Is Avena sativa good for anxiety?

Kate Harris
Trainee Herbalist, Reflexologist, Yoga Teacher, Writer & Product Trainer

11 April 2022

Why is Avena sativa good for anxiety?

Avena sativa is good for anxiety because it contains a blend of phytochemicals, nutrients, and antioxidants that support the nervous system. So, let's explore these more:

Vitamins and minerals

Avena sativa contains B vitamins, calcium and magnesium, important for the smooth running of the nervous system. (1) Without these nutrients, nerves will be more easily jangled and upset.


Avena sativa also contains alkaloids (e.g. gramine) that relax smooth muscle such as that found in the colon. (2) This means that it can calm not just anxiety and nervous tension but the physical results of nervous upsets, such as irritable bowel.
This dual action of calming body and mind makes it a great remedy for anxiety.


Avena sativa extract contains polyphenols, including avenanthramides that show excellent antioxidative activity. (3) Oxidative cell stress is known to change the way that messages are sent along nerve pathways, as well as interfering with general brain activity, making it a key factor in the development of stress and anxiety.

Diets rich in antioxidants therefore protect us against developing these conditions. Avena sativa provides lots of avenanthramides, making it perfect for this purpose.

How else does Avena sativa help anxiety?

It helps improve sleep: Anxiety and nervous system dysregulation are often at the root of poor sleep. While there isn't a huge amount of research into Avena sativa's ability to help you sleep, one study using a combined herbal tablet containing Avena sativa showed improvements to disordered sleep compared to placebo. (4)

Therefore, Avena sativa addresses both these issues, helping to break the vicious cycle of anxiety preventing you from getting a good night's sleep and anxiety becoming worse because you haven't had a good night's sleep.

Mood regulating: There are some promising results that indicate Avena sativa could be helpful in regulating mood. In an animal trial, Avena sativa was shown not only to improve stress response, and speed of learning, but also to improve the animal's social interest. (5)

How to take Avena sativa for anxiety

Avena sativa is available in liquid drops, tea, and tablet or capsule formats. I particularly like liquid drops, as absorption rates are quickest.


Avena sativa is not associated with any side effects, has no contraindications, and is suitable for long-term use. It is not associated with after-effects such as drowsiness, and it isn't known to be addictive or habit-forming. However, it should not be taken when pregnant, breastfeeding or alongside medications for stress or anxiety, unless advised by a medical professional. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines on dosage and safety.

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