What are the Side Effects of Avena Sativa?

Avena sativa is also known as common or wild oat. Oats are commonly used as a dietary supplement. There are various different benefits that are associated with oats or Avena sativa, including detoxification, enhanced sexual performance, regulating uterine health, lessened cravings for nicotine, calming anxiety, raising fertility levels and aiding digestion. In addition to the health benefits, there are possible side effects of Avena sativa. Read on to know more.

Side effects of Avena sativa:

  • High doses:

    With exceedingly over doses of Avena sativa, one may experience some possible side effects. The possible side effects that can occur due to high dose of Avena sativa include an increased heart rate, restlessness and sleeplessness.

  • Allergic reaction:

    Most of the indications show that intake of normal doses of Avena sativa does not really cause any significant side effect. However, individuals who have allergies to oat may experience some negative reactions. These negative reactions include difficulty breathing, chest pain or chest tightness, hives, itchiness, rashes or swelling.

  • Central Nervous system or cardiovascular effects:

    There is no evidence regarding the adverse or negative reaction of Avena sativa either to the cardiovascular system or the central nervous system. This is another reason why this is taken as a very safe supplement.

  • Drug interactions:

    Oats do not produce any negative reactions especially when taken along with other medications or drugs. Because of this, it is often taken as a safer option when compared to the other herbal supplements when consumed for anxiety purposes.


A recommended dosage for a healthy well-being is about 300 milligrams per day (within the tablet or capsule format). Individuals who take more amount of Avena sativa than the normal amount, then they may face a higher risk of experiencing any of the above mentioned side effects or negative reactions associated with excessive use.

Avena Sativa Health Benefits:

The following are the list of various health benefits of Avena sativa.

Heart health:

Oat bran and oatmeal are high-fiber foods. Oats contain soluble fiber which contributes in lowering blood pressure. This fiber also traps bad or LDL cholesterol within the digestive system without harming the good or HDL cholesterol levels. Avena sativa contains antioxidants which play a vital role in lowering cholesterol levels. In addition, they also help in keeping away the blood cells from attaching or sticking to the artery walls. The seeds of Avena might be helpful for treating cardiac conditions where the muscles of the heart is insufficient or weak, also referred as decreased contractility. It is also useful in the treating of heart problems and palpitations.

Blood sugar benefits:

The fiber content in the oats helps by slowing digestion and preventing a sharp rise in the blood sugar levels, promoting bowel system function. Eating oats 45 to 60 minutes before moderate physical activity may be beneficial for boosting athletic performance and for improving metabolism. Since one may feel full for a longer time period after eating oats, thus they can be helpful in weight and appetite control.

Fights cancer:

Lignan is a plant chemical which occurs in oats. It is being studied as the factor for reducing the risks of developing ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer by reducing the levels of estrogen. Increased amounts of fiber intake might also help to reduce estrogen levels. Oats also contain insoluble fibers that possibly reduce carcinogens inside the digestive tract. This might lead to lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer, although some studies have shown opposite or neutral results.

Calms nervous symptoms:

Oat straw is the herbal form of Avena sativa, which has been used traditionally to calm the nervous symptoms like anxiety, stress and insomnia. It has also been considered as an aid for helping to quit using narcotics and smoking. It is currently touted as a male sex function enhancer. However, most of these Avena sativa claims generally have no or little research behind them.

Skin care:

Romans and Ancient Greeks used oat baths for treating skin ailments. Since oats are helpful in soothing the skin, this herb Avena sativa is often one of the ingredients of moisturizers, soaps and skin relief products and creams for sunburn or rashes. Avena sativa is used also as a gentle but an excellent exfoliant for removing dead skin cells. The seeds of Avena are high in mucilage content which can help in diminishing skin inflammation. It may also be used topically as a paste, compress, bath or poultice to help with acne, fungal infection, itching skin or other skin disorders.

Nourishes the nervous system:

Avena sativa is known for supporting and nourishing nervous system. It contains zinc, manganese and iron. Milky oat seeds might be helpful for treating any form of nervous exhaustion. Naturopathic physicians often prescribe oats for patients experiencing the withdrawal from the addictive substances such as alcohol, nicotine, coffee, opium and morphine. Oat seed may also be helpful in cases of impotence or sexual exhaustion.

The above article discusses about the health benefits and side effects of Avena sativa. Thus, individuals who take this must include in normal and healthy recommended amounts.

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