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Evening Primrose

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Evening Primrose

The medicinal herb Evening Primrose as an alternative herbal remedy for rheumatoid arthritis - Evening primrose is a plant native to North America, but it grows in Europe and parts of the Southern hemisphere as well. It has yellow flowers that bloom in the evening. Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. Essential fatty acids are required by the body for growth and development, and must be obtained from the diet.Common Names--evening primrose oil, EPO

Latin Name--Oenothera biennis Picture of Primrose

What Primrose Is Used For

  • Evening primrose oil has been used since the 1930s for eczema (a condition in which the skin becomes inflamed, itchy, or scaly because of allergies or other irritation).
  • More recently it has been used for other conditions involving inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Evening primrose oil is used for conditions affecting women's health, such as breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle, menopausal symptoms, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • It is used during pregnancy in attempts to shorten the duration of labor. Other conditions for which evening primrose oil is used include cancer and diabetes.
  • How Primrose Is Used Evening primrose oil is extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose. The oil is usually put into capsules for use.

What the Science Says about Primrose

  • Evening primrose oil may have modest benefits for eczema, and it may be useful for rheumatoid arthritis and breast pain. However, study results are mixed, and most studies have been small and not well designed.
  • Evening primrose oil does not appear to affect menopausal symptoms.
  • Although some clinical trials have shown a benefit of evening primrose oil for PMS, the best-designed trials found no effect. There is not enough evidence to support the use of evening primrose oil for other health conditions.

Side Effects and Cautions of Primrose

  • Evening primrose oil is well tolerated by most people. Mild side effects include gastrointestinal upset and headache.
  • Evening primrose oil appears to be safe for use during pregnancy, but data are limited.
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
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News About Primrose

Evening Primrose Oil for Hair Loss – All You Need To Know

(Bhagyalekshmi, Good Health Academy)

Hair loss has become common among people especially adults. This can affect the confidence and self esteem of a person. In some cases, hair loss can lead to anxiety and stress related disorders in people. The problem of hair loss can be dealt easily, if we take necessary steps. When it comes to treating your body, going natural is the best way.

In this article, we will be discussing about one such natural remedy for preventing hair loss: by taking Evening Primrose Oil or EPO.

Once you reach a particular age, hair loss is bound to happen and there is no way you can escape from that. It is assumed that at a normal rate a person loses about 50-100 hairs every day. Presence of bald patches and thin hair is an indication of hair loss. There are many ways through which we can limit hair loss. But in any remedial treatments, the first thing to understand is the real cause behind the problem. So let’s have a brief look on the major reasons why you are running out of hair!!

Causes of Hair Loss

Since there are different types of hair loss, finding the actual cause can be tricky at times. Hair loss due to breakage of hair shafts is different from hair loss due to reduced hair growth. There is a popular myth that hair loss occurs due to unhealthy diet, but it shouldn’t always be the reason. Sometimes this can happen due to the genetic makeup or because of aging process.

Usually people around the age of 30-40 will suffer from thinning of hair leading to breakage, this can be due to hormonal deficiencies, emotional stress or in some cases pregnancy and menopause can also lead to unpredictable hair loss. Apart from that thyroid disease and anemia is found to cause hair loss. It is completely normal for people with such diseases to loss hair as their treatment involves special methods which can cause thinning of hair. Yet another treatment that can contribute to hair loss is chemotherapy for treating cancer.

Another major reason for hair loss can be due to the over use of cosmetic products. The more artificial moisturisers or conditioners you use, the more damage it brings for the hair. They might give you the style and look, but in the long run they are not good for the health of hair.

Now that we understood what causes hair loss, let’s see how we can deal with them and probably stop hair breakouts. Of course there many methods both artificial and natural. But just as we mentioned before, for any treatments that concerns our body, it is always safe to follow natural methods.

Natural Remedies to Prevent Hair Loss

Nowadays more and more people are realizing the amazing effects that massaging can provide. As massaging helps in improved circulation of blood through scalp and eventually strengthens the hair roots. Apart from that massaging can make you feel relaxed and take you away from stress related issues, which is another cause for hair loss. So now that we know the benefits of massaging, the next step is to find the correct type of oil. There are different types of oil rich in herbal values which can be used alone for massaging. While there are other equally effective carrier oils which works well in combination with other oils. Some of the oils best suited for massaging are – Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Evening Primrose Oil etc. All these oils have their own specialities and that makes them favorite among many people. Here we will discuss in detail on the impacts of evening primrose oil on hair.

Evening Primrose Oil – Benefits and How to Use It

Extracted from the evening primrose plants found mainly in parts of North America and Europe, it got this name since the flowers of this plant usually opens up on evening. The plant is found to be rich in medicinal values, hence it was used for treating bruises, stomachaches and other injuries since years ago.

Evening Primrose oil has high quantity of fatty acid called GLA and it is their presence that contributes to the oil’s amazing healing feature. No other plant has such wonderful healing nature as evening primrose has. The presence of rich fatty acids in evening primrose helps to prevent the nails from cracking up. In addition to that they are also capable of nourishing the scalp thereby taking care of a variety of hair problems.

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

They are mainly used for the treatment of various sorts of skin conditions. Applying them can reduce the itchiness on skin caused by dermatitis and eczema. Apart from this, the rich content of GLA makes them a valuable a remedial treatment in healing. When consumed internally, our body will transform GLA into prostaglandins. They are in fact capable of regulating numerous body functions and inflammations.

It is assumed that an adequate supply of evening primrose oil can reduce the joint pain and swelling. The presence of GLA in evening primrose oil play an important role in preventing nerve damages in people especially suffering from diabetes. They can also be used for the treatment of acne, as they may reduce the problems that can occur due to pores getting clogged. They are also found to increase the blood flow thereby leaving face a fresh look.

Multiple sclerosis, a common nerve disorder that affects many people can be minimized by the use of evening primrose oil. The essential fatty acids present in the oil can reduce the inflammation associated with this nerve disorder. In this way, they are also found to be effective in the treatment of many memory related disorders including Alzheimer’s .

The abundance of good fatty acids in evening primrose oil is also found to be powerful in preventing cracking of nails and thereby keeping them healthy. They are capable of nourishing the scalp, hence can be used in the treatment of a variety of hair problems. In this article we will be dealing in detail on how evening primrose oil prevents hair loss.

How It Prevents Hair Loss?

Many people who have used evening primrose oil has enjoyed the benefits of this nutrient rich oil by not only preventing hair loss but also gaining considerable amount of hair growth. The nutrients present in the oil is found to be great stimulants for hair growth. It is the presence of GLA(Gamma Linolenic Acid) that is found to be the reason behind it’s property of preventing hair loss. GLA is considered as one of the essential fatty acid which is necessary for the maintaining health development and growth. Even though over use of GLA can be harmful and lead to inflammations. The interesting fact about GLA is that they can be accessed only by means of diet or supplements.

It is assumed that for positive results, they need to be applied on the hair in a routine basis. A minimum of 2 months of use is highly recommended. Though considered as a safe bet, evening primrose oil does show some side effects like headache or stomachache in some people. But these situations have usually happened when the oil is consumed in high dose. For people suffering from hair loss, multiple vitamins is what they need most and evening primrose oil can provide them this. For instance, if a women is losing more hair compared to their counterparts – men, it can be due to the exaggerated conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone at the hair follicle. Evening primrose oil is more than capable enough to act as an inhibitor for this conversion. So it’s like anybody with hair loss problems, evening primrose oil can be a good remedial measure.

Now that we understood the properties behind evening primrose oil that makes them effective in preventing hair loss, let’s learn how to make the best use of their amazing benefits.

How To Use Evening Primrose Oil?

Evening Primrose oil is capable of penetrating deep into the layers of hair and work their way up from the hair roots. But care must be taken before applying them. Follow these simple steps to make sure you have a great experience trying evening primrose oil.

• The best and simplest method is to apply the oil directly into the scalp.
• Make sure you do this in a routine basis for at least a week.
• Once you apply the oil, wait for a specific period of time so that the oil will penetrate deep.
• Yet another effective method is usage of evening primrose oil in the form of capsules or pills.
• Now even if you miss 1 dose of evening primrose oil for a couple of days, there is nothing to worry as you can continue the intake of oil at optimum quantity.

They are also found to be effective in dealing with dandruff’s and other related bacterial and fungal infections.

The ideal dosage is around 500 mg twice a day. Hormonal imbalances can be prevented to a large extend by the consumption of primrose oil. The most important thing is to be patient and stay calm, as results might not show up quickly. It will definitely take some time.

Side Effects of Evening Primrose Oil

When compared to massive benefits of evening primrose oil, the side effects are minimal. Till now only minor side effects has been reported by people. Most of them being headache, stomachache, nausea etc. Even then optimum usage of oil will not lead to any sort of side effects. It is the consumption of overdose, that causes many problems like uterine contractions and hence not advised for pregnant women. Apart from that people suffering from blood related disorders are also not recommended to use evening primrose oil.

Primrose Oil may increase the danger of excessive bleeding among people who take anticoagulants (aimed at reducing the ability of the blood to clot). They may also lead to the danger of seizures as well as nausea and vomiting in many people.

Yet another major side effect of evening primrose oil is that at extreme cases they can lead to rapid growth of nails. The presence of fatty acids is what prevents the nails from breaking out thereby aiding the growth of nails at quick rate.

Unlike all other herbal oils, evening primrose oil is not approved by FDA since it is considered as a herb dietary supplement and not like drugs. Hence before releasing them in the market , they are not made to undergo stringent tests. So care must be taken prior to using them for personal needs.

Impacts of Evening Primrose Oil on Hair

Apart from stopping hair loss, they are also capable of improving the overall texture and quality of hair. Some of them are :

1) Hair Texture

The presence of GLA and fatty acids prevents the hair from becoming excessively dry, particularly near hair shaft. Through this way hair texture is improved to a large extent.

2) Hair Brittleness

Adding evening primrose oil to your dietary supplement may improve the softness of hair by reducing the brittleness. So for people with dry hair, it is highly recommended to use evening primrose oil since they can improve the quality and texture of hair.

3) Nourishment

Hair growth depends upon the nutrient contents supplied to it. If proper nourishing is not done, hair may not be able to grow strong and beautiful. The presence of omega 6 fatty acids is what helps the hair to grow faster. They are also capable of maintaining the moisture level in hair.

4) Hair Strengthening

They are found to be so effective in preventing hair breakage, because applying oil directly into the scalp helps to improve the strength of hair. They are also capable of dealing with issues like hair thinning that happens mainly to pregnant women during menopause or people struggling with disease conditions like hypothyroidism.

3 Popular Evening Primrose Oils, According to Reviews and Rating :

• NOW Foods Evening Primrose Oil 500 mg, 250 Softgels
• Source Naturals Evening Primrose Oil 500 mg, 90 Softgels
• Real Herbs Evening Primrose Oil 500 mg Supplement, 60 Softgels
Conclusion

In summary, Evening primrose oil is one of the easiest and effective ways to deal hair loss. If you take medication for blood related disorders, it is advised to consult a physician before using it. As overdose of evening primrose oil can lead to various sorts of side effects.

So what are you waiting for? Try out evening primrose oil and enjoy the amazing benefits.



10 Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil and How to Use It

By Annette McDermott (Medically Reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT)
What is it?

Evening primrose oil (EPO) is made from the seeds of the flowers of a plant native to North America. The plant has traditionally been used to treat bruises, hemorrhoids, digestive problems, and sore throats.

Its healing benefits may be due to its gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid found in plant oils.

EPO is generally taken as a supplement or applied topically. Read on to learn how EPO may help treat many common health conditions today.

1. It can help clear up acne

The GLA in EPO is thought to help acne by reducing skin inflammation and reducing the number of skin cells that cause lesions. It may also help the skin retain moisture.

According to a 2014 study, EPO may help relieve cheilitis, a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the lips caused by the acne drug isotretinoin (Accutane).

A separate study found that GLA supplementation reduced both inflammatory and noninflammatory acne lesions.

How to use: Participants in the cheilitis study received six 450-milligram (mg) capsules of EPO 3 times daily for a total of 8 weeks.

2. It may help ease eczema

Some countries other than the United States have approved EPO to treat eczema, an inflammatory skin condition.

According to an older study, the GLA in EPO may improve the skin’s epidermis. However, a 2013 systematic review concluded that oral EPO doesn’t improve eczema and isn’t an effective treatment. The review didn’t look at the effectiveness of topical EPO for eczema.

How to use: In studies, 1 to 4 EPO capsules were taken twice daily for 12 weeks. To use topically, you can apply 1 milliliter (ml) of 20 percent EPO to the skin twice daily for up to 4 months.

3. It can help improve overall skin health

According to a 2005 study, oral supplementation of EPO helps smooth skin and improve its elasticity, moisture, firmness, and fatigue resistance. Per the study, GLA is necessary for ideal skin structure and function. Because the skin can’t produce GLA on its own, researchers believe taking GLA-rich EPO helps keep skin healthy overall.

How to use: Take 500 mg EPO capsules 3 times daily for up to 12 weeks.

4. It may help relieve PMS symptoms

An older study suggests that EPO is highly effective in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms such as depression, irritability, and bloating. Researchers believe some women experience PMS because they’re sensitive to normal prolactin levels in the body. GLA converts to a substance in the body (prostaglandin E1) thought to help prevent prolactin from triggering PMS.

According to a 2010 study, a supplement containing vitamin B-6, vitamin E, and EPO was effective in relieving PMS. Even so, it’s unclear how much EPO played a role since a 2009 systematic review didn’t find EPO helpful for PMS.

How to use: For PMS, take 6 to 12 capsules (500 mg to 6,000 mg) 1 to 4 times daily for up to 10 months. Start with the smallest dose possible and increase as needed to relieve symptoms.

5. It can help minimize breast pain

If you experience breast pain so severe during your period that it interferes with your life, taking EPO may help.

According to a 2010 study, the GLA in EPO is thought to reduce inflammation and help inhibit prostaglandins that cause cyclical breast pain. The study found that taking daily doses of EPO or EPO and vitamin E for six months decreased the severity of cyclical breast pain.

How to use: Take 1 to 3 grams (g) or 2.4 ml of EPO daily for 6 months. You can also take 1,200 mg of vitamin E for 6 months.

Hot flashes 6. It may help reduce hot flashes

EPO may reduce the severity of hot flashes, one of the most uncomfortable side effects of menopause.

According to a 2010 literature review, there’s not enough evidence that over-the-counter remedies such as EPO help hot flashes. A later study, however, came to a different conclusion. The study found that women who took 500 mg daily of EPO for 6 weeks experienced less frequent, less severe, and shorter hot flashes.

Women also had improved marks for social activity, relations with others, and sexuality on a questionnaire on how hot flashes impact daily life.

How to use: Take 500 mg of EPO twice daily for 6 weeks.

7. It may help reduce high blood pressure

There’s some evidence EPO lowers blood pressure, but more research is needed.

According to a 2013 study, EPO lowered systolic blood pressure by 4 percent. Researchers called the reduction “a clinically meaningful difference.”

A 2011 systemic review concluded that there’s not enough evidence to determine if EPO helps reduces the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy or preeclampsia, a condition that causes dangerously high blood pressure during and after pregnancy.

How to use: Take a standard dose of 500 mg of EPO twice daily under your doctor’s supervision. Don’t take with other supplements or medications that may lower your blood pressure.

8. It may help improve heart health

Heart disease kills more than 600,000 people in the United States each year. Hundreds of thousands more are living with the condition. Some people are turning to natural remedies, such as EPO, to help.

According to a 2014 study on rats, EPO is anti-inflammatory and helps reduce blood cholesterol. Most people with heart disease have inflammation in the body, although it hasn’t been proven that inflammation causes heart disease.

How to use: Under a doctor’s supervision, take 10 to 30 ml EPO for 4 months for overall heart health. Use with caution if you take other medications that affect the heart.

9. It can help reduce nerve pain

Peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of diabetes and other conditions. Older research has shown that taking linolenic acid helps reduce neuropathy symptoms, such as hot and cold sensitivity, numbness, tingling, and weakness.

How to use: Take EPO capsules containing 360 to 480 mg GLA daily for up to 1 year.

10. It may help ease bone pain

Bone pain is often caused by rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder. According to a 2011 systematic review, the GLA in EPO has the potential to reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain without causing unwanted side effects.

How to use: Take 560 to 6,000 mg of EPO daily for 3 to 12 months.

Side effects and risks

EPO is generally considered safe for most people to use short-term. The safety of long-term use hasn’t been determined. Supplements are not monitored for quality by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. When choosing EPO, research the supplement as well as the company selling the product.

Side effects are usually mild and may include:

• upset stomach
• stomach pain
• headache
• soft stools

Taking the least amount possible may help prevent side effects.

In rare cases, EPO may cause an allergic reaction. Some symptoms of allergic reaction are:

• inflammation of the hands and feet
• rash
• difficulty breathing
• wheezing

If you take blood thinners, EPO may increase bleeding. EPO may lower blood pressure, so don’t take it if you take medications that lower blood pressure or blood thinners.

Topical EPO is often used to help prepare the cervix for delivery. But according to Mayo Clinic, a study reported taking EPO orally slowed dilation and caused longer labor. There’s not enough research on EPO to determine its safety for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

The bottom line

There’s evidence that EPO may benefit some conditions on its own or as a complementary therapy, but more research is needed. Until the verdict is clear, EPO shouldn’t be used in place of a treatment plan recommended by your doctor.

There’s no standardized dosing for EPO. Most dosage recommendations are based on what has been used in research. Talk to your doctor or a trained natural health practitioner to weigh the risks and benefits of takin EPO and get advice about the proper dosage for you.

To reduce your risk of side effects, always use the lowest dose possible. If you begin having unusual or persistent side effects, discontinue use and see your doctor.


Evening Primrose Oil Benefits

By Annette McDermott (Natural Healing Specialist)

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera Biennis) is a supplement extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. Commonly called Fever Plant or Sun Drop, it is touted by many as a treatment for everything from PMS to migraines to inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. It is available over the counter in most pharmacies or health food stores as a dietary supplement in pill form - usually gel caps. As a skin beautifier and softener, you may use the creams, lotions and soaps to harness its benefits.

Studied Benefits of Taking Evening Primrose Oil

While evening primrose oil (EPO) lacks scientific evidence to treat most diseases, it is gaining notoriety. There are also a few documented uses of EPO.

Treats Skin Conditions

Since the 1930's, EPO has been a common treatment for eczema. Today, it is also a treatment for acne and psoriasis. Early studies showed EPO to be effective at treating eczema; however, it should be noted that a recent reevaluation of those studies indicate that using EPO in combination with steroids (a common treatment for severe eczema), may reduce its effectiveness. EPO is also a popular ingredient in beauty products that nourish nails, scalp, and hair. A National Institute of Health abstract cites a study showing a combination of EPO and antioxidants to be effective at limiting wrinkle formation.

Provides Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Rich in vitamins and minerals, the seeds of the primrose also provide omega-6 fatty acids, such as gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid, which your body needs to complete functions such as insulin absorption, cell structure, regulate hormones, improve nerve function, promote skin elasticity, regulate the heart and regulate the mood. The body does not manufacture its own omega-6 fatty acids so it must derive it from a food source.

Treats Arthritis

The high GLA content in EPO is what leads to recommendations for EPO as a supplement for those with inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation lists EPO as an arthritis supplement on its website, and according to Arthritis Today, GLA is an effective treatment for reducing the inflammation from arthritis. As a bonus, it has few side effects.

Eases Breast Pain

According to Harvard Health Publications, there is no evidence showing EPO relieves hot flashes. However, Harvard points out that there is there is some evidence that the supplement helps relieve menopause-related breast pain. Other Potential Health Benefits

In addition to the above mentioned conditions, the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database indicates that EPO is used for a host of diseases, although it should be noted that there are not a sufficient number of controlled studies to prove many such claims. These include:

• Acne
• Alzheimer's Disease
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• Breast pain
• Cholesterol regulation
• Diabetic nerve damage
• Heart disease
• Menopausal Symptoms
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Obesity
• Osteoporosis
• Psoriasis
• Rosacea
• Sjogren's Syndrome
• Whooping cough

Evening Primrose Oil Benefits

By Annette McDermott (Natural Healing Specialist)

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera Biennis) is a supplement extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. Commonly called Fever Plant or Sun Drop, it is touted by many as a treatment for everything from PMS to migraines to inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. It is available over the counter in most pharmacies or health food stores as a dietary supplement in pill form - usually gel caps. As a skin beautifier and softener, you may use the creams, lotions and soaps to harness its benefits.

Studied Benefits of Taking Evening Primrose Oil

While evening primrose oil (EPO) lacks scientific evidence to treat most diseases, it is gaining notoriety. There are also a few documented uses of EPO.

Treats Skin Conditions

Since the 1930's, EPO has been a common treatment for eczema. Today, it is also a treatment for acne and psoriasis. Early studies showed EPO to be effective at treating eczema; however, it should be noted that a recent reevaluation of those studies indicate that using EPO in combination with steroids (a common treatment for severe eczema), may reduce its effectiveness. EPO is also a popular ingredient in beauty products that nourish nails, scalp, and hair. A National Institute of Health abstract cites a study showing a combination of EPO and antioxidants to be effective at limiting wrinkle formation. Provides Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Rich in vitamins and minerals, the seeds of the primrose also provide omega-6 fatty acids, such as gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid, which your body needs to complete functions such as insulin absorption, cell structure, regulate hormones, improve nerve function, promote skin elasticity, regulate the heart and regulate the mood. The body does not manufacture its own omega-6 fatty acids so it must derive it from a food source.

Treats Arthritis

The high GLA content in EPO is what leads to recommendations for EPO as a supplement for those with inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation lists EPO as an arthritis supplement on its website, and according to Arthritis Today, GLA is an effective treatment for reducing the inflammation from arthritis. As a bonus, it has few side effects. Eases Breast Pain

According to Harvard Health Publications, there is no evidence showing EPO relieves hot flashes. However, Harvard points out that there is there is some evidence that the supplement helps relieve menopause-related breast pain.

Other Potential Health Benefits

In addition to the above mentioned conditions, the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database indicates that EPO is used for a host of diseases, although it should be noted that there are not a sufficient number of controlled studies to prove many such claims. These include:

• Acne
• Alzheimer's Disease
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• Breast pain
• Cholesterol regulation
• Diabetic nerve damage
• Heart disease
• Menopausal Symptoms
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Obesity
• Osteoporosis
• Psoriasis
• Rosacea
• Sjogren's Syndrome
• Whooping cough
How to Take Evening Primrose Oil

Usually taken internally in pill form, EPO may also be used externally in the form of creams and lotions. According to the Mayo Clinic, a common adult dosage is four to eight grams taken daily in doses throughout the day. Larger doses are indicated in some cases. The gel caps generally contain at least 9 percent GLA. EPO should be consumed in conjunction with Vitamin E, or some other antioxidant, to prevent oxidation of the fatty acids.

Precautions

Although EPO remains a popular holistic remedy for many ailments due to its high levels of fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties, further research is needed to prove its efficacy. Please consult your health care professional before taking EPO, especially if you are taking any additional medications, have seizure disorders, are taking medications for mental illness, or if you are pregnant or nursing. There have been reported incidents of seizure associated with EPO for persons who had prior seizure disorders or who were taking anesthesia. As a precaution, read about possible side effects before taking this supplement.



Benefits Of Evening Primrose Oil On Hair And Skin

(CureJoy Editorial)

Evening primrose oil is a popular component of many a remedies and cosmetic products. Its moisturizing, astringent, anti-inflammatory properties combined with essential fatty acid content, make it a good skin and hair care component to battle wrinkles, aging, sun damage, and even atopic dermatitis. However, solid evidence might be lacking for some claims.

There’s a good chance that you’ve at some point been recommended evening primrose oil as a remedy, probably for a hair or skin problem, by someone or on a blog you’ve read. You may even have noticed it on labels of popular herbal products. So what is it that has made evening primrose oil (EPO) so popular in cosmetics, soaps, and natural remedies?

EPO contains omega-6 fatty acids. Linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) are both essential fatty acids, meaning you need to consume them through diet or through supplements as your body can’t produce them.

While some omega-6 fatty acids are known to cause inflammation, there are others found in EPO that are actually good for you! And it is these essential fatty acids that are responsible for many of the health benefits you’ve heard about.

Benefits Of Evening Primrose Oil

1. Hair Loss And Graying

Healthy hair requires, among other things, a good supply of nutrients including essential fatty acids that nourish the scalp. Emerging research is of the opinion that, like with skin, oxidative stress may be a key factor in aging. In other words, both hair loss and graying of hair could be linked to oxidative stress.

Simply massage the oil on to your scalp as a topical remedy or check with your doctor about taking a supplement internally.

Since EPO is rich in antioxidants like oleanolic acid, betulinic acid, and morolic acid, it could help counter oxidative stress and slow the process of graying and even hair loss.

2. Tired Skin

According to research, taking EPO supplements could improve the elasticity, moisture, firmness, and fatigue resistance of your skin.

One study evaluated the effects of EPO gel capsule intake by adults, thrice a day, for a 12-week period and found significant improvements on the skin parameters mentioned.4 While research has shown that the GLA in EPO can significantly improve vascular function in diabetic test animals, this may also help improve overall circulation.

You should be able to rejuvenate tired skin with the oil, which helps with better blood circulation and oxygen supply to your skin. Use a cotton ball to dab some on to your skin, which also moisturizes your skin. Just be sure to mix it with a light organic carrier oil, like coconut oil.

3. Dark Circles And Tired Eyes

EPO is supposed to help remove the trademark tiredness and puffiness around the eyes.

A few remedies suggest using EPO to reduce dark circles. Simply dab it on as a topical remedy, diluted with a milder carrier oil like virgin coconut oil and vitamin E oil.

For tired or strained eyes, besides nutrients like vitamin A, some suggest taking an EPO supplement to cut inflammation and swelling.6 Due to its toning properties that tighten up your skin, plus its anti-inflammatory action, the oil may help with dark circles.

4. UV Ray And Sun-Damaged Skin

EPO is among an array of natural herbal remedies that can nurture the skin that’s in need of repair, as is the case with sun-damaged skin. It can soothe your skin, moisturize it, and prevent it from drying out and worsening UV ray linked damage.

Evening primrose has been tested in remedies including one that combines it with antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and pycnogenol, a pine bark extract. This combination of antioxidants, along with EPO, countered skin damage due to UV radiation exposure; this result was attributed to the stimulation of collagen synthesis and inhibition of wrinkle formation. However, this is an animal study and further scientific studies are needed before this can be widely recommended for humans.

5. Eczema

Eczema or atopic dermatitis leaves you with inflamed itchy skin. The GLA in EPO has been considered a good remedy for this as the oil helps reduce inflammation.

GLA may not only reduce eczema but could also help reduce the dependence on antibiotics and steroids, which are stronger drugs with side effects.

In one trial, 96 percent of the test subjects on EPO showed signs of improvement of eczema symptoms by the fifth month of treatment, while just 32 percent from the placebo group had improved. However, researchers caution that the study was small and there is conflicting research that challenges these claims.

Overall, however, there are several studies pointing to the use of EPO to ease symptoms such as redness, crusting, itching, and even edema.

6. Acne And Other Skin Problems

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, androgens (male hormones) can cause acne flare-ups in men and women.

While many women with acne may have normal hormone levels, some experience other symptoms of excess androgen, which could be responsible for acne. These signs include infrequent menstrual periods and excess body and facial hair.11

First-hand accounts of using EPO as a topical treatment for acne when mixed with carrier oils like coconut oil, or with other oils that have skincare benefits like peppermint, which is antiseptic, are numerous. EPO is believed to help treat hormonal imbalance when taken internally and act as an anti-inflammatory agent that cuts the irritation and redness when applied topically.

However, such claims and the theories about its effectiveness in treating psoriasis, acne, or diaper rash are not backed up with any kind of solid scientific evidence and remains conjecture for now. Safety And Side Effects

EPO must always be taken after consulting a doctor, especially if using on a child or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. People with certain health conditions should avoid using this:

• If you’ve epilepsy (or any other condition that puts you at risk of seizures), as there have been instances of EPO triggering seizures
• If you’ve any blood disorders or bleeding problems
• If taking blood-thinning and blood-pressure medication, phenothiazines, antidepressants, or medication to control seizures, as EPO may adversely interact with these drugs

For everyone else, usage as prescribed is fine. Note that side effects might include nausea, headaches, or stomach pain.


Thirteen things you never knew about the MENOPAUSE

By Olivia Lerche

THE menopause affects every woman - but how much do you really know about it?

All women go through the menopause - when periods stop - most often between the ages of 45 and 55, with many reporting experiencing hot flushes, a lower than normal libido, night sweats, insomnia, difficulty with memory or joint aches.

As the trend towards a longer and healthier lifespan continues, women are increasingly spending as much as 50 per cent of their year in the post-menopausal phase.

Here are 13 things you didn’t know about the menopause which could help reduce symptoms.

1. Don’t worry about a little extra weight, but avoid putting on too much.

Even after the menopause, women still produce a weak form of oestrogen known as oestrone.

This is made in the adrenal glands and in fat cells, so those who are slightly overweight tend to experience fewer menopausal symptoms and less severe hot flushes than those who are underweight. That’s not an excuse to accept middle-aged spread, of course, but if you are battling a few stubborn extra pounds, it may be just as well to accept them.

2. If you smoke, you can expect to experience the menopause almost two years earlier than non-smokers.

Data from over 93,600 women shows that those who’ve never smoked and who are not exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke have a natural menopause around the age of 49 to 50 years. Those who smoke, however, experience the menopause on average 21.7?months earlier.

Chemicals in cigarette smoke damage oestrogen - producing cells to lower oestrogen levels. Smokers also have worse menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.

3. Kick the habit

Women smokers are 19 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer after menopause than women who don’t smoke after menopause.

This is true even if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer.

4. Tomato juice can improve the health of perimenopausal women.

A study in which 93 women with at least one menopausal symptom drank 200ml of unsalted juice twice a day for eight weeks proved it can boost health.

Improvements were seen in anxiety, heart rate, and blood fat levels (triglycerides) and their metabolic rate increased so they burned more calories overall (an average of 2149 kcals per day after eight weeks, compared with 1980 kcals per day initially).

Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, and antioxidant which also have beneficial effects on ageing skin and may reduce wrinkles – especially when combined with isoflavones.

5. Certain fruit and vegetables provide an additional oestrogen boost

Experts are advising women to eat more beans, especially beansprouts, chickpeas, lentils, alfalfa and mung beans, soy beans and soy products.

People are also advised to eat more dark green leafy vegetables, exotic members of the cruciferous family, celery, fennel and sweet potatoes.

Nuts, seeds, wholegrain, fresh fruit, dried fruit and herbs are also known to be beneficial.

6. Naturally occuring substance soy isoflavones can reduce hot flushes

Isoflavones are plant hormones with an oestrogen-like action. In Asia, where soy is a dietary staple, intakes of isoflavones are around fifty times higher than in the west. This provides a natural oestrogen boost so that menopausal symptoms are uncommon in countries such as Japan.

Analysis from 17 tirlas shows isoflavone supplements can reduce the frequency of hot flushes by 20 per cent and their severity by 26 per cent within 6 to 12 weeks, with those supplying the highest amounts of genistein being the most effective.

7. Take probiotics too.

Different women metabolise isoflavones in different ways, depending on the balance of bacteria within their intestines.

Those who possess good amounts of probiotic bacteria are able to metabolise one of the isoflavones found in soy to a more powerful oestrogen called equol.

Equol producers therefore obtain more benefits from soy isoflavones than non-equol producers so eat live bio yogurt and/or take a probiotic supplement which provides a blend of 20 billion bacteria to increase your equol production.

8. Look after your skin

Oestrogen boosts collagen production to improve skin thickness, hydration, elasticity and lustre. Oestrogen also helps to protect against some of the ageing effects of ultraviolet light.

Taking isoflavone supplements and applying creams containing isoflavones to the skin can improve the quality of skin in later life, helping to reduce wrinkles.

9. Evening primrose oil can boost sex hormones

Primrose oil is a good source of GLA - an essential fatty acid that provides building block for making sex hormones and improves skin quality, smoothness and lustre.

If your skin is lacking in essential fatty acids, it becomes scaly, rough, itchy and prematurely wrinkled.

Taking evening primrose oil helps to keep skin feeling soft, non-itchy, and can reduce the appearance of skin wrinkles. In one trial involving women in their forties, those taking 3g evening primrose oil experienced a twenty per cent improvement in skin moisture, smoothness, elasticity and firmness within three months.

EPO was also found to significantly reduce the frequency, severity and duration of menopausal hot flushes compared with inactive placebo.

10. Thinning hair? Experts advise using a shampoo containing caffeine

Caffeinated shampoos relax scalp blood vessels to improve the flow of oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles.

Caffeine applied to the skin also inhibits an enzyme, 5-α-reductase, which is associated with both male and female pattern hair loss. When applied as a shampoo, just two minutes contact with the scalp allows the caffeine to penetrate deeply, where it remains for up to 48 hours, even after hair washing. Unfortunately, drinking caffeine in coffee or tea does not have the same effect – the caffeine must penetrate directly into hair follicles to stimulate hair growth.

11. A species of flowering plant called Black cohosh could reduce symptoms

Black cohosh is believed to reduce menopausal symptoms through a direct action on the brain. It has been shown to lower levels of a luteinising hormone which helps to normalise oestrogen-progesterone balance.

It also has an effect on dilation of blood vessels, and can help to relieve hot flushes, night sweats, low libido, anxiety and mood swings. Black cohosh is often used together with soy isoflavones. It can also improve sleep quality by reducing waking during the night.

12. Sage leaf is not just useful for flavouring stuffing in the kitchen

Researchers have found that sage leaf extracts can relieve menopausal hot flushes and night sweats. A study involving 69 women who’d experienced menopausal symptoms for at least a year, and who had at least five flushes a day, showed that sage leaf extracts reduced the frequency of mild hot flushes by 46 per cent, moderate flushes by 62 per cent, severe flushes by 79 per cent and stopped very severe flushes altogether.

The intensity of flushes overall was halved within four weeks, and reduced by 64 per cent within eight weeks.

13. Acupuncture can improve hot flushes

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique in which fine needles are used to stimulate particular points on the body.

This is believed to improve the flow of energy around the body. Data from 12 studies, involving over 800 women showed that acupuncture can reduce the frequency of hot flushes by 35 per cent, and their severity by 44 per cent and significantly improved quality of life.


4 Herbs to Help Menopause

(The Intelligent Optimist)

Spirituality is all well and good, but as soon as physical symptoms come into play, “enlightenment” often seems just a tad less important. Here are four natural herbs that can help make day-to-day life during ­menopause a little more pleasant. It’s a good idea to consult your doctor on any questions you have about menopause and herbal preparations. - Harald Gaier, British osteopath, homeopath and medical herbalist.

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)

This plant is effective in treating menopausal symptoms. It can also lessen post-operative functional disorders after removal of the uterus or ovaries.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic lowers not only blood pressure but blood glucose and cholesterol levels, as well as those of other blood lipids. The herb also prevents clot formation, has mild antibiotic and antifungal properties, strengthens the immune system and protects the liver.

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

During and after menopause, women often experience dry skin, eczema, hair loss, painful breasts and slower healing caused by lower estrogen levels. Evening primrose oil can ease these symptoms, making a new stage of life more manageable.

Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)

Hawthorn’s anti-arrhythmic properties help control cardiac arrhythmia. The plant is able to dilate coronary arteries (which provide blood to the heart), lowering the risk of heart attack and increasing blood flow to the heart. Hawthorn can also lower systolic blood pressure—the first, higher, of the two numbers in a blood pressure reading—which is of particular value for those over 50, who run the highest risk of elevated systolic pressure. This herb also corrects blood pressure that is too low.


Can Primrose Tolerate Frost?

By Sarah Moore

Polyanthus primroses (Primula polyanthus), with their cheerful flowers and wide range of colors, are an excellent spring plant. Adding to their suitability as a garden specimen is their tolerance of transplanting, even when they are in bloom. As a general rule, primroses like to avoid temperature extremes, but can be grown as perennials given the right conditions.

Identification

Primroses are a widely variant genus that includes more than 450 species, ranging from the Americas to Europe, Africa and Asia, where they probably originated. Colors range from blue, purple to pink and red through to yellow, orange and white. The primroses sold as garden annuals are commonly a woodland plant, as woods favor the cool, moist conditions in which they grow so well. Polyanthus primroses are generally grown annually in warmer climates and are often referred to as English primroses.

Winter Tolerance

Although polyanthus primroses will sometimes die back in colder climates, in warmer ones their green leaves will generally overwinter well. Temperatures that approach freezing are too much for primroses, but the few frosts that mild climates experience usually do not affect the plant. Primrose is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9. In warmer climates where they do not die to the ground, they may need their leaves trimmed back in fall.

Summer Tolerance

If anything, you need to watch your primroses to protect them from the heat of summer. Polyanthus prefer cool conditions, and although they do not immediately die in hot weather, they do much better in shaded or dappled sunlight. They do not thrive in heat that is too intense, above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or so. For this reason, the popular Polyanthus group are often grown as annuals in warmer climates and replanted every year.

Growing Conditions

Polyanthus primrose like coolness and moisture. Luckily they do not mind transplanting, even in the midst of their blooming period, so a summer transition to shadier conditions works well. Maintain constant moisture, even in hot months, as they do not tolerate drought. Their aversion to warm conditions also makes them difficult to grow inside unless you have a cool window in which they can grow.


How Much Sun for Primroses?

By Laura Reynolds

Primroses (Primula spp. and Oenothera spp.) fill the fronts of perennial borders and rock gardens with jewel-colored flowers and mounds of textured foliage throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 9. Of the dozens of species of primroses, only a few constitute the most commonly available garden flowers. These cultivars differ in their tolerance for sun depending on climate and species.

Native Primrose Environments

English primroses (Primula x polyantha) and common primroses (Primula vulgaris) are native from southern Europe to western Asia. They are woodland plants, accustomed to dappled to bright shade and cool, moist, organically rich soil. Evening primroses (Oenothera berlandieri and Oenothera kunthiana), on the other hand, originate in Central America and the southwestern U.S. Their heat and drought tolerance results from their desert environments and makes them good candidates for xeriscaping. Another species, Japanese primrose (Primula japonica), is a wetland plant that thrives in consistently wet soil. In some climates, it would be a good candidate for a rain garden in part shade, but where heat and drought are common, it requires protection from direct sun, mulching and irrigation.

Spring Primroses

English and common primroses (Primula spp.) bloom in early spring. English primroses are typically hybrids. They bloom in a rainbow of red, violet, blue and yellow, some with white or yellow eyes, over a compact mound of textured deep green leaves. Common primroses feature the same compact growth, but bloom in shades of white or yellow. In a Mediterranean climate, Primula cultivars require more shade. Even cultivars that are sun-tolerant in their native ranges need at least part shade to survive the warm, dry summers in a Mediterranean climate. Primula species and cultivars die down in areas with winter freezes, but are evergreen in most of USDA zones 8 and 9.

Evening Primroses

Evening primroses bloom from mid-spring through summer and extend primrose hardiness into USDA zone 10. Pinkish to purple blooms form up to 18 inches above a 6-inch mound of narrow leaves on Mexican evening primroses (Oenothera berlandieri). Evening primrose (Oenothera kunthiana) produces white to pinkish blooms throughout summer into August. Although most evening primroses easily tolerate the full sun of a Mediterranean climate, autumn rains may cause root rot or fungal problems, so deep, well-drained soil is a must for these desert dwellers. They are deciduous, so they work best in informal or wildflower gardens.

Shade-Loving Primroses

English and common primroses need protection in a Mediterranean climate -- plant them in dappled and part shade, and mulch them to conserve soil moisture and keep the thick leaves from scorching. In mild coastal areas, where they may be able to tolerate more sun, exposure should only be to gentler morning sunlight. Several hybrids are especially shade-tolerant, which means that they should never be planted in direct sunlight, including that in dappled shade. Plant primrose hybrids such as “Alejandra” (Primula “Alejandra’) and “Wanda” (Primula “Wanda”) in bright to dense shade.


Low-Growing Evening Primrose

(San Francisco Gate)

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a low-growing plant with flowers that open in the evening. People plant it as an accent plant in the garden, and its oil has medicinal uses. It comes in a few different varieties, including Mexican evening primrose and common evening primrose.

Characteristics

Evening primrose has a sprawling growth pattern, green leaves and small- to medium-sized flowers. The flowers bloom during late spring and summer. Mexican evening primrose has pink or purple flowers, as does showy evening primrose. Common evening primrose and evening primrose wildflowers native to the Ozarks tend to be larger and yellow. The plant often stays low to the ground, reaching heights of between 6 and 24 inches tall. The plant foliage dies back during cold weather, making it less attractive during fall and winter than during summer.

Distribution

Evening primrose grows throughout most of the United States and southern Canada, especially in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. It tends to grow along plains, prairies and hillsides. It prefers soils with excellent drainage and grows best when it receives full sunlight.

Landscaping Uses

Evening primrose makes an excellent border plant or accent plant. It grows well near the foundation of buildings or larger plants, and its flowers add color to the yard. Its low growth and sprawling pattern allow it to work as a groundcover, although it does not look great when the foliage dies back during winter. Gardeners can also plant evening primrose in pots. Since the plant can spread and become a nuisance, gardeners should avoid planting it too densely and trim it back after it blooms each year.

Medicinal Uses

The oil from the seeds of evening primrose contains gamma-linolenic acid, which helps with many bodily functions. It can help patients with HIV who suffer from nerve damage or skin conditions caused by HIV medications. Evening primrose oil also helps treat premenstrual syndrome by reducing symptoms such as cramps and bloating. Studies show that it decreases cholesterol levels as well. Although the oil is safe for most people, people who suffer from seizures or mental illnesses that cause mania should avoid taking the oil.



Sex and the single evening primrose

(University of Toronto)

Sex or no sex? Using various species of the evening primrose (Oenothera) as his model, Jesse Hollister, a former University of Toronto post-doctoral fellow, and his colleagues have demonstrated strong support for a theory that biologists have long promoted: species that reproduce sexually, rather than asexually, are healthier over time, because they don't accumulate harmful mutations.

"These findings allow us to understand why an enormous diversity of species around the world go through the laborious process of sexual reproduction," says Hollister, who completed the research while working at U of T Mississauga's Department of Biology and U of T St. George's Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.

The research, published online recently by the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, was authored by Hollister, along with his supervisors, Professor Marc Johnson at U of T Mississauga and Professor Stephen Wright at U of T St. George. Hollister is now an assistant professor at Stony Brook University in New York.

For decades, evolutionary biologists found sexual reproduction to be a paradox. Mathematically, asexual reproduction seemed to make more sense. Each organism -- not just half the population -- could produce offspring, and all its genes were passed on, rather than the 50 per cent from each parent in offspring from sexual unions.

One key issue they didn't take into account, says Hollister, was the accumulation of harmful mutations over time. New mutations occur naturally in every species from one generation to the next. When species reproduce sexually, their genes are separated, shuffled and recombined in various ways, so each offspring doesn't receive all of their parents' mutations in addition to the naturally occurring ones. In asexual reproduction, however, the species copies the existing genome as a whole, effectively cloning itself. Therefore, they pass on all the mutations that naturally accumulate from generation to generation.

"Asexual reproduction leads to a buildup of deleterious mutations over time; it's called Muller's Ratchet," Hollister says. "The species' average fitness is reduced and they are less able to compete in the ecological arena than sexual species, so they have an increased probability of extinction."

The evening primrose was the ideal system for studying the evolutionary importance of sex, Hollister noted, because about 30 per cent of the species in the genus have evolved to reproduce asexually, each at a different time. With the assistance of the 1,000 plant transcriptome project, led by Gane Ka-Shu Wong at the University of Alberta, and sequencing aid from the BGI-Shenzen in China, the U of T researchers were able to examine 30 pairs of species. One species in the pair reproduced sexually; the other, asexually. Some of the asexually reproducing species were younger than others in evolutionary terms, allowing the researchers to see the effects of asexual reproduction over time.

"What we found was exactly what we predicted based on theory," says Hollister. "The power of our study is that we examined many independent transitions to asexuality over different time scales and were able to take a snapshot in the present of the genetic variation in species pairs."

Johnson, a professor in the Department of Biology at UTM, says this research has shed new light on the paradox of sex.

"This is the first solid genetic support for the theory that a significant cost to being asexual is an accumulation of deleterious mutations," Johnson says. "This study has allowed us to unlock part of the mystery of why sex is so common: it's good for your health, at least if you are a plant."



Evening Primrose Oil: How it Heals

(Reader's Digest Editors from the book Doctors' Favorite Natural Remedies)

Your skin will thank you.

Hidden within this edible plant’s tiny, spherical seeds is a beneficial fat called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) that has benefits for a wide variety of health conditions. A native of North America, the evening primrose plant was used by Native Americans to make poultices to relieve bruises, heal sores and soothe hemorrhoids. English settlers took evening primrose back to the British Isles, where its roots were eaten as a food and its seeds used in place of poppy seeds. Today, herbalists and medical researchers focus their attention on evening primrose oil (EPO).

How Evening Primrose Oil Works

The human body converts GLA into a chemical that inhibits inflammation-boosting compounds. As a result, EPO may reduce the breast tenderness and swelling that happens in the second half of the menstrual cycle. In two studies, diabetes-related nerve pain was eased with a daily dose of EPO. Research also suggests that EPO can calm the swelling, itching, crusting and redness of eczema and help reduce the use of painkillers in people with rheumatoid arthritis. However, EPO research has not been unanimously positive; some studies have found little benefit, leading researchers to speculate that it may work better for some people than for others.

How to Use Evening Primrose Oil

EPO is usually taken in capsule form. Experts say you may have to take it for several weeks or months to see results. For rheumatoid arthritis pain relief, some experts recommend taking EPO along with fish oil capsules. Follow label instructions or take as professionally prescribed.

Safety First

Since EPO will not stop the progressive joint damage of rheumatoid arthritis, do not use it in place of medication. Skip EPO if you have or are at risk of prostate cancer (it is thought GLA may promote growth of prostate cancer cells). Avoid if you have seizures; there are reports that GLA may trigger seizures in people with seizure disorders. Avoid EPO in pregnancy due to concerns that GLA-rich oils could harm the fetus.

Where to Find Evening Primrose Oil

EPO is available in health food stores, supermarkets and, in some countries, by prescription from your doctor.


Night-Blooming Evening Primrose

By Joanne Marie

Although you might picture colorful flowers blooming on a sunny day, a few plants bloom after sunset and throughout the night, with flowers closing up during daylight hours. The common night-blooming, or evening, primrose (Oenothera spp.) usually has fragrant bright yellow flowers that can perfume an entire garden during the evening hours, although flowers on other types are colored differently. These herbaceous plants are either biennial or perennial, depending on the species, and are quite easy to grow when given some basic care.

Common Primrose

The common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a biennial, a plant that has a growth cycle lasting two years. In its first year, it grows a strong, straight stem surrounded by lance-shaped green leaves. At summer's end, it becomes dormant until the following spring, when growth resumes. Bright yellow, fragrant, cup-shaped flowers appear on 7-inch-tall plants in spring or early summer, opening each evening after sunset and closing before noon the following day. This species dies after its second year but self-seeds readily. It grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8.

Other Types

Other evening primrose species have different growth habits or flowers, but generally bloom during the evening through the night. The showy or pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa) is a perennial with white, saucer-shaped flowers that mature to a soft pink and can stay open around the clock on cloudy days. About 2 feet tall, this plant spreads by runners, blooms in mid-spring and grows in USDA zones 5 through 9. Kunth's evening primrose (Oenothera kunthiana) is about 18 inches tall, but its stems tend to recline and trail on the ground. Its fragrant flowers are white, fading to pink, and appear in summer. This species grows in USDA zones 6 through 10. Finally, a type called "Lemon Sunset" (Oenothera "Lemon Sunset") is a perennial that grows in USDA zones 5 through 9 and has yellow flowers with reddish tinges that open at sunset and close by noon the following day.

Culture

Night-blooming evening primroses generally prefer full sun and grow best in a bright, sunny spot. They can tolerate some light shade for a few hours each day, but deep shade compromises growth and flower production. They tolerate all types of garden soil but prefer sandy, well-drained types. If your soil contains clay that tends to hold water, add some fine sand at planting time to improve its drainage. The plants need only an average amount of moisture, although once-weekly watering after setting out new plants can help them get a good start. Once the primrose has established, avoid giving it too much moisture at the root zone.

Problems and Uses

Night-blooming evening primrose is generally free of any serious insect or disease problems. However, the plants can be susceptible to root rot or other fungal conditions if keep too moist. When mulching, avoid using organic mulch that can hold water, opting instead for pea stone or gravel, which keeps down weeds but drains well. Most night-blooming evening primroses have fragrant flowers that attract moths and hummingbirds, making them good choices for a spot near a patio or porch. The plants are also good choices along the edge of natural path, or in a naturalized meadow or border, where they tend to spread and mix with other plants.


Hormones & Evening Primrose Oil

By Nadia Haris

Evening primrose oil contains high concentrations of plant hormones and other compounds that enhance the production of natural hormones in your body. The oil is derived from a yellow-flowering plant and is often used to treat women's conditions. This herbal supplement may be beneficial in enhancing fertility, easing labor and childbirth, promoting the health of reproductive organs and treating other disorders.

Hormones

Evening primrose oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids called linoleic acid, or LA, and gama-linolenic acid, or GLA. These essential fatty acids are important in producing compounds called prostaglandins, natural hormone-like substances that play important roles in a number of body functions including reproduction and childbirth. Your body requires a balance of essential fatty acids from your daily diet for good health.

Fertility and Childbirth

Evening primrose oil also contains plant prostaglandins that are similar to the compounds your body produces. Research published in the medical journal "Clinical Perinatology" notes that prostaglandins aid labor and birth by softening and opening the cervix, the entry to the uterus. According to the National Institutes of Health, evening primrose oil may also help facilitate delivery by promoting dilation of the cervix when taken as a supplement or applied directly to this area. Additionally, prostaglandins from evening primrose oil may improve fertility in women by enhancing the production of cervical mucous. However, there is not yet sufficient clinical evidence to confirm these claims.

Other Uses

The plant hormones and other compounds found in evening primrose oil are also used to treat disorders such as breast pain due to the menstrual cycle; PMS symptoms such as pain and cramping; and menopausal symptoms. However, there is not yet sufficient medical research to show that it is effective for these uses.

Considerations

The University of Maryland Medical Clinic warns that evening primrose oil should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women. A doctor or midwife may administer evening primrose oil at the end of pregnancy by a doctor or midwife to promote labor and childbirth. The hormone-like compounds in evening primrose oil can trigger uterine contractions that can be unsafe during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before taking evening primrose oil for premenstrual syndrome, fertility or any other reason.


9 natural remedies for menopause

By Anusuya Suresh

Menopause is a phase of life characterized by several physiological and psychological changes that have a major impact on a woman’s life. These changes are mainly a result of a dip in the levels of the hormones produced by the ovaries. The most common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, headaches, vaginal dryness, depression, irritability, insomnia and mood swings. This can be a very trying period in a woman’s life and the use of some herbal remedies can help provide some relief from these symptoms.

Flaxseed

Linseed or flaxseed is a vital source of lignins – compounds that play a major role in the modulation of the female hormone levels. Besides, flaxseeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids that are required for the effective functioning of the reproductive system in women. No wonder then that several studies have found flaxseed beneficial against menopausal symptoms. (Read: Suffering from menopausal hot flashes? Eat flaxseeds)

Soy-rich foods

Isoflavones are compounds made up of polyphenols and they some estrogen-like activity. They are known as phytoestrogens – that is, plant-based compounds with estrogen-like activity. Soybeans are one of the richest known sources of isoflavones and as a result, consuming foods rich in soy such as tofu, roasted soy nuts or soya milk can help to reduce the severity of menopause symptoms.

Evening primrose oil

Evening primrose oil contains an essential fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid. This compound is required for the synthesis of prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins play a role in regulating hormonal balance and therefore, the use of evening primrose oil can help to improve the hormonal balance that goes awry during menopause.

Vitamins E and B

Vitamins E and B have been found useful in providing relief from the hot flashes that are so common during menopause. Wheat germ, nuts, seeds are a good source of Vitamin E. Vitamin B is generally found in green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, eggs, poultry and soya beans. (Read:10 reasons you should have vitamin E rich foods)

Ginseng

Although Ginseng has a wide variety of health benefits, it’s major effects are to reduce stress and anxiety and improve energy levels. Thus, it can help to improve the psychological status of the menopausal woman, making her more energetic, less fatigued and stressed with the changes she experiences in her physiology. Commercial ginseng supplements are available but must be used under medical supervision.

Shatavari

According to Ayurveda, Shatavari is a major remedy for rejuvenation of the female reproductive system. It is also a herb with adaptogenic properties – that is, it helps the body to adjust better to stress. The roots of this plant contain saponins that have a tonic effect on women during menopause as well as pre-menstrual syndrome. Shatavari is also considered to have moisturizing, cooling and lubricating properties that can help deal with vaginal dryness. A decoction of Shatavari may be mixed with milk and consumed.

Ashwagandha

Also known as Indian ginseng, Ashwagandha is best known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, adaptogenic and aphrodisiac actions. This makes it one of the herbs of choice in Ayurveda to treat women undergoing menopause symptoms. Ashwagandha powder or capsules are commercially available but they must be used only under medical supervision. (Read: Health benefits of aswagandha or Indian ginseng)

Jeshthamadhu

Jeshthamadhu or Licorice has anti-inflammatory action; it also contains phytoestrogens and this makes it a useful remedy against the hot flashes associated with menopause. Boiling licorice powder with water yields a soothing tea. However, it is important to avoid very high doses of licorice because it may lead to side effects such as headache, high blood pressure and water or sodium retention leading to oedema.

Saffron

Primarily, saffron is used as a coloring agent and spice in cooking. Ayurveda also recommends it as a remedy for menopause; it also has an anti-depressant action that can help menopausal women keep their mood stable. Studies have found that saffron tends to inhibit the depletion of serotonin – a neurochemical that plays a major role in mood stabilization. Consuming saffron can therefore help to avoid mood swings that are a common problem in menopause. Steep a few saffron strands in a little warm milk for about 20 minutes and then drink the milk.

Along with the use of all these herbal remedies, it makes sense to get regular physical exercise to keep the body fit and healthy. You could also consider a few yoga exercises such as Tadasana, Trikonasana, Padmasana and Badhakonasana that help to alleviate the painful symptoms of menopause.


A Natural Oil Remedy to Reduce Inflammation

The health benefits of evening primrose oil are tremendous because of its ability to treat and prevent inflammation related to a variety of conditions

Evening primrose oil can help decrease and prevent inflammation

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)’also referred to as sun drop, night willow herb, fever plant and king’s cure-all’is a popular natural home remedy for a variety of conditions; it’s particularly useful for its anti-inflammatory abilities.

Here’s how it works: the minuscule seeds of the evening primrose grow inside a seedpod attached to the flower. These tiny seeds yield a fat-rich oil that seem to be good news for sufferers from cyclical breast tenderness, eczema, diabetes-related nerve damage or dry eyes.

How could one substance help so many different conditions? The answer is that the body converts a fat in evening primrose seeds’gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)’into a chemical that soothes inflammation in many different types of tissue, from breasts to eyes and beyond.

How to use evening primrose oil

Evening primrose oil is available in health food stores and by prescription. The daily dose depends on why you’re taking it: for breast tenderness try 3000 to 4000 milligrams a day; for dry eyes due to Sjögren’s syndrome, 15 milligrams twice a day; for diabetes-related nerve damage, 360 to 480 milligrams a day; for eczema, 3000 milligrams a day.

Maintaining a healthy diet rich in magnesium, zinc and vitamins C, B3 and B6 will help your body use GLA.

Modern research and studies on evening primrose oil

Verdicts from scientific studies of evening primrose oil’s effects aren’t unanimous: some have confirmed benefits, others haven’t. Experts say it could be that you have to take the oil for several weeks or months to see results, or that it simply helps some people more than others.

For example, evening primrose oil may reduce the breast tenderness and swelling that happens in the second half of the menstrual cycle’it seems to help by protecting breast tissue from the effects of shifting hormone levels. But it doesn’t seem to help breast discomfort that’s not related to menstrual-cycle hormone shifts.

The oil seems to boost levels of soothing, anti-inflammatory compounds in natural tears. In 2 studies from the University of Glasgow and Guy’s Hospital in London, both conducted in 1993, people with diabetes-related nerve damage obtained some relief with daily doses of evening primrose oil’but only if their blood glucose was under control.

Evening primrose supplements reduced the swelling, itching, crusting and redness of eczema in some tests as well’but, again, not all studies have found a benefit. And taking capsules of the oil eased eye problems such as burning, dryness and light sensitivity in people with Sjögren’s syndrome (an auto-immune disorder) in an Italian study from the University of Messina, carried out in 2005.


Can Evening Primrose Oil Stop Hair Loss?

(Kumutha, Bold Sky)

Stimulate, nourish and speed up hair growth with this primrose oil hair mask recipe!

Has your hair fall rate risen to 100 strands per day? Is your hair dry, rough and heavily damaged? It's time to take a break from your usual hair care routine and try something potent!

And when it comes to curbing hair loss, the only ingredient we can suggest is evening primrose oil!

This oil is fast becoming the most sought-after ingredient with hair care product manufacturers and there is a good reason why.

Evening primrose oil packs a powerful punch of gamma-linolenic acid, which is a form of omega-6 fatty acid that renews new skin cell regeneration and stimulates hair growth!

Anti-inflammatory properties present in the oil break down the yeast in the scalp, restore pH balance and prevent dandruff!

What's more, evening primrose oil contains a high ratio of antioxidants, which stimulate hair follicles, nourish scalp and add shine and smoothness to dull and damaged mane!

With so many benefits of primrose oil hair mask, it is no wonder it is one of the hot products in the market today.

Now that you know the properties of primrose oil and how it works on your hair.

Let us explore how to use primrose oil on hair.

Step 1:

Take 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of evening primrose oil and 10 drops grapeseed oil in a bowl.

Step 2:

Heat it in a low flame, for about 30 seconds. Let it cool down in room temperature.

Step 3:

Comb your hair to remove all the knots and tangles. Comb by holding your hair from the mid-length and run the comb through to reduce the amount of breakage!

Step 4:

When the oil is tepid warm and comfortable on skin, divide your hair in small sections and apply the oil. Massage your scalp in a circular motion, using the soft bud of your fingers for about 10 minutes, to stimulate blood flow.

Step 5:

Let the oil penetrate deep into the scalp and hair shaft and leave this for an hour or more. Shampoo with a mild shampoo and follow up with a suitable conditioner.

Step 6: Instead of going for herbal primrose oil hair mask, you can also take primrose capsules to improve hair growth. Consult with a doctor for a suitable amount to eliminate the possibility of side effects.


Everything You Need to Know About Exercise and PMS

(Life By Daily Burn)

Cramping, moodiness and bloating: When it’s that time of the month, you’d probably rather do anything but move from the couch and schlep to the gym. But from soothing PMS symptoms to relieving menstrual pain and giving your body a much needed boost, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body during your period and in the days leading up to it.

Science Says: Exercise Helps PMS

If you’re normally a cranky, moody mess leading up to your period, hitting the gym even just a few times a week might help. In one 2013 study, 40 young women who weren’t regular exercisers before the study and had been diagnosed with PMS were split into two groups. Half completed 60 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week for eight weeks, while the other half kept to their normal sedentary routines. After four weeks, about 30 percent of both the physical and psychological symptoms of PMS were reduced in the newbie exercisers. And by the end of the eight weeks, moodiness and bloating significantly decreased for these women.

This is probably because exercise triggers a release of feel-good endorphins, which helps with mood-related period issues, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine. And the good news is you don’t have to be in all-out beast mode during a workout to feel better.

“You don’t have to have unrealistic expectations, you can only do what you can do,” Minkin says. “But if you can make yourself do something you’re probably going to feel better.”

Hormones and Your Cycle

Not only can exercise have an impact on cycle symptoms, but the ebbs and flows of your hormones during a given month can change your workouts, too.

During the middle of your cycle when ovulation occurs, your testosterone levels peak, explains Minkin. Biologically speaking, your body releases more testosterone during this time to boost your sex drive and increase your odds of reproducing. While this means you should take extra care to use protection, it also means this could be the best time to schedule in tough workouts.

“Some people might have a little surge of energy,” says Minkin. “If you do, take advantage of it.” Now’s the time to test your limits or get working toward that bigger fitness goal.

On the flip side, after ovulation, your body starts to release more progesterone (the hormone that preps your uterus for a potential baby). If you are affected by PMS, you may start retaining fluid and feeling heavy, bloated and lazy, says Minkin. Note: If you’re on hormonal birth control, you won’t have these hormonal fluctuations throughout the month, Minkin says.

Natural Remedies to Help You Beat the Bloat

Think this all sounds great but there’s no way you’re prying yourself away from Netflix and that pint of Ben and Jerry’s? Before you give up on being active, you might want to try these expert-approved remedies. Of course, every body is different (and always check with your doctor first), but if you manage to find some relief, go ahead and sign up for that spin class!

Vitamin B6: For patients with PMS, Minkin recommends taking 100 to 200 milligrams of vitamin B6 a day. It has natural diuretic properties, so it can help alleviate bloating, she says. It’s also been found to reduce cyclical breast pain some women experience, which could make you more comfortable when you’re working out, explains Minkin.

Vitamin E: Research shows that vitamin E may also help relieve breast soreness. Minkin recommends taking 200 units every day for best results. Foods such as sunflower seeds, almonds and spinach are all good sources of vitamin E, but they don’t deliver as significant an amount as you’ll find in supplements.

Evening Primrose Oil: While the scientific evidence for most natural remedies is spotty (no pun intended), there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that taking about 1,000 units of evening primrose oil a day can help relieve breast tenderness, says Minkin. Never heard of the stuff? It’s extracted from the evening primrose plant and can be found at natural foods stores or most shops with a vitamin and supplement aisle.

The Bottom Line

Giving in to your chocolate and potato chip cravings during that time of the month might seem appealing, but pumping your body with extra salt and sugar will only make you feel worse. Some exercise is definitely better than no exercise when it comes to beating the bloat and boosting your mood. Your body (and everyone you cross paths with!) will thank you.



Ask a Derm: Can Evening Primrose Oil Really Stop Adult Acne?

By Susan Yara

I had beautiful skin as a teenager, and while it was great in my younger years, it left me completely unprepared for the adult acne I now deal with regularly. On a weekly basis, you'll find me trying a multitude of new products with salicylic acid, retinols galore and just about any ingredient that strips the skin. Admittedly, it's not always the best plan of attack. That's why I decided to give evening primrose oil supplements a try.

Tons of vitamin and supplement brands offer evening primrose oil, but I chose the one from Nordic Naturals Omega Woman ($21, drugstore.com). The dosage is simple—I take one or two pills a day after a meal, and the supplement is supposed to go to work. The problem is, while I've seen an improvement in my skin, I can't decide if it's the pill or something else I've done.

To help, I reached out to Jordana Mattioli, a licensed aesthetician at CompleteSkinMD in New York City, whose answer also got a thumbs-up from her boss, dermatologist Elizabeth K. Hale, M.D. She says:

"I love evening primrose oil. It's a plant extract that comes from the seeds of a wildflower. It's not only emollient (hydrating) but a powerful anti-irritant, which means it will have a significant anti-inflammatory effect on the skin."

Here comes your science lesson for the day: The key ingredient in evening primrose oil is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)—an omega-6 essential fatty acid that helps strengthen the skin barrier, reduces moisture loss, and causes the anti-inflammatory effects that can calm some of the lesions associated with acne, as well as the redness. Our bodies can't make GLA, but Mattioli says we can get it from other sources, including evening primrose oil.

And while she thinks it's also a great topical ingredient in skin care products, she says the best treatment for acne is to use several ingredients at once. Meaning, it's not the be-all-and-end-all cure. She also notes that GLA can affect certain medications like blood thinners, high-blood pressure medicine, and antidepressants, so it's best to check with your doctor before you give it a go.



Ask the Diet Doctor: Evening Primrose and PMS

By Dr. Mike Roussell

Q: Will evening primrose oil help ease PMS?

A: Evening primrose oil can be good for something, but treating the symptoms of PMS isn't one of them.

Evening primrose oil is high in a rare omega-6 fat called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). I called GLA rare because it is not readily found in any of the foods we eat, as most people don’t use evening primrose, borage, and black currant oils to dress salads or saute vegetables. If you are going to get a significant dose of GLA in your diet, then supplementation is necessary, the two most popular ways being via evening primrose and borage seed oil supplements.

Although GLA is an omega-6 fat and we have been told all of these fatty acids are inflammatory, this is not the case here. GLA is converted into a compound called PGE1, which is a short-lived yet powerful anti-inflammatory compound. This is one of the reasons why supplementation with GLA seems to help with arthritis pain. However, GLA and evening primrose oil will not treat the symptoms of PMS.

Excessive levels of the hormone prolactin may be responsible for many of the symptoms associated with PMS, although this is not the case for all women who suffer at that time of the month. PGE1 has been shown to reduce the effects of prolactin. Using this line of thinking, it has previously been thought that some women suffering from PMS do so because their body is not producing enough PGE1.

If this were the case, the nutrition solution to this problem seems simple: Supplement with GLA (or evening primrose oil) in order to boost blood GLA levels, thus boosting PGE1 production and alleviating PMS symptoms. However clinical trials looking at the efficacy of GLA supplementation in relieving symptoms of PMS show it to be just as useful as a placebo. Despite this fact, evening primrose oil and GLA are continually touted as a key “cure” for symptoms of PMS.

Bottom line: If you are looking for an extra anti-inflammatory edge, GLA in concert with fish oil makes sense. If you are looking for a alleviate PMS woes, however, you’ll need to unfortunately keep looking.


Does Evening Primrose Oil Safely Induce Labor?

By Ashley Marcin and Ana Gotter
Inducing labor

If you’re beyond 40 weeks in your pregnancy, you may have heard of several natural ways to try and induce labor. There are indeed a number of things you can do to prime your body for the task ahead. One possible option is evening primrose oil (EPO), which can be applied vaginally for the purpose of inducing labor.

Pregnant women like using evening primrose oil because it’s widely available and reasonably priced.

Still, you might be wondering if it’s right for you. Here’s everything you need to know about this herbal supplement, its uses, and precautions.

What is evening primrose oil?

This oil comes from the evening primrose plant. It contains linolenic acid, gamma linolenic acid, and vitamin E. Over-the-counter EPO capsules can be purchased at most pharmacies or vitamin and herbal remedy stores. It’s sometimes used in alternative therapies for a variety of health issues, including neuropathy, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, and rheumatoid arthritis. But while it’s been taken for many years, EPO’s real effect on labor remains relatively unknown.

How it’s used

Evening primrose oil comes in capsules, which can be taken orally or inserted vaginally. While there is no standard dosage, it’s standard to take 500 to 2000 milligrams daily after the 38th week of pregnancy has begun. If you choose to use EPO, always start with very low doses.

Does it work?

According to American Family Physician, evening primrose oil may help the cervix soften and efface (thin out). Other studies suggest that it can help shorten labor duration. This is due to linolenic acid found in EPO, which may trigger a prostaglandin response in the body. Doctors and midwives may provide different guidelines depending on your unique medical history.

As far as its effectiveness, there aren’t enough formal studies on EPO to prove its impact on labor or cervical ripening. Studies that have been published generally don’t show a particularly strong association with the oil and kick-starting labor. For example, one study found that women taking the supplement were in labor three hours longer on average than those who didn’t take EPO.

Most of the positive experiences of evening primrose oil are anecdotal. The capsules are often taken in conjunction with other natural induction methods, including consumption of red raspberry leaf tea, nipple stimulation, and sexual intercourse. For this reason, it’s hard to isolate EPO’s individual effect on the process.

• Pros and cons

While there is a lot of scientific research that still needs to be done to fully evaluate the safety and efficiency of EPO, there are some pros and cons we can consider based on the information we have now.

-Pros of evening primrose oil
• There are no known negative effects on breast-feeding.
• It’s commonly used by midwives around the world (not including the United States) as an alternative to harsher chemicals for preparing the cervix for labor.
• It may reduce the need to medically induce labor.
• While there may be advantages to using EPO, there are some cons that must be considered.


-Cons of evening primrose oil
• It can act as a blood thinner.
• There is a chance that EPO could trigger complications or trouble with delivery.
• It can come with side effects like headaches or gastrointestinal upset.


Other safe ways to induce labor

There are other methods commonly used to help women naturally induce labor. These methods include:

• exercising, which can include a walk or climbing a set of stairs
• sexual intercourse
• eating spicy foods
• raspberry leaf tea, which is recommended by some midwives and thought to turn irregular uterine contractions into regular and productive ones

Always consult your doctor before attempting to induce labor. Do not try to induce labor before 40 weeks of pregnancy. Depending on medications you’re currently taking, underlying conditions, or complications with your pregnancy, it may be dangerous to attempt to induce labor on your own.

Takeaway

There isn’t much scientific evidence to prove that taking evening primrose oil to induce labor is either safe or unsafe. Many women use EPO without incident, but an early study found that the oral intake of EPO could trigger delivery problems or complications. Regardless, you shouldn’t take any supplement during pregnancy without consulting with your care provider.

You should speak with your OB/GYN or midwife before starting any new supplements at any stage of your pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines a full-term pregnancy as 39 weeks or longer. Since studies are lacking in this area, it’s best to avoid anything that might promote labor before your baby is fully mature.


A Natural Cure For Itchy Rashes: Try Primrose Oil

(FYI Living)

The summer season is already upon us, but if you have an embarrassing skin rash, you might not be ready to show off that beach-ready body just yet. Thankfully, new research has shown that evening primrose oil may be helpful in treating atopic dermatitis, a form of eczema. So if you break out in a bad, itchy rashes, taking an evening primrose oil supplement regularly may help.

The incidence of those affected with atopic dermatitis is on the rise. While medical professionals haven”t settled on the best treatment, those with allergic skin disorders have been shown to experience benefits from evening primrose oil, hempseed oil, and other natural, rich sources of essential fatty acids, such as linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acida. Those with atopic dermatitis have lower plasma levels of essential fatty acids which may cause more inflammation and lead to allergic skin reactions. New research showed that the majority of those with atopic dermatitis treated with evening primrose oil experience moderate to great improvement without adverse effects.

Evening primrose oil is rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids and is . It should come as no surprise that there are health benefits to the oil; fatty acids are important components of cell membranes and help maintain skin’s barrier function. There are already some small studies on supplements rich in omega-3 and certain omega-6 essential fatty acids which have shown that by ingesting these oils, skin is able to better retain moisture and have a smoother appearance.

Omega-3 fatty acids have already been shown to be beneficial to treat mild depression and consuming omega-3s on a regular basis may provide benefits such as lowering the risk of coronary heart disease, maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as well as helping out with joint health. If you suffer from an allergic skin disorder, you have every reason to give evening primrose oil a try, especially with all the bonus health benefits.


The Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

(BaBa Mail)

Perhaps one of the most sensational preventative discoveries since vitamin C, is Evening Primrose Oil. It contains the pain-relieving compound phenylalanine. This compound is increasingly being used to treat chronic headaches. But, its health benefits do not just stop there.

Evening Primrose Oil is used for a variety of ailments (as you're about to see) and is currently being studied as a treatment for aging problems, acne, heart disease, symptoms of menopause, multiple sclerosis, weight control and obesity. In fact, due to its therapeutic qualities, Evening Primrose Oil has become a standard herbal recommendation for maintaining youth, as well as preventing disease. Let's take a more in-depth look at this herbal supplement.

What is Evening Primrose Oil?

Derived from the seeds of the Evening Primrose (the Oenothera Biennis plant), EPO (as it is often referred to) is a rich source of omega-6 essential fatty acids. In particular, it contains a high concentration of a fatty acid called GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid) - a component that is largely responsible for its healing properties. In fact, GLA and other nutrients in this oil are essential for cell structure and help improve the elasticity of the skin. They also help regulate hormones and improve nerve function, disrupting problems ranging from PMS to migraine headaches. EPO can be purchased in capsule form and its recommended dose is 8 to 12 capsules a day, at a dose of 500mg per capsule.

While more research on this herbal capsule still needs to be studied, here are 8 problems Evening Primrose Oil may specifically help with:

1. Relieves discomforts associated with menopause, menstruation, endometriosis and fibrocystic breasts: It has been widely reported that EPO reduces hot flashes associated with menopause and increases feelings of well-being. The GLA in Evening Primrose Oil can also help lessen menstrual cramps and minimize premenstrual breast tenderness. Moreover, many PMS sufferers are found to have unusually low levels of GLA. Consequently, taking this supplement, will help a great deal.

2. Eases joint pain and swelling associated with Rheumatoid Arthrtitis: GLA found in Evening Primrose Oil has been shown to reduce joint pain and swelling, side effects of this crippling disease. In fact, according to a study conducted over a span of six months, sufferers taking capsules containing GLA showed fewer signs of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. Another trial also showed that the number of tender and swollen joints also dropped significantly with GLA.

3. Prevents nerve damage as a result of diabetes: Research has shown that the GLA in Evening Primrose Oil can help prevent, and possibly reverse the nerve damage that is commonly seen with diabetes. A year-long study found that symptoms such as numbness, tingling and loss of sensation among participants with mild diabetic neuropathy were less marked in those who took Evening Primrose Oil, in comparison to those who took a placebo.

4. Reduce the effects of eczema: When the body has problems converting dietary fats into GLA, getting supplemental GLA from Evening Primrose Oil may be helpful. Studies have shown that this oil can outperform a placebo in relieving eczema related inflammation - and this includes inflammation, itching, oozing and flaky skin associated with this condition. By increasing their intake in GLA, sufferers may reduce doses of steroid creams and drugs.


Evening Primrose Oil Benefits / Uses for Skin, Hair and Health

(Nikitha, StylishWalks)

Evening primrose oil is taken from the seed of evening primrose plant and is a rich source of Vitamin C and phenylalanine. It is very beneficial for getting relief from pain, headache, signs of menopause, PMS, obesity and problems related with ageing. You can also use it in foods and it provides you fatty acids. This oil is an important ingredient in many of the soaps and cosmetics that you buy.

Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil for Skin:

• Skin and Eyes health:

Evening primrose oil is great for your skin also. It is an excellent natural remedy for eczema and many other problems of the skin. This is because of the presence of GLA and fatty acid in this oil. These are essential for keeping your skin healthy. The oil that is extracted from evening primrose is very gentle and you can use it as a moisturizer. Apply it on dry areas of the skin and this will keep your skin well hydrated. This oil also helps in increasing blood circulation and therefore is very helpful for tired eyes and skin. To get the best results out of this oil, you may apply it twice daily with a cotton wool.

To treat skin irritation, you can try this therapy. Take 1 tablespoon each of sweet almond oil, avocado oil, evening primrose oil and add 15 drops of helichrysum oil, 5 drops on lavender oil and a capsule of vitamin E oil to the mixture. Mix all the ingredients well in a dark container to avoid contact with light. This therapeutic blend is excellent for all types of skin inflammations, itching of the skin as well as redness of the skin.

Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil for Hair:

• Hair loss:

You can use evening primrose oil for preventing hair loss. This is because of the presence of fatty acids and GLA in this oil. The easiest way to treat hair loss is to apply this oil directly on the scalp. Massage with your finger tips for a few minutes and wash off after about 30 minutes. Another way to treat hair loss is to consume this oil. You can have 6 to 8 gm of this oil daily.

• Nourish nails, scalp and hair:

The fatty acids present in evening primrose oil helps in keeping the nails healthy and prevent cracking of nails. It is also good for keeping the scalp healthy. You can use this oil for treating various problems of the scalp.

Health and Medicinal Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil:

• Cure for Diabetes:

When you suffer from diabetes, your body fails to produce sufficient amount of GLA. Under such conditions you can use evening primrose oil as a supplement for GLA. This helps in keeping GLA within normal levels in the body. Using this oil is also beneficial for preventing patients from getting affected by diabetic neuropathy, the symptoms of which are tingling, pain, numbness and problems in the toes and the legs.

• Chronic fatigue syndrome treatment:

If you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, use evening primrose oil with some good quality fish oil. This is great for treating this issue.

• Deficiency of GLA:

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and fatty acid are found in high amounts in evening primrose. These are vital for the normal functioning of the body. Alcoholic patients and diabetic patients show deficiency of GLA, which can lead to rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and diseases of the cardiovascular system.

• Fights weight loss and cancer:

The presence of linoleic acid in evening primrose oil helps in the burning of extra fat in your body. This way it helps you lose weight effectively. It is also good for fighting against cancer.

• Helps with Alcohol withdrawal:

Human brain is prompted by GLA, which makes prostaglandin (prostaglandin E). This is very useful for managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms likes depression and seizures. This oil also protects your nervous system and the liver indirectly.

• Keeps your Heart healthy:

You will have a healthy heart by having evening primrose regularly. If you use this oil daily, the cholesterol level will be reduced and there is also a lowering of blood pressure. This helps in protecting your heart from coronary artery diseases.

• Medication for Asthma patients:

You can reduce symptoms of asthma by taking evening primrose oil tablets or capsules. Try to consume 6 to 8 grams of this oil daily.

• Menstrual pain relief:

During the menstrual period, many women suffer from pain and cramps. Primrose is an excellent natural remedy for providing your relief from such symptoms. Evening primrose oil reduces many symptoms associated with PMS.

• Treating Breast pain:

Evening primrose oil is very effective for treating breast pain or breast tenderness. Many women use this oil for this treatment. You can prepare evening primrose oil in various ways and consume it in the dosage of 120 to 160 mg two times a day. By taking this continuously for four months, you will get relief.

• Treatment for Hyperactivity:

Some kids are hyperactive and it is difficult to control them. By giving evening primrose oil to them, they will show good results.

• Treats Infertility in women:

Evening primrose is very effective for stimulating blood circulation in the body. So, this oil is a good remedy for curing male impotence. It helps in circulating impaired penile blood flow. One can consume this oil with ginkgo biloba and Vitamin C to get the best results. Using this oil regularly helps in preventing the blood vessels from getting narrow, which usually happens when there is accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of the blood vessels. It is beneficial for improving the functioning of the uterus also and is good for those who find it difficult to conceive.

• Works like Anti-inflammatory drug:

Evening primrose oil has anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial for soothing symptoms of arthritis and discomforts in the chest.


The Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

By Cathy Wong, ND (Reviewed by a board-certified physician)
What Is Evening Primrose Oil?

Evening primrose oil is sourced from Oenothera biennis, a plant native to North America. It contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid required by the body for growth and development.

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil:

Research suggests that evening primrose oil may be of little value in the management of premenstrual syndrome or menopausal symptoms. However, other studies indicate that evening primrose oil may help with certain conditions:

1) Eczema

Evening primrose oil may help relieve the itching, crusting, redness, and swelling associated with atopic eczema, according to a meta-analysis published in 2006. Fatty acids are thought to play a role in these beneficial effects.

Evening primrose oil is just one remedy for eczema. Find out about other Natural Remedies For Eczema.

2) Rheumatoid Arthritis

To date, there's little research on the effectiveness of evening primrose oil in treating rheumatoid arthritis (an inflammatory condition that causes pain and swelling of the joints). However, a report published in 2001 suggests that evening primrose oil may have indirect anti-inflammatory actions and may help manage this autoimmune disease.

3) Breast Cancer

Preliminary research suggests that GLA may help destroy tumors without inducing damage to normal cells or causing harmful side effects.

And in a small study published in 2000, researchers found that participants who took GLA supplements in addition to the breast cancer drug tamoxifen responded more quickly to breast cancer treatment than those who took tamoxifen alone.

Learn about Natural Remedies For Breast Cancer Prevention as well as complementary therapies. Uses for Evening Primrose Oil

In herbal medicine, evening primrose oil is typically used to treat these health problems:

• eczema
• rheumatoid arthritis
• premenstrual syndrome
• menopausal symptoms
• diabetes
Caveats

Evening primrose oil may cause mild side effects such as gastrointestinal upset, headache, and nausea in some individuals.

Intake of evening primrose oil may increase risk of bleeding for people taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication. It also may interfere with phenothiazines (tranquilizing drugs with antipsychotic actions).

Since evening primrose oil may increase risk of pregnancy complications, pregnant women should consult their physician before using this supplement.

Supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. Also keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established.

You can also get tips on using supplements here.

Using Evening Primrose Oil

Available in many health food stores and in pharmacies offering herbal supplements, evening primrose oil is typically sold in capsule form.

If you're considering using evening primrose oil in treatment of a chronic condition, make sure to consult your physician first. It's especially important to seek medical guidance if you're seeking to manage a condition such as breast cancer or rheumatoid arthritis. Supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. Also keep in mind that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get tips on using supplements here, but if you're considering the use of nux vomiva, talk with your primary care provider first. Self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.


Can evening primrose oil cure PMS?

(DailyMail)

There are many different theories about what causes premenstrual syndrome - one of which relates to higher than levels of the hormone prolactin (secreted by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain).

Evening primrose oil contains a fat by the name of gamma-linolenic acid that can be converted into a substance (prostaglandin E1) that is believed to help control the effects of excess prolactin.

Some women do find that taking about three grams of evening primrose oil each day can quell their PMS, including symptoms such as depression, irritability, breast pain and tenderness and the fluid retention.

There is also some thought that PMS may be related to a hormonal imbalance known as 'oestrogen dominance'.

Here, it seems there is an excess of the hormone oestrogen in relation to its counterpart progesterone.

One natural remedy that seems to be very useful for dealing with this problem is the herb Agnus castus. In practice, I have found it to be generally very effective in helping PMS symptoms.

The normal recommended dose of Agnus castus is 40 mg of dried herb or 40 drops of concentrated liquid extract once a day, or 20 mg of dried herb, twice a day.


14 Best Benefits Of Evening Primrose Oil For Skin And Health

(Jayshree, StyleCraze)

Evening primrose oil is one of the most miraculous discoveries to prevent many diseases and disorders. It contains Vitamin C and phenylalanine which are useful in relieving pain, headaches, aging problems, and signs of menopause, obesity, PMS, and many more. This oil is obtained from the seed of the evening primrose plant. This is also used in foods as a dietary source of fatty acids. It is widely used in the manufacturing of soaps and cosmetics.

Let us look at the top 14 evening primrose oil uses:

Evening primrose oil Benefits

1. GLA Deficiency:

Evening primrose is a rich source of fatty acid and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which are essential for the proper functioning of the body. Alcoholics and diabetes patients generally have GLA deficiency that can cause rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and cardiovascular disease. 2. Heart Health:

Evening primrose oil is useful to maintain a healthy heart. Using this oil on a daily basis can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and protect the heart from coronary artery disease.

3. Menstrual Pain:

Evening primrose oil is the best natural remedy for distress during menstrual period. Using this oil can also reduce many symptoms of PMS.

4. Diabetes:

Here, patients don’t produce enough GLA in their body. Evening primrose oil can be used as an effective supplement to maintain the level of GLA in the body. This oil also prevents patients from being affected by diabetic neuropathy which has symptoms like tingling, numbness, pain, and problem in the legs and toes. 5. Skin Health:

Evening primrose oil is considered the best remedy to cure eczema and many other skin-related problems. GLA and fatty acid content in this oil is essential for skin health. The oil extracted from evening primrose seeds is very gentle and can be used as moisturizer to keep dry areas hydrated. It also boosts blood circulation which is helpful to treat tired skin and eyes. Apply it twice a day with a cotton ball for best results. 6. Anti-Inflammatory:

Evening primrose oil has anti-inflammatory properties and so, is used to soothe the symptoms of arthritis and chest discomfort.

7. Hyperactivity:

Kids with hyperactive disorder can experience good results with the use of evening primrose oil. 8. Chronic Fatigue:

Evening primrose oil can be used with some good quality fish oil as a therapy to cure chronic fatigue syndrome.

9. Infertility:

It stimulates the blood flow which acts as a remedy to cure male impotence. It helps to circulate impaired penile blood flow. This can be consumed with ginkgo biloba and Vitamin C for best results. Continuous use of this oil can prevent the blood vessels from becoming narrow, which is usually the result of high cholesterol levels. It improves uterine function and thus can also be useful for individuals who are not able to conceive.

10. Alcohol Withdrawal:

Our brain is prompted by GLA, which makes prostaglandin (prostaglandin E). This helps in managing alcohol withdrawal symptoms like seizures and depression. It indirectly protects the nervous system and liver. 11. Nourish nails, scalp, and hair:

This oil contains a good amount of essential fatty acids that prevent our nails from cracking and keeps them healthy. In addition, it also nourishes the scalp and treats many other hair problems.

12. Lose weight:

Evening primrose oil contains linoleic acid that helps to burn body fat. It also fights cancer.

13. Asthma:

Take primrose oil tablets or capsules to reduce or treat asthma symptoms. Consume 6 to 8 grams of primrose oil twice every day. 14. Breast Pain:

This is a very popular treatment for breast tenderness or pain. Evening primrose oil can be prepared in many different ways and should be consumed in the dosage of 120-160 mg twice daily. This gives instant relief, if taken for up to four months.

Hope you found the article useful. Do leave us your comments below.


Evening primrose oil could help beat breast cancer

(DailyMail)

A substance found in evening primrose oil may prove to be a powerful new weapon against aggressive breast cancer, scientists have revealed.

In laboratory tests it not only suppressed an important breast cancer gene but also amplified the effects of a drug used in advanced stages of the disease.

Thousands of women in the UK take evening primrose oil to alleviate period symptoms.

But new findings suggest one of its active ingredients may also combat some of the most serious cases of breast cancer.

A compound in evening primrose oil called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) was found to inhibit the action of a gene responsible for about 30 per cent of breast cancers.

Patients with the mutant Her-2/neu oncogene have aggressive tumours and and a poor outlook.

GLA reduced the levels of protein made by the gene which promote tumour growth.

Oil made cancer drugs more effective

It also caused a 30 to 40-fold increase in the response of breast cancer cells to Herceptin, a drug given to women once the disease has metastasised, or spread to other parts of the body.

GLA increased levels of programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in cells also exposed to Herceptin.

Research leader Professor Ruth Lupu, from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, said: "In our tests, treating the cancer cell lines with both GLA and Herceptin led to a synergistic increase in apoptosis and reduced cancer growth.

"Therefore, although further studies are necessary before GLA can enter clinical trials, these findings may reveal a previously unrecognised way of influencing the poor outcome of Her-2/neu-positive cancer patients."

Both GLA and Herceptin act on the gene, but they have different effects, said the scientists whose research appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Herceptin neutralises molecules of the gene protein found on the surface of cancer cells.

GLA, on the other hand, interferes with machinery that produces more of the protein.

"Results of the study showed a valuable means by which an inexpensive herbal medicine might regulate breast cancer cell growth," said Prof Lupu.

In the tests, GLA did not appear to affect normal cells.

Earlier research at Northwestern University has shown that GLA sensitises breast cancer tumours to other chemotherapy drugs, such as Taxol, Taxotere and Navelbine.

It also enhances anti-oestrogen drugs such as tamoxifen and Faslodex.

One reason for this wide ranging effect could be GLA's influence on Her-2/neu. The gene is known to create resistance to chemo and hormonal therapies.

Other herbal sources of GLA besides evening primrose oil include borage oil and black current seed oil.

Dr Sarah Rawlings, from the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: "These early findings are interesting, however, this study was carried out in breast cancer cells and much more research is needed to discover what effect Gamma-linolenic acid will have in patients with breast cancer.

"This research does not suggest that women with breast cancer should routinely take evening primrose oil and any woman with questions about treatment should discuss them with her doctor."


These Evening Primrose Oil Benefits Will Have You Ditching All Your Other Acne Treatments

By Kristin Collins Jackson

I have been having an affair with hormonal acne for over 15 years. As a teen, I used topical treatments to eliminate the appearance of pimples which showed limited results My acne stabilized somewhat in college thanks to birth control. Honestly, I look back at pictures of me in college and feel jealous of how consistently clear my skin was. I would hate that girl with the even skin tone and big smile if she wasn't so adorable. Eventually, the negative side-effects of birth control outweighed the positive and I had to say goodbye to my perfect skin.

Turns out, the reason many topical spot treatments and anti-breakout cleansers don't work is because they're not treating your hormonal imbalance. I've mentioned before that I prefer a natural spot treatment to avoid potential dryness. Fortunately, I can turn to nature to help keep my skin looking flawless.

Through many science experiments in my bathroom, I've found that tea tree oil isn't the only player in spot treatments. Evening primrose oil is as sexy as it sounds: It has an amazing in scent and a powerful ingredient for common skin woes like acne, wrinkles, and eczema. It's packed with Omega-6 fatty acids, crucial for healthy skin and nails. Our body doesn't naturally produce these fatty acids — they can only be derived from plant oil. This particular version is really gentle, making skin irritation rare, and also contains tons of vitamin E and vitamin C, which are both essential to keep skin looking and feeling youthful.

Long ago, primrose oil was used by Native Americas to treat hemorrhoids, stomachaches, sore throats and bruising. These days it's used in high-end face serums and cleansers because of its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It was actually Fresh's skincare line that turned me on to primrose oil — they love putting the stuff in a lot of their products.

Use capsules or purchase evening primrose oil to try out some of my favorite recipes below.

Eye Serum

Since primrose oil is packed with no-nonsense anti-aging properties, this will be a valuable addition to your beauty routine. I have certainly reaped the benefits of using grape seed oil under my eyes to eliminate bagginess and dark circles especially after a night of "happy-hour-gone-wrong". Add a few drops of primrose oil to an ounce of grape seed oil and gently pat into the skin under your eyes. The anti-inflammatory properties will diminish those unsightly circles, tricking your boss into thinking you went to bed promptly at 9pm.

Hormonal Acne

Once a week, I get serious about my face and give myself an anti-acne oil cleanse. I'm certainly not married to any one recipe, but my favorite always includes a "carrier oil" that my face is already familiar with. This is crucial when you are trying to treat acne because you don't want to further irritate your skin with a new ingredient.

My carrier oil for this particular cleanser is always grape seed or coconut oil, but you can use whatever suits your skin best. Liquefy your carrier oil and add equal drops of primrose and peppermint oil. The peppermint oils is an anti-septic that will cleanse your skin and the primrose will treat your hormonal imbalance. Plus, both of these are anti-inflammatory agents that will bring down redness and irritation in your skin. Rinse thoroughly and apply your moisturizer or choice oil. Be mindful that all acne oil cleansers should be used on a freshly washed face!

Nail Bed Health

This is a great trick to use underneath your base coat for your nails to protect them even further. I usually rub a dab of oil on my nails because I have been plagued with unruly ridges that no amount of buffing can get rid of. Putting a natural oil on top of your nail beds will help strengthen your nails and I've found my ridges at their best (sadly, not completely gone). Do this at least a few hours before you DIY a mani so the oil has time to soak in — otherwise, the polish won't stick.


A healthy 2016 alphabet: Evening Primrose Oil

By Alison Moore (Salt Lake City Women's Health Examiner)

Evening Primrose Oil, which provides an essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid, is derived from the evening primrose plant's seeds. Gamma-linolenic acid, as well as other Omega-3 fatty acids, promote cell membrane growth and hormone support. Its uses range dramatically, though only two have been strikingly supported with modern research. These uses are Osteoporosis, in conjunction with other medications, and diabetes-caused nerve damage. However, with supporting research or not, other conditions and uses of EPO (Evening Primrose Oil) are still wildly popular as an alternative medicine. Used initially by native Americans, EPO use has a long and diverse history, including bruises, skin wounds and skin problems, PMS, and even hemorrhoids. Though the oil can be consumed by nearly anyone, those who benefit most are the elderly and women, especially women in their childbearing years. The following are suggested uses for the supplement, but remember that as with all dietary changes, consult a physician prior to adding supplements or changing your diet.

• Osteoporosis: As stated previously, EPO can be used in conjunction with other methods to fight the bone-density depleting condition. Taking 500 milligrams twice a day (Dr. Axe) along with calcium and fish oil (WebMD) can not only stop bone density loss, but assist in increasing bone density. Thus, it is recommended for those facing Osteoporosis.
• Rheumatoid Arthritis: Elderly who are dealing with RA may also benefit from regular dosages of EPO. Taking the same dosage as with Osteoporosis, RA sufferers are likely to find relief of stiffness and pain.
• Skin Health, including Acne: EPO is also commonly used to fight a multitude of skin conditions, such as acne, age-related issues, a-topic dermatitis, eczema, and even psoriasis. With acne, the oil helps to fight deep within the tissue, rather than just superficially. EPO actually helps ease and balance hormones that cause acne. Simultaneously, the oil also helps improve the elasticity of the skin, and even fights the "tired" look aging skin may have. Thus, this is an excellent supplement for age-related skin issues.
• PMS and Hormone Health: Because EPO is great for balancing hormone-related acne, it is also great for tackling hormone-causing pre-menstral syndrome. Having a healthy intake of omegas helps balance hormones, especially in women, meaning a reduction in PMS symptoms and even increase fertility. Though the average suggested dosage for all conditions is 500 milligrams once or twice a day, for actual fertility increase, the dosage is much higher, from 1500-3000 milligrams a day (Dr. Axe). This will increase cervical mucus, which allows for more successful sperm motility in the cervix. Because EPO plays such an important role in the cervix, it is also often used by pregnant women pre-labor.

There are a multitude of uses for Evening Primrose Oil, a healthy way to add essential fatty acids into the diet for those suffering from a number of conditions. EPO can be purchased over the counter at most grocery stores, though it is advised to purchase directly from a reputable vitamin retailer.


The Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

By Susan Cody

Many EmpowHER readers have recommended evening primrose oil for everything from menopause symptoms to mastalgia (breast pain) to heart health and eczema. Evening primrose oil is a flower and is native to North America.

Capsules or bottled oil can be found in drug stores or vitamin and health shops, costing anywhere from $6 to $30 depending on bottle size and organic options. It can be taken orally as a supplement or rubbed on the skin.

The reason this oil works is thought to be due to the essential fatty acid contents of the flower, called gamma-linolenic acid (GMA). GMA is an omega-6 fatty acid.

This fatty acid helps to reduce inflammation (thus helping with arthritis and other auto immune conditions) and has also helped with diabetic neuropathy, a condition that causes the decline of nerves and is brought on by diabetes.

In a 1993 study, over 100 diabetic patients were given either 480mg of primrose oil daily or a placebo and after one year, the patients using evening primroses oil showed that showed striking improvement in nerve generation.

For breast pain (called mastalgia) many women have found it to be helpful -- some EmpowHER readers simply rub the oil on the breast for pain relief and have also found supplements helpful for PMS or menopausal symptoms. Breast pain is thought to be connected to fatty acids in the body and since evening primrose oil is a healthy fatty acid, it's thought this addition can help with the pain.

Those with skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema have found benefits to their skin when taking evening primrose oil. Studies have varied regarding its effectiveness but it continues to be used in Asia and Europe with patients reporting better skin and fewer bouts of eczema and psoriasis outbreaks.

Talk with your health care provider if you think Evening Primrose Oil could be helpful for you.



Benefits Of Evening Primrose

By Steven Foster

Therapy from a garden beauty

Visiting a garden at sun-set can provide unexpected plea-sure. As the sun goes down and most flowers close up for the night, evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) opens its four-petaled blooms, revealing colors that range from rich cream through bright yellow. Growing as tall as 8 feet, this biennial herb blooms from June through September, the flowers remaining open on cloudy and rainy days as well as at night.

In addition to its unusual nocturnal performance, evening primrose is known for its use as a remedy for discomforts ranging from bruises to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Down To Essentials

Evening primrose seed oil contains essential fatty acids, substances that, like vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids, aren’t manufactured by the body but are necessary for good health. They are normally obtained through the diet. Imbalances or deficiencies in the body’s essential fatty acids have been implicated in many disorders, including asthma, migraines, ­inflammations, metabolic irregularities, diabetes, arthritis, and alcoholism.

The oil’s primary constituent is cis-linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that is also commonly found in safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean oils. Another is alpha-linolenic acid, which is also found in canola and soybean oils, flaxseed, and leafy green vegetables. A third essential fatty acid in evening primrose oil, gamma-linolenic acid, is found in few other plants. Gamma-linolenic acid is normally manufactured when the body transforms linoleic acid into pro­s­ta­glandins, hormonelike chemical messengers synthesized in most tissue cells. Prostaglandins regulate body functions such as smooth muscle contraction, blood pressure control, and responses to inflammation.

In some people, however, the conversion of cis-linoleic acid into prostaglandins is hampered because of aging, alcoholism, cancer, poor nutrition, radiation damage, or other factors. For these people, taking evening primrose oil can supply the gamma-linolenic acid needed to produce prostaglandins.

PMS Relief

More than 120 studies in university hospitals in fifteen countries have been conducted on evening primrose seed oil. As a whole, the research suggests that the oil may be useful in treating conditions associated with imbalances or deficiencies of essential fatty acids. Some women with PMS have lower-than-normal levels of gamma-linolenic acid, suggesting that a glitch in the normal conversion of linoleic acid to gamma-linolenic acid may cause mood swings, fluid retention, breast tenderness, tension head­aches, and other PMS symptoms.

Studies of the use of evening primrose oil to treat PMS have produced conflicting results. Participants in a double-blind crossover trial in Australia took evening primrose oil or a placebo over three menstrual cycles; for an additional three cycles, those who took the placebo originally received the treatment and vice versa. The researchers concluded that the benefits of evening primrose oil were statistically insignificant compared with the placebo.

However, other double-blind, ­placebo-controlled studies have shown that evening primrose oil significantly reduces irritability, breast pain and tenderness, and mood changes associated with PMS. Several clinical trials have found that its relief of breast pain and tenderness is comparable to that of conventional drugs with only mild adverse effects.

Although taking two 500-mg capsules of evening primrose oil three times a day with meals has been shown to correct essential fatty-acid imbalances associated with PMS, you may need to take them for as many as six menstrual cycles before relief of symptoms starts. For dosage information, see the box below.

Traditional Uses For Evening Primrose

Several North American Indian groups have used evening primrose for healing. The Iroquois boiled a sturdy taproot of evening primrose with a root of either field mint (Mentha canadensis) or self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) in a quart of water until the liquid was reduced by half. Hemorrhoid sufferers drank a cup of this decoction twice daily and also used it as an external wash. The Cherokee poulticed the root on hemorrhoids and drank a root tea to reduce weight. The Ojibwa soaked the entire plant in water, which they then applied to bruises.

Europeans began using the plant as a medicine during the eighteenth century. Johann David Schöpf, a German-born physician and author of a 1787 book on American medicinal plants, mentioned poulticing the fresh herb on wounds. The Shakers, who established the first commercial herb business in the United States, listed evening primrose in many of their catalogs, recommending applications of the leaves or roots to heal wounds and a tea of the leaf and root to settle an upset stomach.

In his classic Medical Botany (1847), Dr. R. Eglesfeld Griffith described a different application of the plant that hints of one modern use.

Some years since, hearing of the ­efficacy of a decoction of the plant in infantile eruptions, I made a trial with it in several cases of an obstinate character, which had resisted other modes of treatment, and became satisfied that it was highly beneficial; and this opinion has been confirmed by subsequent experience with it. The plant is to be gathered about the flowering season, and the small twigs with the bark of the large branches and stem, retaining the leaves with them, to be dried in the shade. Of these a strong decoction is to be made, with which the eruption is to be bathed several times a day.

Gamma-linolenic acid is a component of human breast milk. Sometimes, infants who are switched from breast milk to artificial milk formulas or cow’s milk lack a by-product of gamma-linolenic acid. This deficiency can lead to atopic eczema (dermatitis), which could be the “infantile eruption” Griffith referred to and treated with evening primrose. Recent clinical studies showed that evening primrose seed oil, when taken as a dietary supplement, produced a significant 20 to 25 percent improvement over controls in treating atopic eczema.

Taking Evening Primrose

Dose: Three to six 500-mg capsules a day is the common rec­ommendation, or as many as twelve capsules. They should be taken with meals.

Cautions: In clinical studies, only a few cases of abdominal discomfort, nausea, and headache were reported by patients taking the herb for long periods. No known contraindications or drug interactions have been reported.

Note: Don’t be tempted to substitute borage seeds, another rich source of gamma-linolenic acid. ­Although they’re cheaper, they may contain toxic ­alkaloids.

Evening primrose oil capsules cost about 25 cents each and thus are relatively expensive when taken at the recommended doses.

Evening primrose oil products are registered in England for the treatment of atopic eczema. In Canada, evening primrose oil is an approved dietary supplement for treating deficiencies of essential fatty acids. In the United States, under the provisions of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, it is considered a dietary supplement.


Plant oil 'acts like cancer drug'

(BBC News)

Scientists have pinpointed how evening primrose oil fights breast tumours.

It is down to a substance in the oil called gamma-linolenic acid that acts on the same receptor in tumours as the powerful breast cancer drug Herceptin.

Unlike Herceptin, which blocks the Her-2/neu receptor, GLA interferes with the gene carrying the DNA code needed to make the receptor work.

The US work in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute applies to about 30% breast cancers.

Her-2/neu-positive tumours tend to be particularly aggressive. Activation of this receptor makes the cancer grow.

Studies have shown that the drug Herceptin (traztuzumab) cuts the risk of tumours returning in women with early stage Her-2/neu-positive breast cancer by 50%.

UK ministers have already decided that all women in England with early stage breast cancer should be tested to see if they could benefit from the drug.

However, Herceptin is currently licensed only for use in women with advanced breast cancer, although the government's drugs watchdog NICE has been asked to fast track its assessment of the wider use of Herceptin.

Inexpensive therapy hope

The latest work by Dr Javier Menendez and colleagues at Northwestern University suggests evening primrose oil might be a cheaper alternative, or add extra protection.

In their tests, treating Her-2/neu-positive breast cancers will both GLA and Herceptin led to a synergistic increase in death of the tumour cells and reduced cancer growth.

Earlier work by the same team showed that GLA also enhanced the efficacy of other breast cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and the anti-oestrogen drug tamoxifen.

"Since over-expression of Her-2/neu generally confers resistance to chemotherapy and endocrine therapies, our current findings can explain why GLA increases the efficacy of breast cancer treatments," said Dr Menendez.

He said the work showed that "an inexpensive herbal medicine" might regulate breast cancer cell growth and help control cancer spread.

Hazel Nunn of Cancer Research UK said: "A lot more work still needs to be done, but gamma-linolenic acid or GLA does seem to be a worthy candidate for further investigation in clinical trials.

"However, there is no evidence to suggest that taking GLA supplements can help prevent cancer. The best ways to reduce the risk of cancer are to avoid smoking and keep a healthy body weight."

Dr Sarah Rawlings of Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: "These early findings are interesting, however, this research does not suggest that women with breast cancer should routinely take evening primrose oil and any woman with questions about treatment should discuss them with her doctor."


How Evening Primrose Oil Can Cure Acne

(Tea Voice)

Acne is a common and pervasive problem for many people. Because of the persistence of this skin condition many parents were drawn into making false and questionable assumption about the nature of the skin problem. Some are saying that it’s all in the diet, and this is the reason why some parents then prevented their kids from enjoying their guilty pleasures including candies and junk food in order to properly manage acne. And some are even saying that acne is only for the young!

Obviously this is not true since adults are affected by acne troubles as well. You can find people age 20-26 getting their own dose of pimples. This skin condition affects almost all people, of different ages under different dietary programs. Although there may be conflicting and varied assumptions on acne, there’s one thing you can be sure of and many people are agreeing on this- the treatment methods available for acne. One such tried and tested treatment for this skin condition is Evening Primrose oil.

Evening Primrose oil for acne is considered as one of the more effective agents against this skin problem. The oil is based on the plant that is native in North America, but this is also grown naturally in some European countries. The plant blooms in the evening, and the oil processed from the plant comes with gamma-linoleic acid or GLA. This is an important ingredient required for growth and development and works as well for the skin. The oil has been used since the 1930s for eczema, but recently this is now used for acne as well.

The most common application for this plant is in the form of tablets and capsules which you can get from health stores and pharmacies. The dosage varies from manufacturer to manufacturer so pay attention to the label. Take note of the expiration date since Evening Primrose oil deteriorates over time.

You are not limited to the commercially-available Primrose by-product. You can also make your own topical formula by using diced or ground leaves of the plant which you can combine with petroleum jelly.

If you are using it for a long time, make sure that you store the remaining topical formula in your refrigerator. If you are using Evening Primrose oil, keep in mind that results don’t come overnight. Sometimes it will take 2 weeks before you can see results. But the wait is all worth it since the skin will gradually improves.


Is Evening Primrose Oil A New Beauty Ingredient?

(Staff Writer, Real Style Network)

Although olive oil has long been used to moisturize both hair and skin, a new ingredient may be joining the lineup of rising beauty oils.

Evening primrose oil, which is derived from the seed of the evening primrose flowering plant, is believed by some to offer relief from skin disorders. In fact, WebMD reports that this oil may be used to treat conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. However, the U.S. Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that there is not enough evidence to support these claims.

The oil is naturally enriched with essential fatty acids, which are said to offer anti-inflammatory benefits and to nourish irritated skin. Although it can be used topically as a skincare ingredient, evening primrose oil can also be found in foods and as a health supplement in capsules.

While there is conflicting evidence about the health benefits of this oil, it may offer beauty benefits by helping to treat hair loss. The oil is boosted with Gamma-linolenic acid (also known as GLA), a type of essential omega-6 fatty acid that may target this issue. The GLA in evening primrose oil is believed to prevent hair loss, nourish the scalp, encourage growth and ensure strengthened strands.

As well, the nourishing properties of evening primrose oil may also extend to your manicure. The fatty acids are said to encourage stronger nails, and possibly prevent cracks and nail breakage.

Evening primrose oil may not be a magic ingredient which can make serious skincare woes vanish, but it can still play a role in your at-home beauty routine. If you’re looking to boost your tresses or your manicure, it may be worthwhile to include this natural essential oil in your regimen.


Evening Primrose Oil: What You Don’t Know About its Effects on Diabetes, Heart Disease, Arthritis, Eczema and PMS

By JB Bardot

Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is one of the most well-known herbal remedies used to alleviate the pain of menstrual cramps, and it is often used as a natural treatment for the symptoms associated with menopause. Known by its full name of Oenothera Biennis, the evening primrose plant is native to North America, but also grows in many parts of Europe and Asia. The remarkable healing properties of the evening primrose have been known for centuries, and Native Americans used the leaves of the plant as a topical treatment for bruises, surface wounds, and hemorrhoids. Today it is sold in almost every supermarket and health food store. There are numerous health benefits of taking daily doses of Evening Primrose Oil. What Is Evening Primrose Oil?

EPO is obtained by extracting the oil from the seeds of the evening primrose plant, and the oil is then sold in liquid or capsule form. The oil is a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), more commonly known as omega 6, and contains up to 15% GLA and 70% linolenic acid. GLA is an essential fatty acid required by the body for a number of different functions including growth and cell development, and can only be obtained by following a healthy, varied diet. What Conditions Can Evening Primrose Oil Cure?

Premenstrual Syndrome

Many women claim that EPO helps with a number of different symptoms including breast tenderness, menstrual cramps, food cravings, and stomach upset. During menstruation, a women’s body releases hormones known as prostaglandins which are responsible for any pain and inflammation experienced during the cycle. GLA disrupts the production of these hormones and helps to reduce the severity of any unpleasant symptoms.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, swelling and destruction of the joints, and sufferers often become dependent on strong pain relievers in order to cope with this crippling condition. A study conducted by the Center for Rheumatic Diseases found that patients who received daily doses of EPO showed significant improvement in their symptoms after 12 months, and all were able to reduce the amount of pain medication they were currently on or stop taking it entirely.

Eczema

Occasionally, eczema can occur when the body has low levels of GLA, so taking EPO regularly can help to relieve the itching and flaking associated with this condition. EPO is also said to have anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce redness and swelling of the skin.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Many diabetes sufferers experience nerve damage that results in pain, tingling, numbness, and loss of sensation in the hands and feet. Studies have shown EPO to be an effective remedy for this condition, and it can even reverse the effects of the nerve damage after prolonged treatment.

Heart Disease

Regularly taking EPO can help to reduce cholesterol levels and even lower the blood pressure. It has been found to reduce stress levels in those who take it over long periods of time, and it can even be used to treat children afflicted with ADHD. How to Take Evening Primrose Oil

For best results, EPO should be taken 3 times a day with food to avoid any feelings of nausea that may occur when taken on an empty stomach. Each dose can range from 1000 – 2000mg which will give approximately 270 – 540mg of GLA. This amount is most often used during clinical trials and has been found to be the most effective at curing illnesses. Possible Side Effects and Interactions

As with all herbal remedies, EPO can occasionally cause unwanted side effects or react badly when taken in combination with other medications. Common reported side effects include skin rashes, headaches, diarrhea, and nausea, but these symptoms are rare and EPO is generally considered to be safe for consumption. It is not recommended for those who suffer from epilepsy or bleeding disorders, and should never be taken with phenothiazines, which are drugs that are used to treat schizophrenia, or anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications. Consuming Evening Primrose

As well as being a powerful medicinal herb, the evening primrose can also be a delicious and healthy addition to salads and vegetable dishes. For those who prefer not to take dietary supplements, the benefits of this miracle plant can still be enjoyed by consuming the raw leaves and roots, but there will not be the same level of GLA present as with the oil.

Herbal remedies are fast becoming a viable alternative to toxic allopathic medicines, and EPO can be substituted for many expensive and harmful drugs that are routinely prescribed by doctors for a wide range of health problems.



5 Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

By Dr. Josh Axe (Doctor of Natural Medicine & Certified Nutritionist)

It wasn’t until recently that evening primrose oil was used for its amazing health benefits, so you may be surprised to learn about the impact it can have on your hormone health, skin, hair, and bones.

The oil is high in essential fatty acids—which provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances.

Essential fatty acids are necessary for human health, but the body can’t make them—you have to get them through food. Along with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development.

Your body needs a healthy balance of essential fatty acids, such as the omega-6, found in evening primrose, and omega-3, found in fish oil. Consuming fats slows down absorption so we can go longer without feeling hungry; they also act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K.

5 Evening Primrose Oil Benefits

1. Hormones

Women can take primrose oil to naturally treat PMS symptoms because of its essential fatty acid content.

Consuming essential fatty acids creates a healthy environment for conception; they help you lose weight and produce balanced hormones. I recommend that you take 1,500 milligrams, beginning on the first day of your menstrual cycle, until ovulation.

2. Acne

A hormonal imbalance can lead to acne in teens and adults alike, and many people don’t realize that acne can be treated naturally.

In order to treat hormonal acne, you need to tackle the root of the problem—the hormonal imbalance. No topical treatment does that for you; it only treats the already existing pimples or scars. The omega-6 fatty acids present in evening primrose oil can help you to regulate your hormone levels and cure your hormonal acne issues. These fatty acids also play a role in cell structure, improving nerve function and promoting skin elasticity.

To take advantage of this evening primrose oil health benefit regarding hormonal acne, you can take an evening primrose oil capsule daily. You can also put the oil on your face directly. This is known to help with the healing process and improve the overall appearance of your skin.

3. Hair Loss

Men and women struggle with hair loss, and sometimes the best way to prevent this issue it with diet or supplements. When it comes to hair, hormones play a significant role—including in the hair pattern found on your head, as well as the rest of your body.

Essential omega-6 fatty acid, GLA, which comes from consuming capsules of evening primrose oil, can be highly effective in the fight against hair loss. Try taking 500 milligrams twice a day—you will begin to see results in six to eight weeks.

You can also rub evening primrose oil into your hair or add it to your shampoo. In a study done at the University of Maryland, 86 people who were experiencing hair loss massaged their scalps with essential oils. They did this daily for seven months; at the end, those who used essential oils daily noticed significant hair regrowth. Besides using evening primrose oil for this remedy, try lavender, cypress, and lemongrass essential oils too.

4. Skin Health

Evening primrose oil has proven to be a valuable treatment choice for people suffering from skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. Studies published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science have even shown that evening primrose oil can help with age-related structural and functional changes in skin tissues, such as redness, firmness, roughness, and fatigue resistance.

Research shows that people with eczema don’t have the normal ability to process fatty acids; this results in a deficiency of gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that the body can convert to substances that reduce inflammation and cell growth. Studies prove that evening primrose oil is remarkably effective in relieving many symptoms of eczema, including itching, redness, and edema.

Psoriasis occurs when skin cells replicate too quickly, which results in swollen patches under the skin covered with whitish scales on top. The cause of psoriasis includes hormonal changes, poor diet, and difficulty digesting protein. An evening primrose oil benefit is its ability to help naturally cure psoriasis—because the essential fatty acids help with hormone balance and digestion.

5. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that occurs in joints on both sides of the body—such as both hands, both wrists, or both knees. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors.

Some studies show that primrose oil may be a suitable natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. One study done by Arthritis Research UK measured the effects of evening primrose oil on 49 people. The data found that 94 percent of participants who got evening primrose oil reported a significant improvement of disease-related symptoms, including pain and morning stiffness. When using evening primrose oil for symptoms of arthritis, it may take one to three months for benefits to appear.

Evening Primrose Oil Side Effects

The dosage for primrose oil varies depending on the particular ailment. We suggest consulting your doctor before taking any new supplements. Reported side effects are rare and mild, and include nausea, stomach pain, and headaches. Stomach pain and loose stools may mean that the dose is too high.

If you take medication for blood thinning or blood pressure medication, speak to your health care provider before consuming evening primrose oil. If you’re prone to seizures and take a class of medications called phenothiazines, which is used to treat schizophrenia, you shouldn’t take evening primrose oil because it may increase your risk of seizures.



Natural health guide: evening primrose oil

(ABC Health and Wellbeing)

Evening primrose oil is often used to treat skin conditions and help reduce symptoms of menopause and PMS.

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis) is extracted from seeds of the yellow evening primrose. It contains essential fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which help cell growth and development. Native to North America, it has been used since the 1930s for skin conditions. What is it used for?

Eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, breast pain associated with the menstrual cycle, menopause, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), diabetic retinopathy. How is it used?

Evening primrose oil can be taken as capsules, or applied directly on the skin for skin disorders. At a glance

Main use: Skin conditions/PMS

Evidence: Evening primrose oil may be of some benefit in rheumatoid arthritis, breast pain and diabetic eye disease. It appears ineffective for menopausal symptoms, PMS and eczema.

Caution: Stop taking 1-2 weeks before surgery.

Remember to always tell your healthcare provider about all the remedies and medications you're taking. Scientific evidence?

Studies show evening primrose oil may have potential benefits in improving pain and disability associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Some small studies show modest benefits for diabetic retinopathy (diabetic eye disease), but it is unlikely to help in other aspects of diabetes such as nerve problems. There may be a possible effect on breast pain, although the studies looking at this so far have been of poor quality. It appears ineffective for menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes and night sweats, as well as for PMS. Recent reviews show there is no evidence that evening primrose oil is useful in treating eczema.

It's not known what dose you should take for any condition. Side-effects and interactions

Mild side effects include gastrointestinal upset and headache.

It should be used with caution in people with a bleeding disorder and in people taking blood-thinning medication, as the combination may increase bleeding risk. Stop taking 1-2 weeks before surgery.

Recent research has indicated it does not cause seizures or lower seizure threshold in people who have epilepsy or who take anti-psychotic medication.

Do not take evening primrose oil in pregnancy.


These Evening Primrose Oil Benefits Will Have You Ditching All Your Other Acne Treatments

By Kristin Collins Jackson

I have been having an affair with hormonal acne for over 15 years. As a teen, I used topical treatments to eliminate the appearance of pimples which showed limited results My acne stabilized somewhat in college thanks to birth control. Honestly, I look back at pictures of me in college and feel jealous of how consistently clear my skin was. I would hate that girl with the even skin tone and big smile if she wasn't so adorable. Eventually, the negative side-effects of birth control outweighed the positive and I had to say goodbye to my perfect skin.

Turns out, the reason many topical spot treatments and anti-breakout cleansers don't work is because they're not treating your hormonal imbalance. I've mentioned before that I prefer a natural spot treatment to avoid potential dryness. Fortunately, I can turn to nature to help keep my skin looking flawless.

Through many science experiments in my bathroom, I've found that tea tree oil isn't the only player in spot treatments. Evening primrose oil is as sexy as it sounds: It has an amazing in scent and a powerful ingredient for common skin woes like acne, wrinkles, and eczema. It's packed with Omega-6 fatty acids, crucial for healthy skin and nails. Our body doesn't naturally produce these fatty acids — they can only be derived from plant oil. This particular version is really gentle, making skin irritation rare, and also contains tons of vitamin E and vitamin C, which are both essential to keep skin looking and feeling youthful.

Long ago, primrose oil was used by Native Americas to treat hemorrhoids, stomachaches, sore throats and bruising. These days it's used in high-end face serums and cleansers because of its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It was actually Fresh's skincare line that turned me on to primrose oil — they love putting the stuff in a lot of their products.

Use capsules or purchase evening primrose oil to try out some of my favorite recipes below.

Eye Serum

Since primrose oil is packed with no-nonsense anti-aging properties, this will be a valuable addition to your beauty routine. I have certainly reaped the benefits of using grape seed oil under my eyes to eliminate bagginess and dark circles especially after a night of "happy-hour-gone-wrong". Add a few drops of primrose oil to an ounce of grape seed oil and gently pat into the skin under your eyes. The anti-inflammatory properties will diminish those unsightly circles, tricking your boss into thinking you went to bed promptly at 9pm.

Hormonal Acne

Once a week, I get serious about my face and give myself an anti-acne oil cleanse. I'm certainly not married to any one recipe, but my favorite always includes a "carrier oil" that my face is already familiar with. This is crucial when you are trying to treat acne because you don't want to further irritate your skin with a new ingredient.

My carrier oil for this particular cleanser is always grape seed or coconut oil, but you can use whatever suits your skin best. Liquefy your carrier oil and add equal drops of primrose and peppermint oil. The peppermint oils is an anti-septic that will cleanse your skin and the primrose will treat your hormonal imbalance. Plus, both of these are anti-inflammatory agents that will bring down redness and irritation in your skin. Rinse thoroughly and apply your moisturizer or choice oil. Be mindful that all acne oil cleansers should be used on a freshly washed face!

Nail Bed Health

This is a great trick to use underneath your base coat for your nails to protect them even further. I usually rub a dab of oil on my nails because I have been plagued with unruly ridges that no amount of buffing can get rid of. Putting a natural oil on top of your nail beds will help strengthen your nails and I've found my ridges at their best (sadly, not completely gone). Do this at least a few hours before you DIY a mani so the oil has time to soak in — otherwise, the polish won't stick.

Pictures of Primrose