Soothing and anti-inflammatory
Oat grass (Avena sativa) has been cultivated for its edible grain crop for thousands of years. Oat seeds dating back to 2000 years BC have been found in Egypt, although, these were probably from wild oats. Cultivation as a food crop started in Europe around the Bronze Age and then spread throughout the world. Oats tolerate cold climate very well and some of the major commercial producers are USA, Canada, Belarus, Finland, Poland and Germany.
Oats, and the extracts made from them, became popular in cosmetics after information was published in the 1930s about the ability of oats to relieve itching and to protect skin.
Oats are a source of calcium, iron and vitamin B1. They are high in carbohydrates and contain more protein and lipids (fat) than other grains. Oats also contain avenanthramides, a type of antibiotic produced by the plant, which act as an antioxidant and may contribute to the topical soothing effect of the grain.
Cosmetic and medicinal preparations containing oats and oat extracts have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, to relieve itchy, irritated skin and to help with allergic reactions as oats are antihistamic. Oatmeal calms the skin with the oat milk that is produced as it lathers.
We buy our oats from Cheshire in the UK, from a company that has been milling oats in the area for more than 300 years.