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Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Monday, May 3, 2010

Evening Primrose Oil ~ Every Woman's Friend

Originally, I was simply going to tell you about how using Evening Primrose Oil has helped me & add a few little informative, beneficial ditties about how helpful it is to most all women along the way. Then, I came upon some great websites like HerbWisdom.com, among others, & they had some incredible detail concerning it's uses & benefits that I had no idea about. Even better! So, I'll just let the experts speak for themselves, below.

As for the plant, itself: Evening primrose oil comes from a wildflower native to America. Its name comes from the fact that its sweet little flowers bloom in the late afternoon.
If you decide to try Evening Primrose Oil, I can only hope that you benefit from it as much as I have.

Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Evening Primrose Oil (Oenothera biennis)

Evening Primrose Benefits

Evening Primrose Oil has been called the most sensational preventive discovery since vitamin C. It contains the pain relieving compound phenylalanine and is increasingly being used to treat chronic headaches. It is currently being studied all over the world as a treatment for aging problems, alcoholism, acne, heart disease, hyperactivity in children, multiple sclerosis, weight control, obesity, PMS and schizophrenia. It has so many preventive and therapeutic qualities that it has become a standard part of recommendations of many herbalist for maintaining youth and preventing disease.

Evening Primrose Oil contains a high concentration of a fatty acid called GLA and it is this fatty acid that is largely responsible for the remarkable healing properties of the plant. In fact, Evening Primrose contains one of the highest concentrations known of this important substance and only a few other plants contain it at all. This makes Evening Primrose an important medicinal herb, and as studies continue, the list of benefits will likely become much longer. The gamma-linoleic acid, linoleic acid and other nutrients in this oil are essential for cell structure and improve the elasticity of the skin. These fatty acids also help to regulate hormones and improve nerve function aiding problems ranging from PMS to migraine headaches. The hormone balancing effect contributes to healthy breast tissue.

Specifically, evening primrose oil may help to:

Relieve the discomforts of PMS, menstruation, endometriosis and fibrocystic breasts: By interfering with the production of inflammatory prostaglandins released during menstruation, the GLA in evening primrose oil can help to lessen menstrual cramps. It may also minimise premenstrual breast tenderness, irritable bowel flare-ups, and carbohydrate cravings, and help to control endometriosis-associated inflammation. Many PMS sufferers are found to have unusually low levels of GLA in their systems, which is why supplements might help so much. In women with fibrocystic breasts, the oil's essential fatty acids can minimise breast inflammation and promote the absorption of iodine, a mineral that can be present in abnormally low levels in women with this condition.

Ease the joint pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis: Supplementation with evening primrose oil and other sources of GLA has been shown to lessen the joint pain and swelling of this crippling disease. A six-month study reported fewer signs of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers taking capsules containing GLA than in those taking a placebo. In another trial, the number of tender joints and swollen joints dropped significantly with GLA but not with a placebo.

Prevent diabetes-associated nerve damage: Research indicates that the GLA in evening primrose oil can help prevent, and in some cases even reverse, the nerve damage (neuropathy) so commonly seen with diabetes. In a year-long study, such symptoms as numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in participants with mild diabetic neuropathy were less marked in those who took evening primrose oil than in those who took a placebo.

Reduce the symptoms of eczema: In some cases, eczema develops when the body has problems converting dietary fats into GLA. Getting supplemental GLA from evening primrose oil may therefore be helpful.

Some studies indicate that this oil can outperform a placebo in relieving eczema-related inflammation, as well as the itching, oozing, and flaking associated with this condition. By taking GLA, eczema sufferers may tolerate reduced doses of steroid creams and drugs, many of which cause unpleasant side effects.

Help treat acne and rosacea: By working to dilute sebum, a thick oily substance that is oversecreted in some people with acne, the essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil may reduce the risk of pores becoming clogged and lesions developing. The oil's EFAs help treat rosacea by reducing inflammation, controlling cells' use of nutrients and by producing prostaglandins, which stimulate the contraction of blood vessels.

Combat damage from multiple sclerosis: The abundant supply of essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil may be valuable in minimizing the inflammation associated with this progressive nerve disorder. The fatty acids may also contribute to healthy nerve development when taken over time.

Treat Alzheimer's-related memory deficiencies: By boosting the transmission of nerve impulses, evening primrose oil may be valuable in treating this progressive brain disorder.

Counter impotence and female infertility: By promoting blood flow, the GLA in evening primrose oil can help treat a primary cause of male impotence; compromised circulation leading to impaired penile blood flow. The oil is often taken with vitamin C and ginkgo biloba for this purpose. In addition, when the oil is taken long term, GLA can help prevent blood vessel narrowing, often a consequence of plaque buildup from high cholesterol. By improving uterine function, GLA may also help those who are unable to conceive.

Nourish nails, scalp, and hair: The rich stores of essential fatty acids in evening primrose oil not only prevent nails from cracking but also help to keep them generally healthy. In addition, the essential fatty acids nourish the scalp, making the supplement potentially valuable in treating a variety of hair problems.

Prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms: GLA prompts the brain to produce a specific type of prostaglandin called prostaglandin E, which works to prevent withdrawal symptoms such as depression and seizures by indirectly protecting the liver and nervous system.

**Note: Consult a doctor first if you suffer from epilepsy, are taking anticoagulants, blood pressure medicine, blood cholesterol medicine or estrogen or other hormonal therapies. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not use this herb.

Latin Name: Oenothera biennis Common Names: Fever Plant, OEP, Sun Drop

Properties: Anti-aggregatory, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-proliferative, anti-thrombotic, vasodilator

Indicated for: Acne, allergies, arteriosclerosis, asthma, cholesterol regulation, chronic headaches, diabetic nerve damage. dermatitis, eczema, hyperactivity in children, high cholesterol, impotence and female infertility, inflammation, lupus, multiple sclerosis, prostate health, psoriasis, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, rosacea, scleroderma, treat, Alzheimer's-related memory deficiencies, upset stomach. Nourish nails, scalp, and hair. Prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Relieve the discomforts of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), menstruation, endometriosis and fibrocystic breasts. Minimise premenstrual breast tenderness, irritable bowel flare-ups, and carbohydrate cravings, and help to control endometriosis-associated inflammation.

{This is NOT meant to be medical advice. I am only relaying what has worked for my family & myself. ~KW<><}


  1. It's funny cause when i was overdue my midwife suggested I drink it as a tea to help me along. But since I'm not a big fan of tea, the few cups I did have, didn't do much.

  2. Hi Kim,
    Do you take the flax oil and primrose
    together? I used primrose years ago
    and it helped a great deal. We were
    thinking of using flax oil just due
    to reading about the health benefits.

  3. Sandy ~ Yes, I take a TB of flax oil, 2 evening primrose capsules a day, plus I rub in a squirt of progesterone cream, too.


  4. Thank you for sharing this with us Kim! Lots of great info there!!

  5. Oh I remember evening primrose oil! I took it when I was preggors :) I should start re taking it again with the coming years ahead :0

  6. Hi Kim, this is such good information, I wonder if it would be good for RA too? It really helps you eh? Hugs and thanks for the good post.

  7. Can`t use it if estrogen based cancers run in your family (primrose oil is a estrogen promoter) , but then you could use black curranty seed oil instead.


  8. currant seed, not curranty! hehehe


  9. Okay, I'm confused...one of the comments were that evening primrose is an estrogen promoter...I thought we are trying to lower our estrogen not make it go up while in perimenopause...I just purchased evening primose but now I'm not sure...could you please speak to that? I will try and do some research myself as well...also it says on my bottle that if you are taking evening primsoe do NOT take black cohosh...this is just too much to digest...how do we know that by taking this stuff we are not doing more damage? I sure could use some help here.

    Thank you!


  10. Lynn ~ Thanks for your comment!

    1st, let me say that I write about things that I have found benefit in for myself & my family & hope that anything I write about - no matter the category - benefits & ministers my readers.

    2nd, KZSpot is a WEALTH of info (I lovingly call her Yoda!), but like ANY info, you need to take into consideration that there are differing opinions AND experiences...whether talking about health care or making laundery detergent. I CAN tell you, however, that even though I have had 2 aunts who have had breast cancer (1 passed away from it), that this regimen has worked for me. When I 1st found out about this I was going to a female Dr. & she was thrilled w/my research AND my decision...even knowing my family history full well. On top of that, my 'gut Dr' (digestive care)knows my regimen, too, & he supports it.

    3rd, you will also notice that in the **NOTE, in the post, the research I found said that it's not wise to take EPO while pregnant or nursing...Nancy obviously has had far differing results. She took it WHILE pregnant & had great results!

    4th, as w/anything having to do w/your health, do your research, contact your Dr & even get a 2nd opinion...I guarantee you'll find more than 1 even among your most respected advisors. I feel satisfied in MY decision not only b/c of the great results I've had, but b/c 2 of my Drs support me taking this, fully knowing my family's history of breast cancer. Possibly the Progesterone cream over-rides the minimal estrogen in the EPO & that's why they support it, I don't know...that could be a cause for some more good research! :-)

    I hope this was more of a help than adding to any confusion.

    Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><


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