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oats,cereal plants of the genus Avena of the family Poaceae (grassgrass,
any plant of the family Poaceae (formerly Gramineae), an important and widely distributed group of vascular plants, having an extraordinary range of adaptation. Numbering approximately 600 genera and 9,000 species, the grasses form the climax vegetation (see ecology) in
..... Click the link for more information. family). Most species are annuals of moist temperate regions. The early history of oats is obscure, but domestication is considered to be recent compared to that of the other grains—perhaps c.2500 B.C. During the Bronze Age, the time when horses were first used as draft animals, oats were widely grown in N Europe but were apparently still uncultivated by the civilizations around the Mediterranean. They have a high nutritive value, but of the oats now grown commercially, less than 5% is for human consumption, chiefly in the form of rolled oats or oatmeal for breakfast foods; they do not contain the glutenous type of protein necessary for making bread. The chief value of oats remains as a pasturage and hay crop, especially for horses. Oats are valuable also in crop rotation and have various industrial uses. Oat hulls are a source of furfuralfurfural
[Lat.,=bran], C4H3OCHO, viscous, colorless liquid that has a pleasant aromatic odor; upon exposure to air it turns dark brown or black. It boils at about 160°C;.
..... Click the link for more information. , oat flour has been used as a food preservative in ice cream and other dairy products, and oats are processed with heated water to produced oat milk. Oat straw is preferred by farmers for animal bedding. Diseases such as cereal rusts and smuts (see diseases of plantsdiseases of plants.
Most plant diseases are caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Although the term disease is usually used only for the destruction of live plants, the action of dry rot and the rotting of harvested crops in storage or transport is similar to the rots
..... Click the link for more information. ) cause a heavy annual crop loss, but disease-resistant varieties of oats are being developed. Russia, Canada, Poland, Finland, Australia, and the United States are the world's leading growers of oats. The common cultivated species (A. sativa), native to Eurasia, is no longer found growing wild. Like wheat, it is broadly classified into spring and winter types, depending upon the season of planting. Oats are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Poaceae.
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Grass that grows to 4ft. Seeds used to make classic “oatmeal” breakfast porridge. Nourishes and restores the body from illness, nervous conditions, lowers blood sugar because of its fiber content. Strengthens blood vessels, due to silica content, preventing insulin damage. High in soluble fiber, so it lowers cholesterol. Good for reproductive organs. Vitamins A, B complex, C, E, G, K, calcium, chromium, cobalt, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, tin, and protease inhibitors. Antidepressant, nervine used for spasms, relaxing nerves, reducing inflammation, antioxidant, diuretic, endocrine glands, estrogen deficiency, strengthens bones and other tissues, stabilizes blood sugar levels, anti-viral, anti-tumor (protease inhibitors), antibacterial, lowers blood pressure, thyroid problems, drug withdrawal and hyperactivity, laxative, diuretic. Oatgrass feeds intestinal flora (probiotics). Good for skin problems. The seeds also contain a cancer fighting compound called, "b-sitosterol," a natural remedy to prevent tumor formation. Roasted oat grass seeds can be used as a coffee substitute with less caffeine. Oatmeal added to baths or made into poultices is a folk remedy for dry, itchy skin and eczema.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz