Native to the warm Mediterranean regions, oats have been cultivated for thousands of years as a source of food and folk remedies. Today, the oat plant (Avena sativa) is most famous for the nutritious cereal grain that it provides–think morning oatmeal. However, the whole plant, referred to as oat straw, gathered when the grains are ripe, includes also the leaves, stems. The whole plant is then dried and chopped, and used in both internal and external forms by traditional herbalists. The grain itself, harvested in late summer, is milled to produce oatmeal and oat bran. Oatmeal, the ground grain, has a high silica content, and can be used externally for skin problems. Oat bran, produced from the coarse husks of the grain, is good at reducing cholesterol levels.
Eczema is a skin inflammation that has symptoms of itching, scaling, and even the formation of blisters. Some forms of eczema are better known as dermatitis, such as contact dermatitis or seborrheic dermatitis. Eczema is easy to diagnose and not at all dangerous. But it’s a real challenge to treat effectively and permanently. While many cases of eczema clear up by themselves when whatever irritating substance that started the whole thing is avoided, some cases can be incredibly stubborn. They disappear only temporarily when cortisone creams are applied, then return like an unwelcome relative on your doorstep.