Evening primrose oil is oil extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose, a flowering plant that belongs to the genus Oenothera. It is native to North America and it bears yellow flowers with four-petals that open in the evening.
Evening primrose oil carries a lot of health benefits. It contains phenylalanine, a pain relieving compound which is known to relive chronic headaches. It is also a subject of several studies for its potentials in combating heart diseases, multiple sclerosis, obesity, schizophrenia, menopause and PMS.
It is also rich in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a kind of fatty acid which is the reason behind all the healing benefits of the plant. These include skin health and the improvement of the nerve function.
Here are some of the known health benefits of evening primrose oil:
1. It helps to relieve menopausal and other menstrual discomforts.
Evening primrose oil helps to inhibit the production of prostaglandins during menstruation. This can help to alleviate menstrual cramps and reduce pre-menstrual breast tenderness, endometriosis, irritable bowels and carbohydrate cravings. It is also known to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
2. It helps to alleviate joint pains associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
When taken as supplements, evening primrose oil has the ability to relieve pain and swelling of the joints.
3. It helps to protect you from nerve damage due to diabetes.
According to research, the GLA content of the evening primrose oil can help to protect you from nerve damage which is associated with diabetes.
4. It helps to treat eczema.
There are instances when it becomes hard for the body to turn dietary fats into gamma linolenic acid. This can cause eczema to appear on the skin. One way to treat this condition is to take evening primrose oil to compensate the body’s GLA requirement.
5. It helps to treat acne and rosacea.
People with acne are known to have excess secretion of sebum, a thick oily substance that tends to clog the pores of the skin.
This condition can be prevented by the use of evening primrose oil which helps to dilute sebum and prevent the occurrence of rosacea or the enlargement facial blood vessels.
6. It helps to alleviate inflammation caused by multiple sclerosis.
The essential fatty acids contained in evening primrose oil are useful in reducing the inflammation that is associated with multiple sclerosis. It is a progressive nerve disorder which can cause damage to the sheaths of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
7. It helps to boost the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain.
Evening primrose oil is believed to improve the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain. This can help in preventing or treating progressive brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.