By Karen Appold
Evening primrose oil has been used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes for centuries. The oil is from the seed of the primrose plant, also known as Fever Plant, Sundrop, and Suncup. The roots, flowers, and fruit of this bright yellow, edible plant also have health benefits. Evening primrose oil is rich in one of the body’s essential fatty acids–gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA, along with other fatty acids, is important for many bodily functions.
Here’s a look at some of the benefits of evening primrose oil.
Research shows that using evening primrose oil daily can help to lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, and reduce your risk for coronary artery disease.
People who are diabetic sometimes have difficulty producing GLA. Evening primrose oil supplements may be beneficial. Research has shown that this oil may help to prevent diabetic neuropathy, a nerve condition that often affects diabetics.
Evening primrose oil can quickly clear up eczema and help a host of other skin problems such as acne and psoriasis. This is attributed to its GLA content and other fatty acids, which are essential for good skin health. This oil is actually an ingredient in many moisturizers and facial creams because of its emollient, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties that make skin softer and smoother. It can also treat dark circles, age spots, blemishes, bruises, boils, and wrinkles, as well as rehydrate dry, scaly skin.
Menstrual pain and menopause
Changing levels of estrogen and progesterone cause premenstrual syndrome, characterized by menstrual cramps, as well as menopausal disorders such as hot flashes and breast tenderness. Evening primrose oil nutritional supplements can help to regulate these hormone levels. It can also help with endometriosis.
Pregnant women use evening primrose oil to prevent high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), start labor, shorten labor, and prevent late deliveries.
Evening primrose oil stimulates your metabolism, which makes you burn more calories.
Evening primrose oil may also help with many other health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, impotence, infertility, headache, alcohol withdrawal, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, Raynaud’s syndrome, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, hyperactivity in children, dyspraxia cancer in children, whooping cough, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Karen Appold is a writer in Lehigh Valley, PA.