Evening Primrose Oil: What is it, Properties and Benefits for Health

Evening Primrose Oil: What is it, Properties and Benefits for Health

Natural medicine is becoming relevant once again. This is due to some recent studies stating they are the best alternative to conventional medicine. They can relieve the symptoms of certain diseases  while being less harmful but equally effective nonetheless.

The use of medicinal plants and essential oils like Evening Primrose are becoming as popular as conventional medicines.

What is Evening Primrose Oil?

The Evening Primrose Oil is an essential oil that comes from the Oenothera Biennis plant, also called evening star or sun drop. Its main properties are specially beneficial for women.

The oil is obtained by pressing the Evening Primrose seeds.

The Evening Primrose Oil is a source of GLA (Gamma-Linolenic Acid)

The Evening Primrose Plant

It is a perennial plant that is native to the north of America, more specifically the United States. There, it was discovered for the first time by the Native Americans. They were the ones who exclusively used this plant until the 17th century. At that time, the white population started using it but mainly with decorative purposes.

Almost a century later, the North-American population discovered some of the medicinal benefits of this plant. In the 18th and 19th century, people used it to cure the wounded in the armed conflicts.

Composition of the Evening Primrose Oil

Due to the benefits of this oil, scientists studied the elements that are responsible for its features. Some of them are essential fatty acids, amino acids like glycine and histidine, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron and calcium, to name a few.

Evening Primrose Oil and Omega 6

This oil is rich in the essential polyunsaturated fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This element is a precursor of different essential cell mediators for:

  • The proper functioning
  • Stability of the cell membranes of our body,
  • A growing nervous system,
  • The regulation of hormones and coagulation

The body transforms GLA into a substance that is similar to the prostaglandin hormone that basically controls all the organs in the body

The precursors of eicosanoids (prostaglandins, thromboxane, leukotrienes, and the hydroxy group), are compounds that regulate several biological processes throughout our lives

The body cannot synthesize the essential fatty acids, so we have to get them from the diet. A diet that lacks these elements can trigger disorders that will affect the heart, the blood flow, the skin, the immune system, the reproductive system, and the nervous system. Learn more about Essential Fatty Acids here.

Benefits of the Evening Primrose Oil

The main reason whey the Evening Primrose Oil has gained so much popularity in the last few years is due to the properties that have been discovered, which can be used to treat diverse problems and disorders, both at an internal and external level.

Some of the properties of this oil are:

Vasodilating effect

The consumption of this oil increases the size of the blood vessels of the body, which are in charge of transporting the nutrients and oxygen in the blood. This is the reason why the oil reduces the chances of suffering cardiovascular diseases like clots or high blood pressure.

Regulator

Due to the presence of essential fatty acids, this oil provides the necessary elements for its proper functioning, like Omega 6 oil and regulates it. Moreover, it helps to regulate the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and it has the ability to balance the hormone levels, which has a positive effect in the premenstrual syndrome and menopause.

On top of that, it is also involved in the release of neurotransmitters of the nervous system

Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic

This oil combats inflammations in the whole body, specially the ones of the muscles and joints. The effect of Evening Primrose Oil reaches the nervous system, relieving the pain and discomfort caused by the premenstrual syndrome.

Strengthens the immune system

This oil contributes to strengthening and improves the natural defenses of the organism.

It contributes to the fertility, and even though these benefits are mainly enjoyed by women, they also help men.

It improves the health of the skin and Strengthens the scalp

This oil is useful for relieving and fighting against several skin disorders, helping to reduce the acne and remove patches from the skin. Moreover, it also helps to control the production of fat and contributes to the rejuvenation of the body. This effect is possible thanks to the mineral and vitamin content that helps to control hair loss and which are also a tool against dandruff.

GLA can help women to improve the health of the skin, strengthen the nails, and enhance the brightness of the hair

What is Evening Primrose Oil used for?

People use evening primrose oil due to all the properties and benefits that we have mentioned as well as:

Regulating the females hormones

It has been proven that it is effective to deal with the worst consequences of menopause due to its regulatory properties that help to reconfigure the metabolism. This is specially useful because this time involves physical and emotional changes that make the transition harder.

Adding this oil to the daily diet along with a balanced diet and regular exercise will be the perfect formula for an easy menopausal transition.

Dealing with the Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

The premenstrual syndrome involves the physical and psychological symptoms that appear during the second phase of the menstrual cycle. This period goes from the ovulation to the beginning of the menstruation (between 7 and 14 days before).

Some of the symptoms are: headaches and pain in the belly, nausea, constipation, breast sensitivity, swelling, irritability, liquid retention, and general discomfort.

Gamma-Linolenic Acid contributes to the production of the E1 prostaglandin which is a type of hormone that reduces the inflammation. This is a very useful property for the treatments of the negative symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome; it is not a disease per se, but it can seriously affect the quality of life of women.

Fighting against acne

One of its main benefits consists of regulating the fat levels apart from having certain anti-bacterial properties. Therefore, it manages to reduce the onset of infections while keeping the skin hydrated, fighting against dryness and aging.

This is also useful for the regeneration of the cells and the reduction of the inflammation caused by acne.

Relieving the symptoms of Psoriasis

This is one of its most common uses due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which are an ideal way of relieve the discomfort, specially the itching.

Improving the symptoms of Arthritis and Arthrosis

This is due to the fact that it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties thanks to the presence of the essential Omega 6 fatty acids. This is why the Evening Primrose Oil can reduce the inflammation of the joints and the pain that it causes.

In HSN, you will find the best evening primrose oil supplements. Click here to access our online store.

How to take Evening Primrose Oil?

The dose will vary depending on the concentration of product and the time when is going to be used. You will ned to take between 2 and 8 grams in a day for a fast treatment. On the other hand, there are other semi-permanent treatments with less concentration, between 1000 and 1500mg daily. However, we should not speak in such wider terms, since each person will need to take strictly what they need.

The dose for the consumption of Evening Primrose Oil must always be set by a specialist because each organism is completely different.

The Evening Primrose Oil can be taken in two ways, one through the skin which tends to be liquid and it is ideal to apply it directly on the skin and hair, while the other is the oral consumption with softgels or diluting the essential oil directly.

Sources

  1. “Aceite de onagra: un tratamiento sorprendente para las enfermedades de la piel” Mohnert Hermann, 2001.
  2. “Como cura la Onagra” Jordi Cebrián
  3. “Grasas y aceites en la nutrición humana” Consulta FAO/OMS de expertos. Organización Mundial de la Salud 1993
  4. “Tratado de Nutrición” Ángel Gil. Editorial Panamericana 2010
  5. “Alimentación y Nutrición en la vida activa: ejercicio físico y deporte” Pedro José Benito Peinado, Socorro Coral Calvo, Carmen Gómez Candela, Carlos Iglesias Rosado. UNED

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