Native to North America, primrose or primula has become known throughout the world since the 17th century.
The seeds were stored in the ballast of ships, traveling from North America to Europe, where they took roots. From Europe, primrose has spread to Asia.
Traditionally, the plants and roots have been used to treat injuries, hemorrhoids, cough and stomach aches, but in fact, the seeds contain oils with many therapeutic values.
Evening primrose oil is obtained from the plant’s seeds and it contains a special fatty acid, called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This substance is the active ingredient of evening primrose oil, representing 10% of the total amount of fatty acids.
The body converts the GLA into two compounds similar to hormones – prostaglandins and leukotrienes – that have anti-inflammatory effects.
The human body produces GLA from certain types of fats, such as linoleic acid which is found in vegetable oils and polyunsaturated margarine. However, there are people who don’t have enough enzymes in the body for this process to take place.
Uses and health benefits of evening primrose oil
It is used to replace the missing enzyme and to support the body to produce these anti-inflammatory substances. It is also used in the treatment of many diseases and has proven very effective in various medical cases.
Improving irritations caused by eczema
Eczema and itchy skin can occur when the body can not convert fats from food in GLA. It was found that treatment with evening primrose oil over a period of three or four months soothes itching and reduces the need to use creams or medication.
How to use it?
- apply directly on clean skin by massaging gently
- 5-15% of the favorite cream can be added
- in combination with other vegetable oils, vitamin E, and essential oils, thus obtaining a 100% natural nutritive serum
- just a few drops are sufficient, and for optimal absorption apply on wet skin.
Improving menstrual health problems
It can be effective in disorders related to the menstrual cycle, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), feeling of tension in the breasts before menstruation, as well as menstrual cramps.
Phenylalanine contained by the evening primrose oil is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter. So, if you experience these problems, you can resort to this natural remedy with confidence.
A study conducted on 70 women in the UK has applied a treatment consisting of daily administration of six capsules of this oil in three divided doses. The results? 67% no longer experienced unpleasant symptoms, 22% experienced significant improvements, while 11% didn’t notice any effect.
Improving depressive states in alcoholics
This effect is obtained by unblocking the transformation of alpha-linolenic acid into gamma-linolenic acid – PGE1, a process inhibited by alcohol that generates mental depression.
Also, this oil has a hepatoprotective effect, especially when the liver is attacked by alcohol.
Rheumatic pain relief
There are people who have experienced the beneficial effects of using it, which has decreased pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. This oil can also be used in combination with omega-3 fatty acids found in the linseed oil.
Diseases accompanied by inflammation, such as rosacea, acne, and dislocations can be improved by using evening primrose oil.
This oil is useful for diabetics because it prevents and treats the complications of this disease.
One of the complications is diabetic neuropathy, and in this case, this oil reduces the symptoms of paresthesia, pain or burning sensation associated with this condition.
Side effects of evening primrose oil
It is well tolerated by the body. However, there are cases when its use has caused light side effects, such as headaches or stomachaches, indigestion or bloating.
There are opinions according to which this oil can cause problems during pregnancy and is therefore not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
It may slow the blood clotting process and it should be avoided if using anticoagulants because it could increase the risk of bleeding or bruising.
Also, it may increase the risk of seizures, so don’t use it if you suffer from epilepsy or if you take medications that may increase the risk of seizures (phenothiazines or antipsychotic medications).
The safety of long-term use of this oil has not been established.
Always choose cold-pressed primrose oil, as it preserves all the nutrients, thus increasing the benefits for the skin.
Moreover, glass packaging is the best option because it will ensure that its qualities remain intact, as oils absorb toxins from the plastic packaging.