Evening primrose oil benefits are well documented. The oil is obtained from the evening primrose plant – which contains fatty acids with remarkable healing capabilities. Native American healers used to collect the flowers, and apply it as treatment for a number of diverse ailments, ranging from stomachaches to sore throats.
The nutritional benefits of evening primrose oil lie in the substantial content of essential fatty acids. These omega-6 fatty acids are involved in a number of bodily processes, including heart function, mood regulation, and insulin processing. These essential fatty acids cannot be manufactured inside the body, and has to be consumed as part of the diet. Additionally, it contains linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid – which is involved in the body’s ability to maintain a normal weight, as well as regulating inflammatory immune responses.
The health benefits of evening primrose oil have been proven over and over. Besides ensuring that bodily processes related to the heart and pancreas are stable, it has also proven effective in suppressing unnatural immune responses. It does this by inhibiting the production of chemicals that result in inflammation. As such, it has been used effectively to treat a range of inflammatory conditions, including asthma, eczema, acne, rosecea, and even rheumatoid arthritis.
Evening primrose oil benefits even include the relief of PMS and other menstrual symptoms, like sore and tender breasts.
Research has also pointed towards relief from nerve end damage – usually suffered by diabetics.
Symptoms of Deficiency
A deficiency of the essential fatty acids contained in evening primrose oil manifests itself in any of a number of symptoms, including:
- Dry, scaly or flaky skin.
- Skin that is dry in some areas, and oily in others.
- Fingernails can be dull, slow growing, soft, brittle or splitting.
- Excessive thirst, as well as dry mouth and throat.
- Allergic conditions – like eczema, hay fever, dandruff and cradle cap.
- Irregular appearances on the skin, color variations, and cracking or peeling of the skin.
- Dry eyes and excessive ear wax.
Stiff and/or painful joints.
Evening primrose oil benefits can be obtained by consuming it either as capsules or as the oil itself. Since all products containing the oil can easily become rancid, it is advisable to keep it out of sunlight, and store it in the refrigerator. Oils of high quality are usually packaged in light-resistant containers, refrigerated, marked with a freshness date, and certified as organic.
Evening primrose side effects are a reality – but can easily be avoided by simply taking proper care – and keeping to the recommended dosages. Side effects are not widespread, and are usually mild in nature – it mostly limited to nausea, loose stools, stomachache and headaches. In most cases, these symptoms are merely indications of overdosing.
People suffering from seizure disorders should refrain from using evening primrose oil, since it has been reported that it may actually induce a seizure. Additionally, it is not advised for people suffering bleeding problems, or even blood disorders.
Evening primrose oil benefits outweigh any possible side effects by far – its widespread usage speaks for itself.