Evening Primrose Health Benefits

Evening Primrose Oil Health benefits, Side Effects

What is Evening primrose and edible flowering plant that opens its flowers by the evening.
Evening Primrose Health Benefits has long tradition that include pain and inflammation control, hormone control, sedative and many others

evening primrose
Evening primrose constituents. Evening primrose is rich in gamma-linoleic acid that has been proven to have many health benefits

Evening Primrose Side effects and warnings. Evening primrose is considered safe at recommended dosages.

What is Evening Primrose

Evening PrimroseScientific Name: Oenothera

Common names: evening-primrose, suncups, and sundrops.

Evening Primrose (Oenothera) is a Genus of about 125 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants, native to North and South America. The flowers of evening primrose open within less than a minute in the evening then closing it again early in the morning, hence the name "evening-primrose".

Evening primrose’s species vary in size from small plant of about 10 cm tall to about 2 meters in height for species found in North America. The stems are upright, stout, with soft hairs. It is branching to form a spreading shrub, colonizing bare areas.

Evening primrose has lemon scented leaves that form a basal rosette at ground level, spiraling upward, alternate and lanceolate about 2 centimeters in length. The tap root is fibrous and elongated. The flowers of Evening primrose grow on auxiliary branches about 6 centimeters in diameter, having four petals bright yellow or pink. The stigma has four branches forming a cross shape and a refluxed calyx. The fruit is oblong about 2.5 centimeters in length that has tiny rd seeds that ripens during summer to fall.

Chemical Constituents of Evening Primrose

The chemical constituents that may be found in Evening primrose oil are fatty acids (EFA), the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linolenic acid (LA). Other chemical constituents in Evening primrose oil include oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, steroids campesterol, β-sitosterol. 3-O-trans-Caffeoyl esters of triterpene acids (betulinic, morolic, and oleanolic acids).

Evening primrose also contains low in molecular weight phenolic compounds that include catechin, epicatechin and gallic acid.

Uses of Evening Primrose oil

Evening Primrose has a long history of use both as an edible plant and as a medicinal herb that offers many health benefits.

The Native Americans has been known to cultivate Evening primrose for this purpose taking the roots that has a slightly peppery taste and cooked just like any other root crops boiled as in stews or baked. The leaves and the flowers of the Evening primrose are also eaten as green mix in salads or can also be cooked with other vegetables or meat. The seedpods are also edible, usually steamed.

Nowadays, Evening primrose is widely cultivated for its oil. The fatty acids found in Evening primrose oil have been found to provide many health benefits. Among the many claimed health benefits from Evening primrose oil include relief from pain and inflammation associated with skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. Evening primrose is also used to benefit those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, weak bones (osteoporosis) and Reynaud’s syndrome; another claimed health benefit from evening primrose is its positive effect in regulating reproductive hormones both for men and women, beneficial in alleviating symptoms associated with post menstrual syndrome (PMS) and painful menstruation.

Evening primrose is also considered to provide health benefits for obese persons, increasing the body metabolism and improving gastro-intestinal functions.

Evening primrose oil is also believed to benefit the heart. Evening primrose oil has been used to lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation. It is also believed to benefit those who suffer from liver cirrhosis, and even breast cancer.

Other health benefits from evening primrose oil include treatment for whooping coughs, as relaxant to calm the nervous system, as general skin irritation treatment.

Evening primrose oil has been largely used in combination with other herbs to provide optimum health benefits for many health conditions.

Reported Studies of Evening Primrose Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose for Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, 1987 entitled “Evening primrose oil in the treatment of atopic eczema: effect on clinical status, plasma phospholipid fatty acids and circulating blood prostaglandins” has reported that in a double-blind trial patients with atopic eczema received either oral evening primrose oil or placebo for 12 weeks. Those who were given evening primrose oil showed statistically significant improvement in the overall severity and grade of inflammation and in the percentage of the body surface involved by eczema as well as in dryness and itch.

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose for Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

In a report published in Medical Journal of Australia, 1990 entitled “Evening primrose oil and treatment of premenstrual syndrome”; the therapeutic effectiveness of evening primrose oil in the relief of 10 symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as well as menstrual symptoms was studied in 38 women. The findings indicate that the improvement experienced by the women with moderate PMS was solely a placebo effect.

Evening Primrose Health Benefits for Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

In a report from Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 1989 entitled “Evening primrose oil in rheumatoid arthritis: changes in serum lipids and fatty acids” showed that there was a decrease  in serum eicosapentaenoic acid and a corresponding increase in arachidonic acid concentrations in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when administered with evening primrose oil. This result suggests that evening primrose oil has favorable effects in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose for Reynaud’s Phenomenon

In the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 1985, a report entitled “Evening primrose oil (Efamol) in the treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon: a double blind study” have shown that patients who were given evening primrose oil showed symptomatically improvement if compared to a control group taking placebo. This was not matched however by any change in objective assessment of blood flow, although changes in platelet behavior and blood prostanoids were observed.

Evening Primrose may have Anti Cancer Health Benefits

In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2011 entitled “Polyphenols from evening primrose (Oenothera paradoxa) defatted seeds induce apoptosis in human colon cancer Caco-2 cells” have shown that the polyphenols extracted from evening primrose may be an apoptosis inducer in human colorectal adenocarcinoma Caco-2 and HT-29 cell lines and in rat normal intestinal IEC-6 cells..

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose to Diabetic Patients

In a study entitled “Evening primrose oil and fish oil in non-insulin-dependent-diabetes” the effects of two anti-thrombotic and anti-lipidemic oils, evening primrose oil and fish oil, on glucose and lipid metabolism, prostaglandin (PG) levels and body composition were studied in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes. The results suggest that these oil treatments are useful in improving abnormal lipid and thromboxane (TX)A2 metabolism in diabetic patients.

Evening primrose as Breast pain Treatment

In a study published in Alternative Medicine Review, 2011, entitled “Vitamin E and evening primrose oil for management of cyclical mastalgia: a randomized pilot study” have shown that the daily doses of 1,200 IU vitamin E and 3,000 mg evening primrose when taken for six months have improved the pain control in women with cyclical mastalgia, likewise decreasing the severity of its symptoms.

Evening primrose may Offer Protective Health Benefits against Heart Diseases

In a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, 2011 “Effect of evening primrose oil and omega-3 polyunsaturated Fatty acids on the cardiovascular risk of celecoxib in rats” have shown that the extract of evening primrose can significantly decreased platelet aggregation and collagen-induced thrombocytopenia in rats administered with Celecoxib that known to elevate BP and increased the risk of thrombogenesis. The study suggests that a combination of celecoxib and the selected natural supplements is suggested as a novel approach to minimize cardiovascular risk caused by celecoxib.

Evening primrose May Have Antioxidative Health Benefit for the Liver.

In a study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2011, entitled “The effects of evening primrose oil on lipid peroxidation induced by sub acute aflatoxin exposure in mice” have shown that evening primrose oil have antioxidative effect against lipid peroxidation in cases of subacute aflatoxin (AF) intoxication induced in mice

Potential Health Benefits of Evening Primrose for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

In a study published in the Medical Hypotheses, 1979 entitled “Multiple sclerosis: the rational basis for treatment with colchicine and evening primrose oil” suggests that based on  preliminary results the combined therapy of evening primrose oil and colchicine may be of considerable value in Multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/313499

Evening Primrose Availability and Dosage

Where can I get an Evening primrose plant?

Evening primrose plant is largely found in the United States in waste grounds, neglected corners in the yards and gardens, verges of railway tracks along road sides, and in some degree it is considered as a hard to control invasive weed. Evening primrose can easily be cultivated by seed or division.

Where can I get evening primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil is commercially available in oil, cream or capsule forms. Evening primrose can be bought in most health stores. It can also be bought through online stores such as amazon.com.

Be sure to select the standardized solution such as Organic Evening Primrose Oil, which have received a few good reviews about the supplier and the product.

How to take evening primrose?

Almost all parts of the Evening primrose plant is edible. The leaves and flowers can be mixed green for salad or dressings. The roots are boiled or baked. While all other parts can be cooked in many ways.

For skin problems, Evening primrose is taken at 300 to 500 mg of GPA spread during the day

For pain and inflammation, Evening primrose is taken at 350mg to 3 grams per day.

Evening primrose is taken at 2 - 8 grams of standardized solution of 8% GLA daily. But it is still best to follow the recommended dosage of your health provider or from the product label.

Evening Primrose Side Effects and Warnings

Evening primrose oil is generally safe for most people when taken as recommended. But it can sometimes cause mild side effects including upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and headache.

Evening primrose may also cause allergic reaction to some sensitive people. Side effects may include rash, itching and swelling in the face, throat or tongue. Other rare side effects include severe dizziness or trouble breathing. For more information on Evening primrose side effects, contact your doctor, pharmacist or if in the United States call FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 and if in Canada, call Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Pregnancy: Evening primrose oil is not recommended for pregnant women.

Breast Feeding mothers: Evening primrose may be considered safe for breast feeding mothers, but it is best to follow the advice of your health care provider.

Bleeding disorders: Evening primrose may cause bleeding or aggravate a bleeding disorder.

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