Softly, softly, catchy monkey

Late winter is the time to really nurture body and soul, optimising our resilience in preparation the launch of springtime. In the spirit of our soft emergence into 2022— nourished with good intentions, renewed energy and the desire for balance —we have been dabbling with the beautifully graceful Wild Oats (Avena sativa). The benefits of all parts of the plant as a warming, moisturising and sweet herb are restorative, nutritive, and therapeutic in a truly holistic sense. Avena sativa is one of the most recommended herbal tonics, both when taken internally for nervous exhaustion and convalescence and when applied topically for irritated skin conditions and symptoms of neuralgia. 

Nothing provides nourishment for jangling nerves better than Oats, which are bursting with B vitamins and supporting minerals. Enjoying nourishing foods regularly helps to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar, which in turn helps with emotional stability and tranquillity.

‘Milky Oats’ were often referred to in the recipes we explored. They are the immature seed pods that produce a milky white liquid when pressed and ripen into the groats that eventually turn into the oatmeal that grace many breakfast tables. The harvesting window is short, and they need to be gathered and tinctured on the day to preserve their bioactive strength. Partly for this reason, but mainly because they look so glorious, we recommend growing your own. Wild Oats make a beautiful addition to any garden or pot. The seeds can be sown in the spring and harvested in the early summer. 

For a full day of swaddling the nervous system, Avena sativa provides a variety of options to suit most lifestyles, all aimed at restoring, recharging and calming the nervous system— breakfast, hot infusions, evening bath/foot soaks and a luxurious milky drink are all on the menu. 

Anytime superbowl (Ingredients for two)

1 grated Apple (Malus domestica) ,50g jumbo porridge Oats,25g each of lightly toasted Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds (Helianthus annuus, Cucurbita maxima) and roughly chopped mixed Nut, ½ tsp ground Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) ½ tsp ground Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum

Method  Lightly toast the nuts and seeds. Mix all ingredients, except toppings, together in a bowl. Add approximately 100ml water and leave to soak overnight in the fridge. Simply take out in the morning, add your topping of choice (bananas, blueberries, raspberries) and some local honey. 

Soft and sweetly sleep (Big batch ingredients) – 25g dried Oat straw  and 5g Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) to calm the noise from the fluctuations of the mind. Mix the above together and keep in a sealed jar. 

Silk soak and sip: The hydrating dried milky Oat tops are considered to be restorative for topical application to stress or nerve related skin conditions. Add them to old (clean) tights to make a poultice and tie it around the warm tap as you run your bath, or add it to a foot soak. The bag can then be rubbed gently over the skin as you soak, to release more soothing emollients. This blend can also be used for a calming hot infusion taken throughout the day.

If using in foot soak water, add 2tsp to the teapot with 200ml boiled water and leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes. Add to the warm soak. If using for an infusion, add 1tsp to a warmed tea pot with 100ml of just boiled water and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. 

contact Ann at thymefornature@icloud.com for more information and recipe ideas to help ease into spring

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