Healthy cereals: Oats help against diabetes and skin problems
The healing power of oats was already known in the Middle Ages. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), healthy cereals are used, among other things, to keep blood sugar levels in check. The medicinal plant of 2017 is also suitable for relieving skin ailments.
Health benefits of oats have been known for centuries
Most people probably know oats mainly from oatmeal or biscuits. Even in the Middle Ages, people knew how healthy grain was. Oats are also used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), for example to keep blood sugar levels under control. The grain is not only low in gluten, but also rich in nutrients such as the minerals magnesium, iron and zinc as well as vitamins B1 and B6.
For the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases
The study group "History of Development of Medicinal Plant Science" at the University of Würzburg has selected the seed oat as the medicinal plant of the year 2017.
"When talking about medicinal plants, one certainly does not immediately think of cereals," says a statement from the university. "However, the oatmeal (Avena sativa) provides several very different remedies."
As Johannes Gottfried Mayer from the study group explained, his application spectrum ranges from skin treatment to gastrointestinal diseases to the prevention of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Three different remedies
Oats provide a total of three different remedies: in addition to oat straw, herbs and grains have also recently gained in importance. The oat straw is used for baths, which should help with skin injuries and itching.
To use the herb, the oats are harvested before they bloom. The herb is rich in anti-inflammatory flavonoids and immunomodulating saponins and has a high percentage of minerals. Oat herb extracts are used for neurodermatitis and psoriasis (psoriasis).
In the 1990s, a particularly suitable white oat variety was obtained in France that is free of proteins, including gluten. Appropriate skin care products such as creams, body milk and bath additives are particularly well tolerated by allergy sufferers.
Positive effects on cholesterol and blood sugar levels
According to the university, the fruit, the oat grain, is used as a fully ripe grain. In addition to a high content of vitamins B1 and B6, it also provides a lot of fiber. The beta-glucans are of particular interest, they make up about half of the total fiber content in oats.
According to Mayer, oat-beta-glucans have effects on the digestive tract and metabolism, while the focus is on positive effects on cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The European Food Safety Authority confirmed in 2011 that eating beta-glucan from oats could help lower cholesterol. (ad)