Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose is also known as Oenothera biennis
History of evening primrose oil.
Evening Primrose, a wildflower found in North America, Europe and parts of Asia, has been used medicinally and as a food for centuries. This biennial herb is called Evening Primrose because it has lovely yellow blossoms that open in the evening.
The roots of evening primrose were boiled and eaten by native Americans who also used the leaves to treat sore throat, bruises, stomachaches and hemorrhoids.
Many European settlers took evening primrose back to England and Germany where its root was used for food.
Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose oil and seeds contain an oil rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. GLA, when processed in the body, exerts anti-inflammatory and other healing actions.
One of the best sources of the pain-relieving compound phenylalanine is evening primrose oil. For chronic headache sufferers, nutritionists often recommend a daily dose of six to eight capsules of evening primrose oil. (Sunflower seeds are also a good source of phenylalanine.)
Evening primrose oil and capsules should be kept in the refrigerator to prevent the oil from becoming rancid. The oil or capsules are more effective when taken with food along with a high-quality vitamin-mineral supplement, which should contain zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin B-complex.
Evening primrose oil has long been used by women, especially in Europe, to temper hormonal fluctuations. The oil is still taken by women today to help ease the discomfort of breast tenderness from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menstruation, bloating, endometriosis, fibrocystic breasts, mood swings, irritable bowel flare-ups, and hot flashes.
Many people suffering from eczema claim that taking a daily dose of evening primrose oil helps relieve itching, redness and scaling. The oil also seems to be useful for the treatment of allergies, particularly skin rash or hives.
Supplementation with sources of GLA, such as evening primrose oil, borage oil, and black currant oil, seems to lessen the inflammation, joint pain and swelling of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis.
GLA has also been used with some success in helping alleviate symptoms of lupus, fibromialgia, diabetes-associated nerve damage, and to help reduce numbness and tingling in feet, hands or legs.
Evening primrose oil, when gently rubbed into the fingers, seems to help alleviate the numbness and pain associated with Raynaud’s disease symptoms.
The rich supply of essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil, when taken over time (two to six months), can help nourish nails, scalp, hair and skin and protect against the effects of aging.
Recent studies have shown that essential fatty acids, including fish oil, can also be of help in a weight-loss program because they increase the fat you burn while exercising.
Evening primrose oil has been used for the treatment of many other conditions including dry eyes, alcoholism, cancer, high blood cholesterol levels, hypertensioon, heart disease, ulcerative colitis, as well as in the treatment of Alzheimer’s-related memory deficiencies, and in combating damage from multiple sclerosis.
Precautions on use of Evening Primrose
There have been few or no reports of toxic reactions to evening primrose oil or overdosing. However, evening primrose oil should not be taken by those with a history of seizure disorders.
Pregnant women or nursing mothers should not take any herbs unless under a doctor’s supervision.
As with any herbs, discontinue use if experiencing any negative conditions.
Tips on How to Choose / Buy
Always buy evening primrose oil and other supplements from a reliable manufacturer or health food outlet to avoid cheap substitutes such as soy and safflower oils that have been found in some commercial products.
Fish oil is another wonderful food oil that is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids.
We here at Quality-Nutritional-Supplements have been personally taking Xtend-Life’s high quality pure fish oil and other products with excellent results.