The evening primrose was named such because it is in full blown when the sun sets and wilts during the day. It thrives as a wildflower in North America, Europe and Asia. It has caught the attention of a lot of individuals today because of its use as a supplemental medicine. The primrose oil benefits discussed in this article will shed some light to help you fully understand if you should be utilizing it for your health concerns.
Safe to eat and therapeutic, evening primrose has long been used as an alternative medicine. When cooked, the leaves can be eaten as vegetables and its roots are tasty and juicy when boiled. The flowers can be added to salads or as garnishing. It has been the main food of a lot of Native American tribes. It was grown before because of its healthy and tasty roots; but now it is being grown because of the oil extracted from its seeds that contain the essential gamma-linolenic acid.
The Benefits of Evening Primrose
A very helpful fatty acid, gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is not present in all plants. It also has a lot of important functions in the body; however, the human body does not process GLA. Because of the higher concentrations of this active ingredient, GLA, it proves to be an excellent supplement. Its gamma-linolenic acid is very helpful in the treatment of diseases and conditions by providing various health benefits.
Evening primrose oil contains 74% linoleic acid, 9% GLA, 11% oleic acid and 6% palmic acid.
The most celebrated benefit of evening primrose is its ability to minimize premenstrual breast tenderness that go with menstruation, relieve the discomforts of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), as well as alleviating inconveniences encountered by women who are on menopause.
Women who have fibrocystic breasts can equally benefit as the essential fatty acids found in its oil reduces breast tenderness. It encourages the assimilation of iodine, as this mineral is at abnormal low levels in women beset with this problem.
Its anti-inflammatory features also play a significant role in lessening joint pain and swelling brought about by rheumatoid arthritis.
It fights damage caused by multiple sclerosis.
Asthma and whooping cough can also be treated because of its anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Nerve damage associated with diabetic neuropathy is also one of its health benefits.
It prevents high blood pressure, heart disease, hardening of the arteries, and lowers cholesterol level.
Evening primrose can also be used to treat skin problems like acne, redness, drying, itching, eczema and rosacea. A recent study showed that evening primrose oil was able to reduce most of atopic dermatitis symptoms, which is a form of eczema characterized with red itchy and inflamed skin.
Research has also shown that people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome can benefit with evening primrose although further studies are still to be conducted.
The native healers of North American used the evening primrose to treat diseases such as hemorrhoids, stomach aches, scrapes and sore throat.
It has a constructive effect on sex hormone response that includes testosterone and estrogen.
It can treat Alzheimer’s-related memory deficits. Evening primrose oil helps improve the dispersal of nerve impulses to treat this continuing brain disorder. It is similarly proven to be useful in treating schizophrenia.
Evening primrose oil also has an encouraging effect on the nervous system and metabolism.
It is essential in the treatment of liver cirrhosis.
Its bark and leaves are good sedatives and astringents.
It can also be used in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders.
The tea made from its roots is likewise used to treat obesity.
Chronic headaches can also be treated because of the pain relieving compound, phenylalanine, which it contains.
Evening primrose equally helps to manage carbohydrate cravings, endometriosis-associated inflammation and irritable bowel flare-ups.
It defies impotence and female infertility by encouraging blood flow. For male impotence, the oil is taken together with gingko biloba and vitamin C. Uterine function is improved thereby assisting those women who have difficulty in getting pregnant.
It prevents alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The brain is prompted to produce prostaglandin E by the gamma-linolenic acid. This particular type of prostaglandin prevents withdrawal symptoms related to alcoholism like seizures and depression by indirectly caring for the nervous system and liver.
Its flowering stems are grounded finely and are used in face masks to offset reddening of the skin.
A lot of creams and lotions use the emollient properties of evening primrose oil for skin care in order to soften and hydrate the skin.
It nourishes the scalp, hair and nails. Nails are prevented from cracking making them healthier looking. It nurtures the scalp thus issues like hair loss are also addressed.
A lot of herbalist recommends it for aging problems as it maintains youthfulness.
Other conditions where evening primrose oil is under scientific investigation and may prove beneficial are breast cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, attention deficit/hyperactivity in children, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (like colitis).
The Side Effects of Evening Primrose Oil
Some of the side effects of evening primrose oil are: nausea, stomach upset, headaches, and soft stools. If any of these adverse effects occur, consult a doctor or a pharmacist right away. Medical advice must be sought promptly if there are any indications of grave allergic reaction such as swelling, rash, itching (particularly on the throat, face or tongue), breathing difficulty and severe lightheadedness. Evening primrose oil can also trigger spasms or seizures when taken alongside phenothiazine drugs and anesthesia.