March 04 2021
What is evening primrose?
A native of Europe and North America, Evening primrose is a plant that possesses yellow flowers. The flowers open by sunset and remain closed throughout the day, hence the name. The blooming season of this plant is around late spring and mid-summer. Almost all parts of this flowering plant are said to be edible and suitable for cosmetic and medicinal applications. The leaves of which are used in salads or cooked around April-June when the plant is not flowering. The flowers are edible as well and can be used as a garnish in many meals. It has a plethora of pharmaceutical values as well. It has been said that the native Americans used this plant for treating many disorders. The roots, seedpods, petals, leaves were used in the preparations for curing bruises, skin diseases, wounds, hemorrhoids, etc.
The plant is used as a garden plant by many and as a medicinal plant in other sectors. However, this should not be confused with essential oils.
How does it work?
The leaves of Evening Primrose Oil contain many flavonoids, tannins, resin, sugar, photo steroids, mucilage all of which make it suitable for human consumption and as a healthy dietary supplement. The seeds have a protein content of around 15.6%, 24% oil, and cellulosic content of around 43%. The most abundant nutrient found in the evening primrose oil, which makes it the most suitable across pharmaceutical industries is Gamma-linoleic acid or GLA. It is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are said to be essential because our body cannot produce them naturally and we need to consume them from food sources or supplements. It also had omega-6 essential fatty acids and linoleic acids which have anti-inflammatory properties that promote good skin health, moisture retention, prevents acne, premature ageing, and reduced hair loss. You can buy primrose oil or take it as a supplement. Some might consider breaking the capsules and directly applying topically. This helps in fighting inflammation many among other possible effects discussed below.
Major pharmaceutical uses and effectiveness
This is mainly used as a supplement and also applied topically. All of the attributes of Evening Primrose oil attributes to GLA which is effective in reducing pain and improving bodily functions. Since our body cannot produce GLA and most of the normal foods we consume don’t have the GLA we need unlike primrose oil and borage oil, its supplements have been growing to be more useful in the coming days.
- Menstrual health: Helps in treating hot flashes faced at the time of menopause which is caused due to reduced levels of estradiol in the body. It also helps in treating menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome. It helps to alleviate depression, irritability, and bloating during PMS as the GLA helps to convert into prostaglandin for preventing prolactin from triggering PMS symptoms. Also, it helps in reducing inflammation and minimizing cyclical breast pain.
- Cures Eczema or atopic dermatitis, cystic acne, hair loss: It gives you relief from underlying chronic skin conditions. Evening primrose oil is widely used for treating eczema or atopic dermatitis. Researches have shown that 93 %of people who took EPO supplements alone and 94% who took EPO along with fish oil had said to show significant effectiveness in than that of a placebo group. The GLA as well as stearic acid present in EPO helps in keeping the skin epidermis healthy and free from all diseases since the skin can’t produce its own. Stearic acid softens your skin, clears out excess sebum, removes dirt, and thus keeps your skin healthy and nourished. GLA improves skin elasticity, firmness, helps in retaining moisture, and improves fatigue resistance. Moreover, the GLA found in primrose oil is said to reduce breakouts in your skin and prevent acne by reducing skin inflammations and declining the number of skin cells that can cause lesions.
Mixing primrose oil with rosemary is said to increase hair thickness, promote new hair, and reduce chronic hair loss.
- Reduces high blood pressure and improves heart health: According to a study done on rats, primrose oil has been proven to reduce blood cholesterol in them mainly due to its anti-inflammatory health benefits. Also, according to another study, consuming primrose oil supplements had shown a rise in systolic blood pressure in people who took them daily.
- Helps in easing Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis: Studies have shown that GLA can reduce pain induced by Rheumatoid Arthritis and provided moderate relief. Also, the risks of developing osteoporosis are reduced if a modest amount of unsaturated fats are included in the diet, especially for women undergoing menopause. Clinical researches have proven that women who were given fish oil, primrose oil, and calcium supplements had an increased bone density and either slowed or reversed the bone loss in aged women than women given a placebo. It also showed positive results in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy and alleviating nerve pain associated with it.
Is there any risk or adverse effect associated?
While most people seem to tolerate Evening primrose oil extracts and supplements without any complications or adverse effects. But it has been reported that when taken in doses beyond your recommendation, it might still produce mild side effects. Also, it has been said that the oral supplements of evening primrose oil are rather safe.
Some of them include:
- Soft stool
- Stomach pain and upset stomach
- Difficulties in breathing
- Inflammation of hands and feet
- Might raise the risk of bleeding among patients who are under anticoagulant or antiplatelet medicines.
- Might induce labor among pregnant women or increase the risk of getting a miscarriage.
- May increase the risk of getting seizures
Alvizia’s Evening primrose supplements are safer alternatives; it is gluten-free and is non-GMO. It has 10% of Gamma linoleic acids and 80% linoleic acid. It is made from 100% natural ingredients and it is advised to consult your doctor regarding your dosages. Each capsule contains about 100mg of GLA.