From skin health to maintaining hormonal balance, discover all the benefits of the Evening Primrose plant.
Among all the medicinal plants that nature makes available to us, today we present to you one that, thanks to its beneficial effects, earned the title of “healer of the king”, of course in the 17th century.
Locally known as Evening Primrose or Evening Primrose – not to be confused with Primula officinalis – this plant with very beautiful yellow flowers is native to North America, and its seeds are used for the cold-pressed extraction of evening primrose oil Primrose.
Native Americans used this oil to heal wounds and treat stomachaches or sore throats.
Although for a somewhat longer period of time, its name Evening Primrose (with the scientific name Oenothera biennis) was no longer circulated so often, it has recently returned to the lips of phytotherapists.
You have a lot of purchasing possibilities, from health food stores, pharmacies or from various online platforms: in the form of oil or as oral food supplements, Evening Primrose can be an alternative method of treating many conditions or simply improving of the immune system.
Below, discover some of the most important benefits of the medicinal plant Evening Primrose, some attested by scientific studies, others still being confirmed.
Evening Primrose oil contains a large amount of gamma-linolenic acid, an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid from the Omega-6 group with an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and DNA-protective role.
Essential fatty acids are necessary for the body’s overall health, it’s just that the body can’t produce them on its own – you have to get them from your daily diet.
Your body needs a balance of essential fatty acids, such as omega-6 and omega-3, found in fish oil to regulate immune function and brain function, as well as for the development and growth of children.
Furthermore, fats are carriers of soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D and K. For example, dietary fat is necessary for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A and plays an equally important role in the conversion of minerals.
Evening Primrose oil is also rich in vitamin E and phytosterols (they reduce plasma levels of total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol by decreasing cholesterol absorption).
Rarely found in vegetable oils in such high percentages, gamma-linolenic acid is extremely beneficial in relieving pain.
Skin and hair health
Several studies carried out to date have shown that evening primrose oil has an exceptional effect on skin health: it significantly improves its firmness and elasticity, preventing skin dryness and roughness.
The moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties help fight acne or eczema.
Used internally or externally, it cleanses the skin and prevents hormonal acne, having an important role in the cellular structure, improving the function of the nervous system and the elasticity of the skin.
Although there are not yet enough clinical studies to prove a causal link between evening primrose oil and acne healing, many dermatologists recommend it as part of an anti-acne treatment.
The best way to combat hair loss, especially for women and men prone to this type of condition, is the treatment with supplements based on Evening Primrose extract, given that they relieve inflammation and combat dryness of the skin.
Such an effect also extends to the scalp, which stimulates hair growth and maintains its health.
Improvement of symptoms specific to menopause
Evening primrose oil relieves menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, including reducing their severity, frequency and duration.
A clinical study found that in addition to relieving the feeling of intense heat, participants who used the oil extracted from the mature seeds of the Evening Primrose plant also experienced an improvement in social values such as human interactions and those related to sexuality.
The hormonal changes of the premenstrual period can generate a lot of unpleasant symptoms, and the hormones responsible for this are influenced by essential fatty acids, such as the gamma-linolenic acid found in evening primrose oil.
Thus, the large amount of gamma-linolenic acid alleviates much of the discomfort created by pre-menstrual syndrome in women.
Studies have shown that this oil relieves pre-menstrual symptoms such as:
- Probleme digestive;
- Irritability and depression;
- Back pain;
- States of fatigue;
- Breast pain or tenderness.
Beneficial effect in the treatment of arthritis
The same acid I’ve been talking about reduces the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues and affects many people around the world, causing symptoms such as painful swelling of the hands and feet and stiff joints.
General pain relief
Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, studies have confirmed that treatment with Evening Primrose supplements reduces the severity of pain and stiffness that is especially pronounced in the morning, generally improving mobility.
Evening primrose oil contributes to the growth of the cervical mucus so important in the reproductive process, thus becoming a treatment against infertility, creating a favorable environment for spermatozoa.
The increased levels of fatty acids in evening primrose oil have a direct effect on the uterine cells, helping the muscle tissue to contract and relax, with side effects such as toning the uterine muscles preparing them for a possible pregnancy.
But the benefits of Evening Primrose oil go beyond the uterus and even help improve sperm quality, as shown by several studies.
Contraindications and risks
In most cases, Evening Primrose oil is considered safe. However, some research indicates that it can cause problems for certain people who already suffer from conditions such as cancer, or for pregnant women (birth complications or bruising on the newborn’s body can occur).
Some more sensitive people may report side effects such as:
- probleme digestive
- stomach ache
In these situations, it would be best to stop the treatment and talk to your doctor.
In fact, to be perfectly safe, ask for a doctor’s opinion before even starting an Evening Primrose supplement treatment, or even if you’re just using Evening Primrose oil externally. Even more so if you are already taking other drug treatments.
Moreover, because this type of oil increases blood pressure, it is not recommended for hypertensive people – it can aggravate already existing cardiovascular conditions.
Being a nutritional supplement, there is no recommended daily amount for its use. An average-sized supplement contains about 1.3 grams of the oil, and clinical trials researching its health benefits use doses ranging from 500 milligrams to 8 grams per day.
Depending on your goals, your family doctor can recommend the optimal dose.
Read also: Evening primrose oil: a natural remedy within everyone’s reach!
Also read: Supplements for acne. The most indicated vitamins and minerals for a clean complexion
Also read: Childless women or women who had their first period before the age of 11 have a higher risk of premature menopause
Source: National Institutes of Health