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Primrose Oil

Primrose oil is produced from the plant Oenothera biennis (common evening-primrose, evening star, sun drop, weedy evening primrose, German rampion, hog weed, King’s cure-all, or fever-plant), is a species of Oenothera native to eastern and central North America, from Newfoundland west to Alberta, southeast to Florida, and southwest to Texas, and widely naturalized elsewhere in temperate and subtropical regions.

Color: Yellow to light orange
Smell: Discreet
Texture: Moderately fluid but penetrating enough
Taste: Slightly bitter

The numerous health benefits of evening primrose oil are attributed to its abundance of the healthy fats. This essential oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids in the form of both linolenic acid and GLA. While most Americans get their fair share of omega-6 fatty acids from unhealthy vegetable oils, the GLA found in evening primrose oil is actually a healthier form of omega-6 and offers various health benefits. The reason why GLA is healthier than linolenic acid is because of the prostaglandins it contains. Prostaglandins are essential in the overall function of the body and are required for regulating numerous organ functions. It is also responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of this oil, which may help ease arthritis and other inflammatory disorders. GLA has been linked to improvements in brain function, reproductive health and metabolism.

In current times, evening primrose is used to help alleviate pain and various skin conditions. Additionally, most parts of the plant can be incorporated in salads and other dishes to add flavor and color. The evening primrose plant is also the source of a valuable oil used in holistic medicine and cosmetics: evening primrose oil.

It can help clear up acne – The GLA in EPO is thought to help acne by reducing skin inflammation and 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. This condition 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 three times daily for a total of eight weeks.

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, 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 three times daily for up to 12 weeks.

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 six months. You can also take 1,200 mg of vitamin E for 6 months.

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 six weeks experienced less frequent, less severe, and shorter hot flashes.

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

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, weakness.

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

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.


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