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Home - List of Herbs and Articles - Rock Garden

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Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
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Least Viewed Herbs

Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Acorn
Poppy
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Asparagus
House Leek (crassulaceoe)
Anemone (wood)



Oat








The Oat is a native of Britain in its wild and uncultivated form, and
is distinguished by the spikelets of its ears hanging on slender
pedicels. This is the Avena fatua, found in our cornfields, but not
indigenous in Scotland. When cultivated it is named Avena
sativa. As it needs less sunshine and solar warmth to ripen the
grain than wheat, it furnishes the principal grain food of cold
Northern Europe. With the addition of some fat this grain is capable
of supporting life for an indefinite period. Physicians formerly
recommended highly a diet-drink made from Oats, about which
Hoffman wrote a treatise at the end of the seventeenth century; and
Johannis de St. Catherine, who introduced the drink, lived by its use
to a hundred years free from any disease. Nevertheless the Oat did
not enjoy a good reputation among the old Romans; and Pliny said
Primum omnis frumenti vitium avena est.

American doctors have taken of late to extol the Oat (Avena
sativa) when made into a strong medicinal tincture with spirit of
wine, as a remarkable nervine stimulant and restorative: this being
especially valuable in [398] all cases where there is a deficiency of
nervous power, for instance, among over-worked lawyers, public
speakers, and writers.

The tincture is ordered to be given in a dose of from ten to twenty
drops, once or twice during the day, in hot water to act speedily; and
a somewhat increased dose in cold water at bedtime so as to produce
its beneficial effects more slowly then. It proves an admirable
remedy for sleeplessness from nervous exhaustion, and as prepared
in New York may be procured from any good druggist in England.
Oatmeal contains two per cent. of protein compounds, the largest
portion of which is avenin. A yeast poultice made by stirring
Oatmeal into the grounds of strong beer is a capital cleansing and
healing application to languid sloughing sores.

Oatmeal supplies very little saccharine matter ready formed. It
cannot be made into light bread, and is therefore prepared when
baked in cakes; or, its more popular form for eating is that of
porridge, where the ground meal becomes thoroughly soft by
boiling, and is improved in taste by the addition of milk and salt.
The halesome parritch, chief of Scotia's food, said Burns, with
fervid eloquence. Scotch people actually revel in their parritch and
bannocks. We defy your wheaten bread, says one of their
favourite writers, your home-made bread, your bakers' bread, your
baps, rolls, scones, muffins, crumpets, and cookies, your bath buns,
and your sally luns, your tea cakes, and slim cakes, your saffron
cakes, and girdle cakes, your shortbread, and singing hinnies: we
swear by the Oat cake, and the parritch, the bannock, and the brose.
Scotch beef brose is made by boiling Oatmeal in meat liquor, and
kail brose by cooking Oatmeal in cabbage-water. [399] Crushed
Oatmeal, from which the husk has been removed, is known as
groats, and is employed for making gruel. At the latter end of the
seventeenth century this was a drink asked-for eagerly by the public
at London taverns. Grantham gruel, says quaint old Fuller, in his
History of the Worthies of England, consists of nine grits and a
gallon of water. When thus made, it is wash rather, which one will
have little heart to eat, and yet as little heart by eating. But the
better gruel concocted elsewhere was a wholesome Spoon meat,
though homely; physic for the sick, and food for persons in health;
grits the form thereof: and giving the being thereunto. In the border
forays of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries all the provision
carried by the Scotch was simply a bag of Oatmeal. But as a food it
is apt to undergo some fermentation in the stomach, and to provoke
sour eructations. Furthermore, it is somewhat laxative, because
containing a certain proportion of bran which mechanically
stimulates the intestinal membranes: and this insoluble bran is rather
apt to accumulate. Oatmeal gruel may be made by boiling from one
to two ounces of the meal with three pints of water down to two
pints, then straining the decoction, and pouring off the supernatant
liquid when cool. Its flavour may be improved by adding raisins
towards the end of boiling, or by means of sugar and nutmeg.
Because animals of speed use up, by the lungs, much heat-forming
material, Oats (which abound in carbonaceous constituents) are
specially suitable as food for the horse.





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