Evening Primrose Oil Nutrition, Uses, Health Benefits & Side Effects

Evening Primrose
    The night candle or evening Primrose whose scientific/botanical name is Oenothera biennis and belongs to the family of night candle plants and is often also referred to as the Summer star, Night Star, sweet root, ham root, evening primrose or evening flower.

    The evening primrose was originally located in eastern and central North America and came to Europe around 1620 as an ornamental plant. It was then widely used as a so-called neophyte and was consumed as a food by the Native Americans, and later also with US. Usually, the thick pile roots were eaten, which were cooked like parsnips or black roots in meat broth.

    The preparation of the evening primrose roots, which have been cut into slices and with vinegar and oil is also known. Primerose flowers and leaves are also edible, they are occasionally used in the upscale kitchen for decoration purposes. The evening flower was a popular farm garden plant over the centuries.

    Nowadays, it usually only plays a role as an ornamental plant and its valuable oil is used in the cosmetics industry, naturopathy and for pet care. The evening primrose is a herbaceous, two-year-old plant that can grow up to 2m. In the first year, it forms a leaf rosette on the ground with a thick, fleshy pile root and in the second year, it grows a stalk from the rosette, in which 10 to 30 cm long leaves are growing.

    The plant blooms from June to September with bright yellow, earlier inflorescences. The one to two millimeters large seeds contain the valuable primrose with its high proportion of omega-6 fatty acids. As the seeds ripen unevenly, the crop occurs when about one third of the capsule fruits are dyed brown. In US, some farmers grow the evening primrose and market the coveted primrose directly.

Extraction and ingredients of the night Primrose Oil
    Primrose produces only very small seeds and the extraction of the oil is associated with numerous steps. The seeds are cleaned and dried so that the water content before pressing is as low as possible. The oil is gently cold-pressed or extracted with carbon dioxide to preserve the precious fatty acids, taste, colour and smell. In the case of inferior oil qualities, the oil is extracted under high temperatures and under the use of chemicals.

    The oil of the primrose Seed (Oenotherae Seminis oleum, Evening primrose oil) contains some very valuable ingredients:
60 – 80% linoleic acid
8 – 10% Gamma Linolenic
8% Oleic acid
Up to 10% saturated fatty acids (stearic acid, palmitic)
Vitamin E (alpha and gamma tocopherol)
Polyphenols (Catechin, Epicatechin, Gallic)

Linoleic acid is a doubly unsaturated fatty. Gamma-linolenic-often called GLA-is a threefold unsaturated. Both belong to the group of so-called omega-6 fatty acids. The GLA can be produced by any human and animal organism from the linoleic acid itself or is ingested via the food.

    GLA is a precursor of four unsaturated arachidonic which occurs as a lipid constituent primarily in the cell membranes. GLA is essential for the function of the human brain. It is able to influence inflammatory reactions in the body favorably, reduces blood pressure and has positive effects on the stimulation of the nerves.

Areas of application of the night Primrose Oil
Primrose in Psoriasis, neurodermatitis and Acne
    Primrose is an effective means of treating neurodermatitis, psoriasis and acne. Acne is primarily caused by hormonal fluctuations in puberty and is very uncomfortable for those affected. The victims suffer from itching and pain but also from the resulting aesthetic problem to the formation of scarring.

   The omega-6 fatty acids contained in the primrose regulate the lipid metabolism, soothe your skin and improve the skin health. Patients with eczema suffer from dry skin, eczema and severe itching. The primrose oil helps to relieve the itching, the redness of the skin as well as the flaking.

    The lipid metabolism is positively affected and the suffering pressure of the patients decreases. In psoriasis, the affected persons suffer primarily from itching and aesthetics. Also here, the application of the night primrose oil on itching is very effective and, the redness subsides and the skin is moisturized. For the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and acne, the external and internal application of the night primrose oil is recommended.

    Here, however, the regular application and also some patience is needed as the oil unfolds its full effect only after a few weeks.

 Primrose in the case of menstrual disorders and menopause
    Many women suffer from numerous menstrual ailments every month, such as hormonal fluctuations, severe abdominal pain, chest pain and tension, migraine attacks, fatigue, irritability and depression. Often the complaints are so serious that a normal life is hardly possible during these days. Here, the oil of the evening primrose can be used for treatment due to its anti-inflammatory effect, among other things on the prostaglandins, thus significantly alleviating menstrual discomfort.

    The primrose oil can also be used for women in menopause too. In menopause, women suffer from hormonal fluctuations, such as a declining estrogen level. The symptoms include hot flashes, headaches and migraines, weight gain, fatigue, exhaustion and irritability. Primrose can help to restore the hormonal balance, help in  improving the skin and influences the fat metabolism positively.

Primrose against dry skin and itching
    Many people suffer from one skin problem or the other, both during the winter and in the summer, especially those having dry skin. This can result from flaking, itching, feeling of tension and pain. Primrose can effectively alleviate these ailments by helping to maintain the skin's natural acid mantle, to provide your skin with the necessary moisture and to restore the moisture.

    The oil is therefore also suitable for the treatment of skin itching, whether on legs, arms or the scalp. Whether the cause of the itchy skin is an allergy or another disorder, it's not relevant here. The fatty acids contained in the oil have an anti-inflammatory and soothing effect, thus alleviating the unpleasant discomfort. These effects make the oil to be cherished by those who're allergic.

    Inflammatory processes are significantly alleviated and the immune system of the patients is stabilized.

Scientific studies on Primrose
    At the Gynecology Translational Research Center of Shaheed Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran, the Working Group on F. Farzaneh dealt with the question of whether the oral administration of primrose can alleviate hot flashes in menopausal women.

    In a placebo, randomized clinical trial, 56 women were investigated. The women received either a placebo or two capsules of primrose (500mg) daily for the duration of 6 weeks. It has been shown that the agonizing and unpleasant discomfort for women has clearly eased and the lives of women in terms of activities, social contacts and sexuality have improved noticeably.

    In an article about A. Triantafyllidi from the medical School of the University of Athens, Greece, the researchers have compared the effects of various medicinal plants to the two inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The researchers came to the conclusion that the gamma-linolenic-rich primrose could have positive effects on the disease of ulcerative colitis. Primrose is therefore suitable for the supportive treatment of ulcerative colitis.

Primrose for Dogs
    Primrose is a popular addition to conventional animal feed and is often administered in particular to dogs. The primrose serves as a supplier for the valuable, polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular the anti-inflammatory gamma-linolenic.

    Areas of application in the dog include: fatty acids deficiency, hair loss, skin diseases and skin irritation due to parasitic infestation. In the absence of unsaturated fatty acids, the dog may experience skin and fur problems, neurological problems and unpleasant eczema. If parasites are living on the skin of the animals, irritating itching or inflammation of the skin may occur.

    The animals are likely going to bite themselves and this easily make them to have wounds at the affected area, which can cause further lesions of the skin. The primrose is applied to the skin in these cases and can develop its nourishing and anti-inflammatory effect directly at the affected and applied area on the skin.

    If the dog suffers from skin problems, it may also cause hair loss, brittle fur or breaking hair. Here, the power of Primrose is also able to influence the metabolism of the skin. In case of itching, eczema, dandruff, pustules and dermatitis, Primrose is applied to the skin to bring rapid relief to the animal.

    In the case of internal application, the oil also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the dog's skin problems. It is therefore advisable to harness the potentials of primrose oil and use it both orally and externally, but also to mix it under the lining if necessary.

    Evening primrose products are available for dogs and cats. Observe the recommended dosage as recommended by the manufacturer and discuss dosage and duration of application with your veterinarian if necessary. The application usually takes place over a longer period of time so that the oil can exert its full effect. The application can also be proactive.

Side effects of primrose
    The Evening Primrose Oil is generally well tolerated and not really having side effects. Rarely can there be headaches and gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea. In case of known intolerance of Primrose Oil preparations, you can take it in other forms rather than ingesting it wholly. In case of doubt, please consult your family doctor.

    Similarly, if you're pregnant and nursing Epilepsy you should discuss with your doctor whether the intake of primrose can be done without hesitation for you and your unborn. Women suffering from estrogen-dependent breast cancer should desist from taking primrose.

Dosage Forms of Primrose
 Primrose in the case of menstrual disorders and menopause
    Many women suffer from numerous menstrual ailments every month just as I've said earlier. Most times, the complaints are so serious that it makes life to be unbearable and difficult to live during these days. Here, the oil of the evening primrose can be affected by its anti-inflammatory effect, among other things on the prostaglandins, thus significantly alleviating menstrual discomfort.

Primrose Capsules and Oil for Healing and as Cosmetics
    Primrose is available, among other things in the form of pure oil, as capsules, oil, as cream for body and face, shower, shampoo and for animals as nutritional supplements as well as for external application in skin and fur problems.

   Capsules offer a number of advantages for internal application: Capsules are neutral in taste, allow uncomplicated ingestion on the go and guarantee the same dosage. The capsules must be supplied with plenty of water according to the dosage instructions. Since the primrose show its full effect only after a few weeks, it should be taken over a period of at least six weeks.

    Products such as oil, shampoo or shower are available for skin and facial care. For example, oil is recommended for acne, impure and oily skin, as well as dry, rough or flaky skin. The oil has a regulating effect on the metabolism of the skin and the sebum production and is anti-inflammatory and soothing.

    The oil is massaged into the freshly cleaned and still slightly moist, warm skin, the pores are still open after washing and the oil can move well into the skin to develop its beneficial effect. The application as cream is recommended for irritated,  and dry facial skin as well as for supporting treatment of neurodermatitis.

    Primrose is much compatible with any skin type and relieves you from itching, cares for your skin and moisturizes it. To treat dry, sensitive and flaky scalps, the oil is available as a shampoo online or any reputable health store.. For your body care, evening primrose can be used as shower. Here, too, the oil can develop its anti-inflammatory effect and regulate skin metabolism. It is mild, moisturizes the skin, soothes it.

   This will maintain the skin's natural protective mantle and prevent the skin from drying out. The skin no longer stretches and you feel dryness on your skin again.

Buy primrose and store correctly
    When buying primrose, care should be taken in the first place on purity and origin. Primrose from controlled cultivation in organic quality is clearly the best choice here. The noble oil of the primrose should be kept carefully in a closed, cool, dark and dry place after the bottle has been opened.

   After opening, the oil should be used up within 12 weeks. The reason for the rapid deterioration is the high-quality, unsaturated fatty acids. When they are exposed to oxygen, this leads to a chemical modification of the fatty acids and the oil becomes rancid. This can then be clearly seen in the changed odor.

    Primrose is an extremely high-quality oil with the most varied positive effects for humans and animals. It is highly recommended among other things to support the treatment of numerous skin problems. The unsaturated fatty acids contained in the oil, especially the gamma-linolenic are worth mentioning and have an anti-inflammatory and soothing effect on the affected areas of the skin and thus contribute directly to an improvement in the quality of life.