8 Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose is a plant that grows throughout Europe and parts of Asia and it is a native to North and South America. It contains yellow color flowers that open at sunset and close during the day. The oil from the seeds of evening primrose is extracted and used to make medicine.
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Table of contents
- Importance of Evening primrose oil
- Benefits of Evening primrose oil
- Supplements and dosage of Evening primrose oil
- Evening primrose oil side effects
Importance of Evening primrose oil
The evening primrose oil is derived from the seeds of the evening primrose (Oenothera Bennis) plant. It has numerous uses and is widely available in supplement form. The oil is a rich source of omega-6 essential fatty acids. As the evening primrose oil contains linoleic acid as well as Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) - both are essential components of myelin, the protective coating around nerve fibers, and the neuronal cell membrane. Evening primrose oil is normally taken as a supplement or applied topically. Evening primrose oil also contains polyphenols. It is known for its hormone-balancing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
Benefits of Evening primrose oil
- It can help clear up acne
The Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) is thought to help acne by reducing skin inflammation and the number of skin cells that cause lesions. It may also help the skin retain moisture.
- It can help improve overall skin health
Evening primrose oil contains GLA which may help in improving the skin’s epidermis. As a result, it smoothens the skin and improves its elasticity, moisture, firmness, fatigue resistance. As per the study, GLA is necessary for ideal skin structure and function. Because the skin can’t produce GLA on its own, researchers believe taking GLA-rich EPO helps keep skin healthy overall.
- It may help relieve Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms
Evening primrose oil is highly effective in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, such as depression, irritability, bloating. Some studies have shown that some women experience PMS because they’re sensitive to normal prolactin levels in the body. GLA converts to a substance in the body (prostaglandin E1) thought to help prevent prolactin from triggering PMS.
- It may help reduce hot flashes
Evening primrose oil may reduce the severity of hot flashes, one of the most uncomfortable side effects of menopause.
- It may help reduce high blood pressure
It helps in reducing the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy or preeclampsia, a condition that causes dangerously high blood pressure during and after pregnancy.
- It may help improve heart health
Evening primrose oil is an anti-inflammatory agent and helps reduce blood cholesterol. Most people with heart disease have inflammation in the body, although there are no proper evidences to prove that inflammation causes heart disease.
- It can help reduce nerve pain
Peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of diabetes and other conditions. Older research has shown that taking linolenic acid helps reduce neuropathy symptoms, such as hot and cold sensitivity, numbness, tingling and weakness.
- It may help ease bone pain
Bone pain is often caused by rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder. The GLA in Evening primrose oil has the potential to reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain without causing unwanted side effects.
Supplements and dosage of Evening primrose oil
There are hundreds of Evening primrose oil supplements on the market, in Tablets, Capsules, Softgels and liquids. When choosing Evening primrose oil, research the supplement as well as the company selling the product. There are different formulation and dosage forms of Evening primrose oil like Tablets, Capsules, Softgels, liquids, etc (Nature's Velvet Evening Primrose Oil is one of the examples).
Dosage recommendations vary. If you really want to try consuming an Evening primrose oil supplement for its potential effects, studies suggest you should start with a dosage of 500-mg EPO capsules three times daily. For premenstrual syndrome (PMS), take a dose of 6 to 12 capsules (500 mg to 6,000 mg) one to four times daily for up to 10 months. Start taking with the smallest dose of evening primrose oil possibly, and increase as needed to relieve symptoms.
Side effects and risks
Evening primrose oil is generally considered safe for most people to use short term. The safety of long-term use hasn’t been determined. Side effects of Evening primrose oil are usually mild and may include upset stomach, stomach pain, headache, soft stools. Consuming the least amount of Evening primrose oil possibly may help prevent side effects. In rare cases, Evening primrose oil may cause an allergic reaction. Some symptoms of an allergic reaction are inflammation of the hands and feet, rash, difficulty breathing, wheezing. If you take blood thinners, Evening primrose oil may increase bleeding. Evening primrose oil may lower blood pressure, so don’t take it if you take medications that lower blood pressure or blood thinners. There is no proper evidence on Evening primrose oil to determine its safety for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding and can’t be recommended.
Consuming supplements that contain Evening primrose oil may be helpful in smooth skin and improves its elasticity, moisture, firmness, fatigue resistance. Evening primrose oil contains GLA which may help in improving the skin’s epidermis, thought to help acne by reducing skin inflammation, is highly effective in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, such as depression, irritability, bloating. Evening primrose oil may reduce the severity of hot flashes, one of the most uncomfortable side effects of menopause; it helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Evening primrose oil improves heart health and reduces nerve pain. There’s evidence that Evening primrose oil may benefit some conditions on its own or as a complementary therapy, but more research is needed. Until the verdict is clear, Evening primrose oil shouldn’t be used in place of a treatment plan recommended by your doctor. To reduce your risks for side effects, always use the lowest dose possible. If you begin having unusual or persistent side effects, discontinue use and see your doctor.
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- Rakesh Gupta