Are you an advocate of natural remedies? If your answer is yes, then you should learn a little more about the benefits of evening primrose oil. This natural remedy has been used for centuries to cure all manner of ailments.
In this post, we will tell what it is, the benefits, and side effects. Are you ready to up your natural remedy game? Join us in this interesting and enlightening read.
What is evening primrose oil?
Evening primrose oil is an extract from the seeds of the primrose flowers that are native to South and North America. However, this plant has traveled all over the world and can be found almost anywhere. The yellow flowers of this plant open up at sunset and close in daylight, hence, the name.
This plant has been used for centuries in curing several conditions including:
- Sore throats
- Digestive problems
How come this plant possesses these healing properties? It is probably due to the presence of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This is a healthy fatty acid (omega-6) that you find in plant oils. You can either take EPO as a supplement or you apply it topically.
Asides using it for treatment purposes, EPO is also used:
- A supplement to provide essential fatty acids.
- In the manufacture of cosmetics and soaps.
- Production of several kinds of drugs.
How does evening primrose oil work? Like we said earlier, this oil contains healthy fatty acids. The fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties that help in curing several conditions. Let’s show a few benefits of EPO below.
Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil
There are several ways to use EPO to your benefit. We will discuss a few of them in this section. Under each benefit, we will shed some light on how EPO works for that situation.
Acne is a very serious problem that can affect the skin of anyone from adolescence to old age. Rather than try artificial products, we advise that you stick to natural remedies like evening primrose oil.
This oil contains GLA which possesses anti-inflammatory properties. These properties clear acne by abating the skin inflammation caused. The oil also acts on the skin cells causing the lesions while retaining moisture.
Cheilitis is a condition that results in pain and inflammation in the lip after taking isotretinoin (an acne drug). Applying EPO over the location helps to relieve this condition. Further studies show that the GLA present in the oil reduces both non-inflammatory and inflammatory acne lesions.
Many countries have approved the use of EPO in treating eczema. Eczema is a skin condition that causes inflammation to the skin. Older studies show that the GLA present in the oil helps to improve the epidermis.
Another more recent study shows that taking EPO orally doesn’t cure eczema. The only way to effectively cure eczema with this oil is by applying it topically. So if you want to get the best of EPO for eczema, you should apply the oil over the affected location.
Improves Skin Health
The skin is our largest organ and we need it in great condition. Beyond this, you also need to look good as well. Skin with poor health doesn’t look good.
How does EPO affect your skin? It ensures that you have smooth skin while improving the:
- Fatigue resistance
Studies show that GLA helps in maintaining an ideal structure for the skin. It also improves overall skin function. Since the human skin isn’t able to synthesize GLA by itself, you need it from an external source. One such external source is evening primrose oil.
Relieves PMS Symptoms
Symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome include irritability, bloating, and depression. Many women experience this condition because of their sensitivity to normal prolactic levels. When GLA enters the body, it converts to a substance known as prostaglandin E1. According to research, this substance is potent in preventing prolactin from triggering PMS.
In 2010, a study was carried out with a supplement that contained vitamins B6 and E and some EPO. This supplement helped in relieving the symptoms of PMS. Though the role EPO played wasn’t clear. However, you can take EPO supplements to help reduce the effects of PMS symptoms.
Minimizes Breast Pain
There are several reasons why a woman may experience breast pain. From menstrual issues to the period after breastfeeding. Breast pain can be very discomforting and it is mainly a result of inflammation in the breasts.
One way to reduce this inflammation as well as inhibit the prostaglandins that cause this condition is by using EPO. This is made possible because of the presence of GLA.
To minimize breast pain using EPO, you need to take daily doses of EPO supplements. They’ll help to reduce cyclical breast pain over a period of time.
Reduces Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are among the most uncomfortable effects of reaching menopause. While they may be uncomfortable, you can reduce their severity using evening primrose oil. Truth be told, so far, there isn’t much clinical evidence to prove this but several people have testimonies.
Further studies to observe the action of EPO on hot flashes have revealed its potency. Women that take 500mg of EPO daily are likely to experience less severe and frequent hot flashes. Also, the women showed better signs of social activity and relations with others. EPO also helps to improve sexuality in such women.
Reduces High Blood Pressure
This is also one of the evening primrose oil benefits that isn’t clinically approved even though there are testimonies. However, people who take EPO testify that they have better systolic blood pressure levels even though it is only slight.
Some people have also testified that EPO helps in reducing the risk of preeclampsia. This is a condition that results in high blood pressure during pregnancy. Pregnant women must seek medical advice before taking EPO supplements.
Improves Heart Health
Heart disease is one of the biggest causes of mortality worldwide. So many people are living with this condition as well. Many people prefer to use natural remedies to deal with this condition. One such natural remedy is evening primrose oil.
Like we said earlier, EPO possesses anti-inflammatory properties. These properties help to drop the level of blood cholesterol. Even though it isn’t clinically proven that inflammation is a cause of heart disease, many people with this condition also show inflammation.
Taking EPO supplements daily helps to reduce this inflammation. This in turn helps to improve the health of your heart.
Reduces Nerve Pain
One of the paramount side effects of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy. This condition is also noticeable in some other conditions. Some of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
- Tingling sensations
- Cold and hot sensitivity.
By taking EPO supplements, you can reduce the effects of this condition. However, we suggest that you speak to your physician before you begin taking these supplements.
Eases Bone Pain
Several conditions may result in bone pain including rheumatoid arthritis. The GLA present in evening primrose oil has the capacity to reduce pain from rheumatoid arthritis. It is able to achieve this feat without resulting in any side effects. To achieve this, you need to stay on EPO supplements daily for up to 12 months.
Risks and Side Effects of Evening Primrose Oil
Overall, this oil is considered safe for consumption for short term use. However, it is yet to be determined if it is safe to use it for extended periods.
You should note that supplements do not undergo scrutiny or supervision by the Food and Drug Administration. This means that you need to take extra care when purchasing supplements. You should research the supplement and the manufacturing company thoroughly before purchase.
Some of the possible side effects of evening primrose oil include:
- Stomach pain
- Soft stools
- Stomach upset
It recommended that you begin with the least dosage possible first. This will help you discover if you are allergic to the product or not. If you notice any strange conditions, you should stop the dosage immediately and speak to your physician.
There is a possibility of developing allergies to EPO after taking it. A few symptoms of EPO allergy include:
- Inflammation in the hands and feet
- Difficult breathing
If you are on blood thinners, you shouldn’t take EPO supplements. This is because the supplements will increase the bleeding. Also, if you are taking drugs to lower your blood pressure, you should avoid EPO. The reason is that EPO may further lower blood pressure which isn’t good for the body.
EPO is used topically before delivery to prepare the cervix. However, when it is administered orally, it may slow down dilation and lengthen labor.
Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil-Conclusion
Evidence shows that evening primrose oil is a natural supplement that solves several problems. We have shown you a few benefits of evening primrose oil along with its use as a natural remedy. For now, there isn’t a specific dosage for this supplement. However, we suggest that you speak to your physician before you begin to discuss the benefits and risks.