Evening primrose oil (botanical name Oenothera Biennis) is the oil extracted from the seed of the evening primrose plant (also known as suncups and sundrops). Oenothera, belong to family Ongagraceae is an herbaceous flowering plant, native to the America.
Importance of Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is found to poses various therapeutic and medicinal properties due to the presence of high concentration of a fatty acid called Gamma-linolenic acid. Gamma linolenic acid is an omega -6-fatty acid found mostly in plant based oils such as borrage seed oil, black currant seed oil and evening primrose oil. As we know omega -6- fatty acid is highly essential fatty acid necessary for brain development, growth and development of human body, making Evening Primrose an important medical herb. Evening Primrose oil has high concentration of this polyunsaturated fatty acid which has numerous beneficial effect on human health such as it stimulates skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism and maintain the reproductive system. The gamma linoleic acid, linolenic acid and other nutrients in the oil are essential for cell structure and improve the elasticity of the skin. These fatty acid also helps to regulate hormones and improve nerve function. And because of its vast health benefits, it is currently being studies all over the world in treatment of number of diseases and illness.
Evening Primrose oil can be used as dietary source of essential fatty acids and is available as oil or as in capsule form. It is also used in manufacturing of soaps and cosmetic products.
Following are some of the medicinal uses of Evening primrose oil where it is used in treatment of number of ailments and diseases
Evening primrose oil is mainly used for treatment of skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. It has also shown to be effective in itching disorder called neurodermatitis.
It can be also used for whooping cough, bowel problems, weight loss, peptic ulcer and gastrointestinal disorders (especially ulcerative colitis).
It is also found effective in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, weak bones (osteoporosis), Raynaud’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis (MS), Sjogren’s syndrome, obesity, cancer, high cholesterol, heart disease, movement disorder in children dyspraxia, leg pain due to blocked blood vessels (intermittent claudication), alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.
It has shown significant effect in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), asthma, and nerve damage and hypersensitivity problem in children known as ADHD (Attention deficit- hypersensitivity disorder).
Many women are also found to use this oil in pregnancy for maintaining high blood pressure problems (pre-eclampsia), labour problems and for preventing late deliveries.
Evening primrose oil is also found to be effective in preventing pain relief in premenstrual syndrome (PMS), breast pain, endometriosis and other symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes in many women.
Along with its huge medicinal properties, some people are found to show allergic reaction with Evening primrose oil such as rash, itching and swelling. Some common other side effects of this oil include nausea, dizziness, headache and breathing problem, hence it is highly recommended to consult your health specialist or doctor before using this oil externally as well orally as a part dietary supplement.