Milky Oats & Inner Peace

by | Jul 2, 2023 | Gardening, General, Plants, Reflections & Celebrations

    Harvesting milky oats is one of the most satisfying forms of gardening I know of!  I like to take a light, yet firm hold of the stem (about a quarter of the way down, just where the oats begin to show themselves) and slide my hand up the stem popping off each successive oat (soon to be seeds).  There is a narrow window of time when the oats are in their milky stage that is ideal for picking before they turn into hardened seeds. 

     It is important to regularly check the oats by squeezing them to see if the white substance squishes out, referred to as milk by herbalists.  Of course, this is not actually milk and it is not where oat milk comes from that you buy at the store. 

     In western herbalism, milky oats are used to nourish the nervous system and to supplement B-vitamins (and many other vitamins and minerals).  I like to make a tincture with them, by macerating the oats in alcohol (usually Vodka) for several months.  Then I strain it using cheese cloth and store the tincture in a jar or glass bottles in a cool, dark closet.  I often take 1 – 2 milliliters of milky oat tincture regularly.

   It is also possible to make tea with the milky oats as well as the leaves by cutting it up and simmering it on the stove on low for 3 to 5 minutes.  It has a nice grassy taste which you can brighten up with a floral note such as rose, lavender or even mint. This is nourishing way to support your nervous system which can promote balance and inner peace.

   Other “peace promoting” herbs include Holy basil, Lemon balm, and Reishi mushrooms.  Cultivating inner peace these days is an essential skill in coping in today’s busy lifestyles.  I know many people that practice yoga, meditation, and other forms of personal care to maintain a sense of balance.  I find peace in nature again and again.  One of my favorite practices is observing, sketching, and journaling nature as I hike in the mountains or even just in my backyard.  This brings me a lot of inner peace and cultivates a sense of wonder as I follow my curiosity and my observation process.  Nature journaling fosters my observation skills while enhancing neutrality, inner peace, and connection.   

What promotes inner peace for you in your life?  What if you could take a whole day just to devote yourself to cultivating your inner peace?  What would it look like if practicing peace/peacefulness was a robust aspect of our culture?