OATS, Avena sativa

It seems like everyone has suddenly discovered how great oats are for you. Anymore, they make everything out of oats. It is the latest fad in food. Everyone is saying that if you want to be healthy and keep your cholesterol down, you should eat some oats. They are right! Oats are, and have always been, a very healthy food, but I didn't always feel that way.

When I was a little kid, we would have mush for breakfast. It was before the days of prepared cereal or flakes or all of that other good stuff. Mush is a cooked cereal of some kind. It could be a wheat cereal like Cream of Wheat or it could be corn meal mush, but most mush at our house was made from oats, like Quaker oats. The best thing I liked about Quaker Oats was the round box it came in. The box made into a very fair drum or container which you could use to collect all kinds of stuff.

Now, the thing I didn't like about that oatmeal mush was that it was mostly runny, and the stuff on the top was kinda slimy lookin'. During the Depression with all the kids in our family, the mush was runny and watered down to go around. When oat meal is cooked for a long time, the thin part comes to the top and the thick part goes to the bottom. I would always try to get the thick heavy stuff at the bottom of the pan, but someone was always try'n to give you that thin stuff. Through research, we have found that the thin part of the mush is really the healthiest and best for you. They make it up especially for sick folks and convalescents. But, you know, I still like the thick heavy part the best, especially if it has raisins and some fruit in it.

Oats have been around for a long time. They might be associated with the Scottish people, more than anyone. Maybe it was because they had an appetite for the rough, coarse, fiber grains that were very wholesome and nourishing. Oats like to grow wild and free. They don't like being confined to a patch of ground or one area. You can find wild oats growing almost anywhere. I guess that's where the saying came from that someone is sowing their wild oats. It is good that they grow so wild and you can find them most anywhere. They are so good for you.

You know that you can gather a few handfuls of oats and make a tremendous poultice for the kidneys or liver. Old time doctors used to recommend a diet of oatmeal gruel (the thin stuff) for sick folks or convalescents, because it is so easy to digest. Other doctors would recommend this gruel with a little wine added for those suffering with nervous exhaustion.
Some doctors prescribe oatmeal packs o be used topically for psoriasis, dermatitis and other skin disorders. Others recommended an oatmeal face pack to get rid of blackheads, cysts, and other unsightly blemishes. It is also used for those concerned with aging skin, wrinkles, or to rejuvenate and feed the skin.

Hot, thin oatmeal is a real treat for tired aching feet, especially if they have calluses, corns or bunions. It softens up the corns so they can be removed much easier. We can reheat and reuse the oatmeal many times. It is also helpful and relaxing, and it is sure a lot less expensive than most commercial treatments.

Oatmeal aids digestion. It's a nerve tonic and, to some folks, it is a stimulant. It is said to lower the need for insulin. Oats lower L.D.L., the bad cholesterol, and raise the good cholesterol, H.D.L.. Oats protect the heart from fatty deposits and soothe hypertension. We could say much more but we'll just say, “Enjoy your oats and fruit each morning!”

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