Mare’s eat oats, doe’s eat oats,
“Mare’s eat oats, doe’s eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy.”
Milton Drake, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston
The renowned British cook, Mrs. Beeton, who was the authority on good housekeeping, circa.1900, described oatmeal as being “…one of our most valuable meals, this is rich in flesh forming quality, heat givers and nourishing properties, yet is a cheap food most easily prepared.”
Oats thrive in colder, less hospitable climates and have been the basic diet of both humans and livestock for centuries. The rolled oats that we know best as a breakfast staple have had the husk removed. They are then steamed and rolled flat. The heating process promotes longer life by inhibiting potentially rancid enzymes from producing harmful fatty acids. The external layer of the oats contains a shapeless alkaloid that stimulates the motor ganglia neuron, which in turn, increases the excitability of the muscles. No doubt, that is what makes horses fast and frisky!
Fourth in the world’s grain production, they are a glutinous grain, like wheat, which gives them their characteristic ‘creaminess’ when cooked as porridge. When eaten raw in a muesli, they have a drying effect on the digestive system, making them an excellent remedy, according to Chinese Medicine, for the drying of damp conditions in such as Candida and excessive body fat.
Oats have a warming nature and are sweet and slightly bitter. Being high in soluble fibre helps oats bind unwanted bile and sterols, and encourages elimination from the digestive tract. Rich in silicon, their restorative function helps to renew connective tissue, working synergistically with mucopolysaccharides. Regular consumption of oat water has high immune boosting properties. A high phosphorous content provides essential nerve and brain cell formation in our formative years.