Evening primrose belongs to the genus oenothera which contains about 125 species including sundrops, suncups and evening primrose. Let’s take a closer look at the Evening Primrose whose botanical name is oenothera biennis.
This biennial plant is a native to North America.
The plants are quite tall, and may grow up to 4 or 5 feet high.
Evening primrose can be found in the eastern side of the Rockies.
It is cultivated easily and may grow in alkaline, acidic or neutral soil.
The plants have a have a life span of two years.
Evening primrose is an accepted form of alternative medicine.
The leaves can be cooked and eaten and the roots have a good taste when boiled.
The flowers are used as a garnish for various dishes, the seeds too can be eaten once steamed.
Evening primrose contains gamma-linoleinc acid (GLA) which is a very important fatty acid which is not manufactured by the body.
GLA is responsible for the prevention of hardening of the arteries which leads to heart disease.
It is also useful in the prevention of cirrhosis, eczema and rheumatoid arthritis.
Women in menopause also benefit by taking evening primrose.
It has also been proved that primrose oil provides relief for inflammation and pain.
Primrose oil also is good for uterine muscles, the nervous system and metabolism in general.
The bark and leaves have astringent (to cause contraction of the body tissues) and sedative properties.
Evening primrose is also useful in the treatment for obesity.
The powdered flower stems are used for face masks and they provide relief from reddening of the skin.
As all extracts of evening primrose are absolutely natural, there are rarely any side effects for this herb. Therefore, it is safe for anyone to take it and everyone can enjoy the benefit of this herb. It is advisable however to consult a medical practitioner before giving it to children.
Mild side effects have been reported such as an upset stomach or loose motions.
Nausea and headaches may also occur.
Evening primrose can cause uterine contractions, so it is not advisable for expectant mothers to take it.
Anyone who is taking blood-thinning medication should avoid evening primrose.
People suffering from epilepsy should also avoid it.
A single pill of evening primrose contains about 9% GLA. 320 to 480 mg taken per day is usually recommended, taken in minute doses throughout the day. In some cases up to 2 grams a day may be taken. It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking evening primrose.