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Evening Primrose Oil or Primrose: properties, benefits of its use and contraindications

Evening Primrose Oil or Primrose , has gained prominence in recent years due to the medicinal properties it has and the benefits it brings to health.

In this article we give you useful information about this oil, such as: what is evening primrose oil, what are its active principles, how is it used, what are the benefits it has for the body and in which cases is it contraindicated Evening Primrose or Primrose oil.

What is Evening Primrose or Primrose?

Evening primrose or primrose is a plant that grows wild in North America and some parts of Europe. Its scientific name is Oenothera biennis , and it is also popularly known by the name of donkey grass .

Since ancient times, Native Americans used this plant as food and medicinal purposes to treat hemorrhoids, bruises, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.

At present, the use of its oil has become popular, which has been shown to have multiple beneficial properties for health, and in particular for female gynecological health. Therefore, it is important to know the properties of evening primrose oil and thus begin to take advantage of this gift of nature.

What is evening primrose or primrose oil?

Evening primrose oil is a substance that is golden in color and has a subtle nutty aroma.

The oil is obtained by pressing the mature seed obtained from the fruit of the plant. Its approximate half-life is 6 months, but it varies according to its presentation and storage conditions.

Active principles of evening primrose oil

In its composition, this oil is rich in essential fatty acids, such as:

  • Linoleic acid
  • Gamma linolenic acid
  • Palmitic acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Oleic acid

It also has other compounds such as protein and vegetable fiber (cellulose and lignin).

How do you use Evening Primrose or Primrose oil?

You can use evening primrose oil in two ways:

  • Its use can be done externally and topically, applying the oil directly to the areas to be treated.
  • Oral use through the ingestion of soft capsules, to treat ailments or diseases of internal origin.

Its dose varies according to the patient, use and product, therefore, it is advisable to consult a specialist.

What are the properties of evening primrose oil for health?

Its beneficial properties are attributed to a high content of essential fatty acids, mainly linoleic acid and gamma linolenic acid. Both belong to the omega 6 series, therefore, as the body is not able to synthesize them, it is necessary to ingest them through the foods in our diet.

The balance of these essential fatty acids in the body is essential to enjoy good health, since they provide us with benefits by acting as:

  • Cellular protectors
  • Hormonal regulators
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Pain suppressants
  • In developing central nervous system

This would be some of its main functions in the body.

Primrose or Evening Primrose oil benefits

As mentioned above, evening primrose or evening primrose oil has multiple beneficial properties. Among them we find:

On skin health

It is one of the places where primrose oil has been shown to have the greatest amount of benefits, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action. It is associated with beneficial effects in the treatment of acne , both orally, by regulating the hormonal load, and topically, favoring the disappearance of annoying residual spots.

It has also been effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis , notably reducing the itching and its intensity (1) Another flattering effect has been observed in scleroderma and Rynaund’s phenomenon , where it keeps the fingers at a suitable temperature. It has also been used as a treatment for psoriasis and eczema . However, in the latter, there is still controversy about their effectiveness. (two)

On the other hand, in the field of beauty, primrose oil benefits the skin: moisturizing it, increasing its firmness, resistance to fatigue, elasticity and reducing dark spots . For this, a dose of 500mg of primrose oil is recommended, 3 times a day for 3 months. In addition, its use can be complemented topically by applying it to the face and neck, every night before going to bed.

In hair health

As in the skin it has multiple attributes, we can also talk about the benefits of this hair oil.

One of them is the decrease in hair loss , since, many times, this is associated with hormonal lack of control. In addition, omega 6 works by nourishing and strengthening it. For this benefit, a dose of 500 mg 2 or 3 times a day is recommended and can be supplemented by adding it to shampoo, styling cream or directly to the hair.

Evening primrose oil also improves the health of the scalp, reducing dandruff , itching and redness.

In Premenstrual Syndrome, Pre menopausal and fertility

Evening primrose or primrose oil has many properties for women, since beneficial effects have been attributed to it in reducing premenstrual syndrome, mainly breast pain (2,3) and menopausal pain , reducing so-called hot flashes (4) .

This can be associated with its fatty acid content and its action as a hormonal regulator.

On the other hand, primrose oil is believed to increase fertility by improving mucus quality by facilitating sperm mobility. However, it is not recommended for use during pregnancy because it can increase oxytocin levels (5)

Other benefits

Evening Primrose or Primrose oil has been associated with the natural treatment of multiple diseases. Among them, rheumatoid arthritis decreasing its symptoms and behavior, however, more studies are required in this regard (6) .

Combined with calcium, it has also been shown to decrease bone loss caused by osteoporosis .

On the other hand, it improves the neuronal damage caused by diabetes (2,7) and is also beneficial to take care of cardiovascular health , by reducing blood pressure , the formation of clots and by controlling cholesterol and triglyceride levels (8)

 

When is evening primrose oil contraindicated?

As we have seen, the properties and benefits of Evening Primrose or Primrose oil are very interesting and can be used in different areas to improve different ailments. But we must bear in mind that the use of primrose oil is not recommended in certain cases:

  • Those who consume blood-thinning or circulation medications.
  • Schizophrenic people.
  • Persibas who are going to undergo any surgical intervention.
  • Pregnant or lactating women.

References

  1. https://www.ijdvl.com/article.asp?issn=03786323;year=2008;volume=74;issue=5;spage=447;epage=452;aulast=Senapati
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2541068/
  3. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/1215/p1405.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23625331
  5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1016/S0091-2182(99)00055-5/full
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409664/
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-evening-primrose/art-20364500
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28742409

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