Avena sativa extract is derived from the wild oat. Although most people are familiar with the use of oats as an edible grain or cereal, they are also used as a homeopathic remedy or a dietary supplement. When used for medical purposes, avena sativa is believed to improve sexual performance, act as an aphrodisiac, and improve fertility. It also is used to detoxify the body, reduce anxiety, decrease nicotine cravings, and improve sleep habits.
Although avena sativa extract is most commonly used as a tablet, it can also be used in liquid form. In fact, when the seeds of the plant are young, they do not have a hard case around them so they can easily be used to create a liquid that is often used as a tonic for the nerves. When the seeds and oat straw mature, they can be harvested and made into a tablet or capsule.
Many people believe that avena sativa is an aphrodisiac and works to improve sexual performance. Practitioners claim that it works by releasing testosterone into the blood stream and causing it to become increasingly active, but there have not been any published research studies backing these claims. Many practitioners encourage their clients to combine the extract with other herbs to create a more powerful aphrodisiac effect.
There are several other uses of avena sativa extract as well. For example, it is sometimes used to treat mild insomnia, and some people use it to decrease nicotine cravings, specifically if they are trying to stop smoking. It also is often recommended as a supplement to detoxify the body since it is believed to increase bowel movements.
Recently, a study was done to see how avena sativa would react to bacteria. The extract proved to work as an antibacterial against both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. As additional studies are conducted, the supplement may be used in additional ways to fight bacteria or other diseases.
Although side effects of this extract are rather uncommon, they are possible, especially if it is used at high doses. Side effects can include rapid heart rate, restlessness, and sleeplessness. Many people experience headaches as well.
In most cases, avena sativa extract can be purchased from health stores or on-line. As with any herbal supplement, a medical professional should be consulted before using it. The dosage varies depending on the concentration of the extract, and some brands are extremely potent while others are much weaker.