mineral content (especially potassium and phosphorus, also magnesium and calcium). Particularly rich in vitamin B, with some of the rare E and G also.
As a nutritive food, nerve tonic, blood tonic, hair tonic. Remedy for rickets, bone-building. Important for ensuring strong nails and teeth. A basic food of the hardy Scottish Highlanders.
Finely ground oatmeal makes an excellent poultice, and is applied to the skin as a cleansing scrub, either directly or via small bags.
Oats cannot be eaten raw, unless taken as flakes, when the slight heat used during their flaking dispenses with the need to cook them further and they can be eaten dry, raw or with milk poured over.
Take two ounces of sweet oatmeal, mix into thin past by gradually adding cold water. Then add salt to taste. Heat a half-pint of cold water and add to this in a wineglass of day-old milk. Before it boils add the oatmeal mixture. Simmer gently but keep well below boiling point. Cook for three to five minutes. The taste is improved by adding a few sprigs of fragrant herb such as marjoram or thyme.
Oatmeal Skin Tonic:
Place finely ground oatmeal in a cotton bag, some drops of perfume being added. The bag is squeezed out in warm water and a milky lotion produced, which is rubbed over the skin as a complexion treatment.