Evening Primrose Oil: One of the Most Widely Used Medicinal Herbs
04/09/2012 | 02:21 PM
Evening Primrose Oil: What Is It?
Among naturopathic doctor, the Evening Primrose (Primula officinalis) is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs. It is a small plant of about 10 to 30 centimeters high that grows in glades and clearings, meadows, and in mountainous regions. It flourishes only in the summer when the flowers open at night but is dry by the next morning.
Evening Primrose Oil: An Overview
Evening Primrose oil is beneficial for skin diseases - eczema, skin allergies, irritation, and also reducing PMS symptoms, digestive system problems such as bloating and abdominal pain and premenstrual breast tension.
Evening Primrose Oil: Remedies
- PMS. Although there the preliminary results of studies have been inconclusive, some women find that taking primrose oil, specifically its GLA content, helps the bloating, breast pain and water retention of PMS.
- Diabetes. Some studies show that the high levels of GLA in primrose oil may reduce nerve pain diabetic neuropathy.
- Hydrates dry skin: One of the main sources of natural gamma-linoleic acid, evening Primrose oil helps maintain an elastic skin. The main function of this acid is to maintain hydration of the outer surface of the skin, including nails.
- Rheumatism, osteoporosis. According to the Arthritis Foundation's Arthritis Today, 2.8 grams per day of GLA (gamma linolenic acid) in evening primrose oil may reduce inflammation, joint pain, stiffness, and swelling caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. However, these studies are preliminary and more research is needed
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Several studies suggest that children with ADHD have lower levels of omega-6s and omega-3s. Primrose oil is an excellent source of omega-6. However, in preliminary studies where primrose oil was found to be no better than a placebo at reducing symptoms.
Evening Primrose Oil: Possible Side-Effects
- Indigestion, headache. These side-effects may occur from both liquid or tablet form of Evening Primrose oil.
- Nausea, diarrhea. Primrose oil is a natural laxative, and loosens compacted stools. If nausea or diarrhea occurs, the dosage used may be too high. The treatment does not have to be interrupted, but lowering the dose is recommended.
- Uterine contractions. Evening Primrose oil may cause contractions, and it should be used with extreme caution by pregnant women or not at all. Talk to your doctor.
- Seizures. There are some reports of the oil causing seizures in epileptics, persons with previous seizure disorder or persons taking anesthetics. If you are susceptible to seizures, avoid evening primrose oil.
- Drug interactions: Evening Primrose oil could interact with the antibiotic ceftazidime, the anti-cancer treatments doxorubicin, cisplatin, carboplatin, the schizophrenia medications Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), Fluphenazine (Stelazine), Perphenazine (Trilafon), the blood thinning medications Warfarin (Coumadin), Clopidogrel (Plavix), Aspirin, the immunosuppressant cyclosporine and others. If you are taking any medications, talk to your naturopathic doctor or family physician.
Evening Primrose Oil: Conclusion
Evening Primrose has a wide range of medical uses, including eczema, dermatitis, diabetic neuropathy, breast pain, premenstrual syndrome symptoms, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, skin health and general inflammation. A highly concentrated oil, it can have drug interactions and so you should advise your naturopathic or medical doctor if you are taking the oil.