Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose, Evening Primrose Benefits

Oenothera biennis Onagraceae


Although a native of North America, the biennial evening primrose is also very common in Europe. Its large, short-lived yellow .flowers appear clustered in spikes from June to September, and open in the evenings, hence the same of the plant.


Parts used

  • Seeds
  • The seeds are collected when ripe.
  • Oil is extracted from them and put into capsules for pharmaceutical use.
  • The oil is also occasionally used as a food flavouring.

Constituents

Twenty-five per cent of each seed is made up of an oil rich in essential fatty acids, including linolenic acid and gammalinolenic acid. The seeds also contain proteins, fibre and mineral materials rich in calcium.


Medicinal uses

Evening primrose oil has been remarkably effective as a treatment for premenstrual syndrome and, in particular, as a means of relieving breast pain. This is because its fatty acids, mainly gammalinolenic acid, play an important role in the synthesis by the body of substances called prostaglandins (PGEs). PGEs are important because they help to regulate the action of severa I hormones - oestrogen, progesterone. Taking the oil may cause weight gain in some people and prolactin - that are associated with the menstrual cycle. A good supply of the fatty acids found in evening primrose oil ensures a good supply of the PGEs that make sure these hormones perform correctly.PGEs also help to maintain the suppleness and elasticity of the skin by controlling the secretion of sebum, an oil that protects skin tissues. Evening primrose oil is therefore used in cosmetics to help to prevent skin ageing.


In addition, research has shown that prostaglandin E, controls the dilation of blood vessels and is antiinflammatory. Evening primrose oil, to boost its production, is therefore often recommended to treat eczema, acne and rheumatoid arthritis


CAUTIONS

Evening primrose oil should not be taken by people who suffer from any form of epilepsy.


Do not use evening primrose oil if pregnant or breastfeeding.


Cultivation

The plant does well in well-drained dry soil and sunny locations, and will self-sow in good conditions.


PREPARATION AND DOSAGE

For internal use


TO TREAT premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
SOFT CAPSULES (500mg) Take 2 capsules three times a day during the last 10 days of the menstrual cycle.


TO TREAT eczema, rheumatoid arthritis
SOFT CAPSULES (500mg) Take 2 capsules three times a day, with a glass of water at mealtimes.
TO TREAT ageing skin
SOFT CAPSULES (500mg) Take 1-2 capsules a day, with a glass of water at mealtimes.


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR



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