Native Americans used the leaves and bark of evening primrose as a sedative and astringent; it was given for stomach and liver complaints as well as disorders of the female reproductive system. The oil of primrose is extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose seed. It is obtained from the seeds of the plant by pressing. Its oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. Primrose Oil acts as a prostaglandin, which regulates the inflammation hormones in the body.
Evening primrose oil is used primarily for conditions affecting women’s health, such as breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle, menopausal symptoms, and premenstrual syndrome. This oil is also recommended for oral and sometimes vaginal use, as it contains precursors to prostaglandin. It is thought that evening primrose oil relieves the symptoms of PMS by preferentially stimulating anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Evening primrose oil contains an omega-6 essential fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is felt to be the active ingredient, and has been recommended for many different problems.
GLA is an essential intermediate step in the process our bodies use to manufacture prostaglandins. Its supposed treatments include, diabetes, obesity/weight loss, pre-eclampsia, diabetic neuropathy, chronic fatigue syndrome, raynauds phenomenon, dry skin, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, attention deficit disorder, cardiovascular health, psoriasis, schizophrenia, breast cysts, breast cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
GLA and LA support the immune system, help maintain healthy skin, and help maintain healthy circulation. Primrose is rich in both GLA and LA and has been used in connection with the following conditions: Eczema, Fibrocystic breast disease, Osteoporosis (in combination with fish oil), alcohol withdrawal, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Irritable bowel syndrome, and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements in addition to your prescription medications.
This oil can also be used as a topical preparation to treat sunburns. Primrose is also used by the body to maintain healthy hormone levels. Primrose oil is said to help lower blood cholesterol levels and it enhances the health and strength of cell membranes throughout the body, plus promotes a proper inflammation response. The GLA contained in this Oil is a nutrient used by the body to maintain overall health and wellness.
Essential fatty acids are required by the body for growth and development, and must be obtained from the diet. These dietary oils support our physiological functions, and are needed for the health of our organs and entire body. GLA is an essential fatty acid which helps the growth of hair, skin and nails. While the fatty acids found in evening primrose play a role in health and disease, larger clinical studies are needed to find out whether they are useful in treating cancer or other conditions.
In conclusion, evening primrose oil has not been reported as having toxic or severe side effects even at doses as high as 7000 milligrams per day. Primrose oil as well as other essential fatty acids can be obtained in health food stores in either liquid or capsule form. Evening primrose oil is available in 500 – 1350 milligram capsules. Because of its many health benefits, evening primrose seed oil is truly a wonderful supplement and should be a part of everybody’s daily supplement regiment.