Evening Primrose Oil
The Plant All Women Should Know About
by Karen Arulsamy
We’ve come to know the evening primrose pill as an after-menopause pill. However, its medicinal benefits can be reaped by women of all ages. The evening primrose plant has been used by Native Americans for centuries as a remedy for wounds and ailments. Oil is extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose flower to be used in medication or as a supplement to food. This plant is found mainly in North America and Europe. The evening primrose gets its name due to the nature of its light yellow flowers that open in the evening.
What makes this plant so beneficial to mankind? Research shows that the presence of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 essential fatty acid in the evening primrose plant gives it its healing powers. The body converts GLA to hormone-like compounds which then facilitate bodily functions. There is no one food that contains sufficient amounts of GLA and the evening primrose plant is one source of this essential fatty acid. Let’s take a look at the benefits of evening primrose oil:
1. Helps treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual cramps, endometriosis, and fibrocystic breasts.
Women who have PMS often have low levels of GLA and can benefit from this supplement. The oil also relieves menstrual cramps by blocking the inflammatory prostaglandins that are responsible for the cramps. In addition, it reduces breast inflammation among women with fibrocystic breasts. The oil aids in the absorption of iodine which is usually low among women who have this ailment.
2. Relieves rheumatoid arthritis pain.
The evening primrose oil alleviates pain and joint inflammation.
3. Reduces the symptoms of diabetic nerve damage.
Studies prove that this oil decreases tingling, numbness, and the loss of sensation among patients who suffer from this condition.
4. Alleviates the discomforts of eczema.
A person may have eczema if her body is unable to convert fats from food into GLA. Taking evening primrose oil reduces itchiness. This decreases the need for topical steroid creams that sometimes cause side effects.
5. Helps treat acne, rosacea and muscle strains.
Evening primrose oil reduces inflammation which is present in these problems.
6. Helps nourish scalp, hair and nails
As the oil nourishes the scalp, it may also help with other hair problems.
Readers should note that evening primrose oil may cause abdominal discomfort, bloating, nausea, and headaches. Ingesting it with food may reduce these side effects. Evening primrose oil may also raise the risk of pregnancy complications. As with all medications, it is advisable to consult a physician before taking evening primrose oil. It is available in capsule, soft-gel, and oil form. The evening primrose oil can be found in most pharmacies in Malaysia.