Herbal Meds

Evening Primrose oil, an effective herbal remedy to treat eczema and skin conditions

Where does Evening Primrose oil come from?

Native Americans valued the Evening Primrose plant for its healing powers and there is evidence that European settlers used the plant to treat a variety of skin ailments.

This wildflower grows in North America and Europe and its light yellow flowers open at dusk. The Evening Primrose plant is often mistaken for a weed in gardens.

Evening Primrose roots have long been used to treat bruises, sore throats and stomach ailments, however, the use of the Evening Primrose seeds, which produce the oil, has only recently been studied.

Evening Primrose oil is used in cosmetics as well as in herbal remedies.

How can Evening Primrose oil help me?

Evening Primrose seeds contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is an essential fatty acid which the human body converts into hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins regulate several important bodily functions.

Evening Primrose oil also contains omega-6 fatty acids, which can assist to regulate insulin absorption and can even assist to regulate your heartbeat.

The human body does not manufacture fatty acids on its own, therefore taking Evening Primrose oil supplements can improve your general health.

Several studies have shown the benefits of taking Evening Primrose oil supplements to treat atopic dermatitis, or eczema. Eczema occurs when the body is unable to convert fats from food into GLA. Evening Primrose oil supplements alleviate itching and can reduce the need for topical steroid creams and other medications which have undesirable side-effects.

Due to its high GLA content, Evening Primrose oil is very effective to treat a variety of menstrual disorders. Evening Primrose oil blocks the inflammatory prostaglandins that cause menstrual cramps and several women have reported that taking Evening Primrose oil supplements ease the breast tenderness experienced just before their periods.

Menopausal women have also benefited from taking Evening Primrose oil supplements as this herbal remedy assists to alleviate the flushing as well as mood swings experienced by menopausal women.

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis improve dramatically when taking Evening Primrose oil supplements. The GLA found in Evening Primrose oil eases the joint pain and swelling.

Evening Primrose oil lessens the inflammation of acne as well as rosacea. The redness and swelling associated with both these conditions are dramatically improved and some studies have shown that with long-term use of Evening Primrose oil supplements, new outbreaks of these skin conditions can be prevented.

People living with diabetes often suffer from a condition called diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage, caused by diabetes. The GLA in Evening Primrose oil helps to minimize the symptoms of the nerve damage and can even assist in preventing future nerve damage.

Evening Primrose oil is recommended to people who suffer from Raynaud disease, which is a disease that causes numbness and tingling in the limbs due to poor blood circulation.

The GLA found in Evening Primrose oil can also assist to lower blood pressure, however further studies are needed.

If I am already on medicine, what are the interactions or side effects I need to know about when using Evening Primrose oil?

Please consult your medical practitioner prior to using any herbal medications should you be under their care.

Care should be taken by people who are taking medicine to treat mental illness or medicine used to treat epilepsy. These drugs include chlorpromazine, thioridazine and trifluoperazine. People using these drugs have reported an increase in seizures when taking Evening Primrose oil.

If you are having surgery that requires anesthesia, you should stop taking Evening Primrose oil at least two weeks before the surgery to minimize the risk of seizures.

Only about 2% of people using Evening Primrose oil have reported bloating and abdominal upsets. Consuming Evening Primrose oil with food lessens these side-effects.

Evening Primrose oil lowers blood pressure, therefore consult your health care practitioner before taking Evening Primrose oil supplements with your regular blood pressure medication.

Evening Primrose oil should be taken only under your medical practitioners care when you are taking blood-thinning drugs such as Warfarin.

How do I take Evening Primrose oil?

The recommended therapeutic dose of Evening Primrose oil is 1000 mg three times a day. This supplies 240 mg of GLA a day.

When buying Evening Primrose oil supplements, check that the supplement contains a small dose of vitamin E. The fatty acids in Evening Primrose oil break down very quickly, but vitamin E slows this process down.

Evening Primrose oil can be applied topically to ease the symptoms of eczema, acne, rosacea and rheumatoid arthritis.

Taking Evening Primrose oil with meals assists with absorption.

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