Europeans exploring America brought the roots of a pretty, yellow flower home i.e. England and Germany - evening primrose. There, it was called "king's cure all", because of its healing properties. Evening primrose is an attractive herb, which flourishes in temperate climate of North America and Europe. However, it is primarily grown and used in Canada and the United States. A unique characteristic of the plant is that its flowers open only in the evening, hence the name ‘evening primrose’. Though the plant blooms all throughout the summer, each blossom lasts only one day. Yellow is the most common color of ‘evening primrose’ flower, but white, pink, red and purple are also some of the known colors. The average height of the plant is anywhere between 3 to 7 feet. Its seeds are about 5 cm long and are crushed to manufacture the oil that is used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Below are given some of the well-known benefits of evening primrose oil.
Health Benefits Of Evening Primrose Oil
- Evening primrose oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids for our body. The body needs them to perform numerous important functions effectively, including insulin absorption, blood pressure regulation and hormone production. Our body doesn’t manufacture these fatty acids, so they have to be taken as food supplements, such as this oil.
- Apart from essential fatty acids, evening primrose is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Linolenic acid is beneficial for general well-being of the body. It is also believed to help the body make use of insulin, regulate weight, and prevent cancer and heart disease. It is recommended to use high content of GLA to treat inflammatory ailments like arthritis or asthma.
- The oil is also effective in treating pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms and even the soreness of breasts that often accompanies menstruation and menopause.
- Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, evening primrose oil is used to treat a wide range of aches and pains caused by swelling and bloating, even joint pains in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
- The oil has been used to treat skin problems like eczema. Eczema includes redness of skin and itching. Evening primrose oil provides relief in such a condition. However, whether it can help in the treatment of pimples, acne and skin rashes, it is still unknown.
- Evening primrose oil has been suggested as a possible treatment for osteoporosis and bone loss.
- The oil is known to ease the effect of alcohol withdrawal and hangovers.
- Diabetic neuropathy is a nerve condition caused by diabetes. In this state, patients experience tingling, numbness, pain, lack of sensation in feet and leg areas. The oil can be helpful in such a condition.
- Evening primrose oil has proved to be helpful in decreasing the risk of heart disease, by lowering cholesterol level.
- It is believed that evening primrose oil, in combination with thyme, proves beneficial in the treatment of acute bronchitis. However, this health benefit of the oil is yet to be tested.