Evening Primrose Oil Benefits and Information
Evening primrose is an attractive herb that grows in mild climate of North American and Europe as well as many other areas of the world with similar climates. However, evening primrose
is cultivated and processed primarily in Canada and the United States. Evening primrose plants may grow anywhere from 3 to 7 feet in height. A unique characteristic of the evening primrose plant is that it will bloom throughout the summer, but its flowers each last only one day, opening as the sun goes down and then dying away in sunlight (hence its name Evening Primrose). About 2 inches in length, the seeds of the evening primrose
are used to produce the volatile oil that is used in medicines and cosmetics.
Evening primrose oil contains substantial amounts of polysaturated omega-6 fatty acids, essential fatty acids (EFAs) which are needed by the body to regulate a number of activities including insulin utilization, heart function, and mood. Since the body does not produce EFAs, they must be ingested through proper diet or supplementation. In addition to omega-6 fatty acids, evening primrose oil
contains linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Both linoleic acid and GLA are believed to have very positive health and medicinal indications. Linoleic acid may affect how the body utilizes insulin, maintains weight, and fights diseases such as heart disease. GLA may help to inhibit the body's production of chemicals that cause inflammation.
Evening primrose oil has been used to support relief from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), symptoms of menopause, and breast pain due to hormonal changes during menstruation. More studies are needed to confirm any of these benefits.
Both oral and topical forms of evening primrose oil have also been studied for helping with acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. When used as a topical application on the skin, evening primrose oil has moisturizing and softening effects. More studies are needed to confirm any of these benefits.
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