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Can Eating Cooked Oats Cure Itchy Skin?

Can Eating Cooked Oats Cure Itchy Skin? Can Eating Cooked Oats Cure Itchy Skin?

Overview

Oat grains, or avena sativa, provide myriad health benefits, whether used as a raw seed ground into powder or as an unhulled cooked seed. Oats contain soluble and insoluble fibers and provide antioxidant and cleansing actions in addition to being a source of healthful nutrients. Although topical use is typically associated with treatment of skin conditions like eczema, eating oats can be just as beneficial for some skin conditions.

Oatmeal Health Benefits

Oatmeal, the food product made from oat seeds, contains healthful vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B and E, zinc, and selenium. B vitamins are essential to cell health and functions, and vitamin E provides important healing effects on the body. The oat grain also contains phytochemicals with antioxidant properties that help reduce free radicals that damage the body, and it is a great source of protein and fiber to strengthen tissues and keep the digestive tract running well. Documented benefits of ingested oats include improvements in the cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems.

Oatmeal Effects on Skin

Topically, ground oats are available in manufactured packages or by homemade processing. When oats are dissolved in water, they provide a creamy, emollient effect that soothes the skin and coats it to make a protective barrier even after washing with oats. Because the health of the body is reflected in the skin's health, ingesting oats can also improve itchy skin conditions by improving underlying conditions. B and E vitamins and fatty acids in oats supply nutrients to skin cells. In addition, oats are reported to cure insomnia and nerve problems, which may in turn improve the well-being of all body systems, including the skin.

Side Effects of Oatmeal

Ingested oatmeal itself is associated with almost no side effects. However, in patients with gluten allergy or the gluten-triggered autoimmune disorders celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis, oat grains may lead to a flare-up of the gluten reaction. Although oats themselves do not contain gluten, they are often processed in the same locations and with the same tools as wheat grains, and cross reactions or contaminations are possible. People with reactions to gluten can obtain the healthful benefits of oatmeal by eating oats that come from plants dedicated as gluten free.

Homemade Oatmeal Preparations

Homemade topical oat preparations are simple and affordable; they usually require a container of oats and a food processor to grind the oats into a powder. Although topical oats are the most well known and most successful way to use oats for itchy skin, cooked oat products for ingestion can benefit the skin and the entire body. Steel cut oats, which are not hulled seeds, can be cooked slowly in water and mixed with fruits, milk or jam for a filling meal. Quick oats, which can be microwaved within minutes, are typically hulled but retain the healthful nutrients of unhulled oats. Instead of prepackaged oatmeal, quick oats purchased in bulk can become a favorite homemade breakfast by adding in cinnamon or maple syrup.

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