Combats arthritis: The name evening primrose is derived from the fact that its light yellow flowers open at dusk. Native to North America and Europe, this plant has long been used to treat bruises, hemorrhoids, sore throats and stomach-aches. However, the use of its seed oil, rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), is relatively recent. GLA is an essential fatty acid that the body converts to prostaglandins, hormone-like compounds which regulate a number of bodily functions. The GLA in evening primrose oil is converted to important anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. This accounts for most of its therapeutic effects, making it helpful in easing the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, a condition characterized by joint pain and swelling.
Protects against cardiovascular disease: The GLA in evening primrose oil stimulates the production of prostaglandins which among other things are involved in the regulation of platelet aggregation, blood vessel tone, salt and water balance, gastrointestinal function, neurotransmitter function and secretion of insulin. Prostaglandins are active in the regulation of the cardiovascular system and may help prevent heart attacks by inhibiting blood clots and arterial spasms.
Helpful in treating skin disorders: Evening primrose oil is used to treat eczema, an allergic skin condition that may occur if the body has difficulty converting fats from food into GLA. This oil can help relieve itching and reduce the need for topical steroid creams and drugs with unpleasant side effects. In addition, conditions that involve inflammation such as rosacea, acne and even muscle strain can benefit from taking evening primrose oil.
Relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Due to its rich GLA content, evening primrose oil can be effective in treating menstrual disorders such as PMS, menstrual cramps and endometriosis. Specifically, this oil blocks the inflammatory prostaglandins that cause menstrual cramps. It also seems to reduce the breast tenderness some women experience before their periods.
Contains NO: Corn, dairy, eggs, fish, gluten, shellfish, wheat or yeast.