Evening Primrose is a stunning wildflower that has a long history of traditional use in herbal medicinal systems the world over.
In Ayurveda it is known as the “King’s Cure-all”. Its fresh flowers, seeds, roots and oil are used in the treatment of impotence, fatigue, PMS and menopausal problems. The Native Americans used an infusion of Evening Primrose to speed up wound healing. They also used the root for haemorrhoids and the seed oil for skin problems.
Historically, Evening Primrose was an important herb and
food to the Native Americans. They boiled the nutty flavoured root as a
staple food and used the leaves, flowers and seeds for medicinal
purposes. Hunters are said to have rubbed the root on the soles of their
moccasins to mask their smell and get closer to the animals.
Culinary uses - Only the first year's root is used culinary - it is fleshy, sweet and succulent and has a slightly peppery taste, reminiscent of black salsify. It can be eaten raw, boiled like potatoes or used as root vegetables in bakes and stews. The young leaves can be added to salads or mixed with other milder herbs and be cooked and eaten as greens. The immature seed pods can be steamed or stir fried. The flowers are slightly sweet and can be added to salads or used as a pretty garnish.
Medicinal uses - Internally the leaves, stem bark and flowers can be used to treat asthma and digestive problems. A syrup made from the flowers can be made to treat whooping cough. Evening
Primrose oil is very easy for the body to absorb - it can be used
internally for premenstrual and menopausal syndromes, eczema, acne,
brittle nails, complications of diabetes, alcohol-related liver damage,
multiple sclerosis and hyperactivity in children. It helps to
prevent blood clotting, dilates blood vessels, keeps the arteries subtle
and reduces inflammatory auto-immune responses - making it useful in
conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Externally the oil can be applied to dry skin, scaly and itchy skin disorders and brittle nails.
Hormonal Balance - Evening Primrose Oil is extremely rich in Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), an unsaturated, omega 6 fatty acid that cannot be made by the body, thus must be obtained from food. It is important to ensure GLA is in balance with Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), the precursor to omega 3, to achieve maximum health benefits.
PMS - Women with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), are frequently deficient in GLA. Furthermore, their ability to convert Linolenic Acid (LA) to GLA is often impaired. Studies have demonstrated that supplementing with GLA may have a significant effect on PMS symptoms. GLA has been shown to improve many symptoms including headaches, depression, irritability, and bloating. It may also relieve pre-menstrual breast pain and tenderness.
Research shows that women deficient in this essential fatty acid are over-sensitive to the hormone prolactin, which contributes to breast pain. GLA creates hormone-like compounds that “switch off” some of the effects of prolactin, resulting in less breast pain. A deficiency in GLA may also be responsible for other symptoms such as depression, irritability and fluid retention.
Menopause - Evening Primrose Oil has been used to successfully reduce symptoms of menopause including hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, headaches and fluid retention. It is thought to be the GLA content of the oil that is responsible for its effects in reducing potential unpleasant symptoms of the menopause.
Skin Health - One of the most enduring uses of Evening Primrose Oil has been to moisturise the skin and treat various skin complaints.
With regards to keeping the skin in tip top condition, a study published in MDPI found that the high content of Linolenic Acid (LA) and GLA in Evening Primrose Oil strengthens the epidermal barrier, normalises excessive loss of water through the epidermis, regenerates skin and improves smoothness, after both topical and oral applications.
Eczema - It has been found that eczema sufferers don’t have the normal ability to process fatty acids which results in a deficiency in GLA. This means that inflammation can get worse due to the body not having access to the anti-inflammatory effects of this fatty acid. Supplementing with Evening Primrose Oil and applying it to the skin can provide considerable relief to the itching and redness caused by eczema.
Acne - According to the aforementioned MDPI study, due to its linoleic acid content, Evening Primrose Oil has a beneficial moisturising effect on the mucous membrane in acne patients treated with isotretinoin (a commonly used pharmaceutical for severe acne). This implies that skin supplementation with Evening Primrose Oil improves the skin’s water balance.
Teenagers who suffer from acne are often suffering from a hormonal imbalance. The hormone regulating properties of Evening Primrose Oil may help to prevent and overcome acne. Again, the oil can be taken as a supplement and applied topically. The fatty acids in Evening Primrose Oil play a role in cell structure, improve nerve function and promote skin elasticity.
All our herbs are organically grown in a recycled or compostable pot.
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